Let me start off by saying that hard work and mastering each question topic is the best way to conquer the GMAT. There is no Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right B, A, Start cheat code that can replace months of intense studying. That said, getting a 700+ score on the GMAT sometimes means having a few tricks up your sleeves. Here’s a few strategies that I’ve found to be helpful with gaining a few extra points at the very top of the GMAT curve:
1) Know your PEMDAS and your SADMEP
In other words, you have to know your parenthesis, exponents/roots, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction, backwards and forwards. For as many students as I have worked with, I have yet to come across a student who can barely work through a multiplication table, yet still manages to consistently finish the quant portion of the GMAT. Even though you only need to answer 37 quantitative questions, this will entail hundreds of math calculations- calculations that far too many of us have left to the machines (I for one welcome our new calculator overlords). If the average straightforward calculation takes five seconds and a student sees two hundred of these calculations over an average test, that’s sixteen minutes and forty seconds of just doing simple arithmetic. And if it takes you twice as long to do each of those calculations, that’s going to take, umm, well, it’s…. it’s going to take a lot longer.