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How to do Arithmetic Manipulations?

In the video below I show you how to go about doing arithmetic manipulations on GMAT Math problems. All of the GMAT problems are meant to be solved without a calculator, and the test writers ensure that the numbers are "nice", meaning that minimal grunt calculations need to be done. However, there are some specific guidelines on how to go about this. Below I list some of these points and illustrate them further in the video:

  • Only do divisions after you have reduced the fractions. Almost of all of the divisions are based on dividing by a single digit number, this means that you may end up with problems that have a two digit number in the denominator, but first reduce the expression.
  • Don't multiply unless you have reduced all the fractions or expressions.
  • Know the times table from 2 to 11. It is not necessary on the GMAT to know times table higher than 11.
  • If you see the following phrases: approximately equal to, most nearly equal to, or closest to, then recognize that it is an approximation problem. This means you need to replace the terms with "nice" numbers, for example if you have 0.487, then you replace it with 0.5.

Video Illustrating Arithmetic Manipulations on three Official GMAT problems:

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