Updated March 04, 2010
This section usually accounts for 20% to 25% of the quant section. The most important key algebra topic that has been asked repeatedly in GMAT tests are solving various equations and word problems. The algebra section is very critical for getting high GMAT score.
Topics and Examples
Understanding and being able to set up and solve equations is a large part of every mathematics course and therefore you can bet it’ll take up a significant portion of the GMAT quant section. The idea is quite simple- you need to be able to convert a word problem into an equation, and solve it. Here is a sample question:
I have a piece of wire that is 50 feet long. I cut it into two pieces, and one of the pieces is 13 feet longer than the other. What is the length of the shorter piece?
Let’s set up an equation first. Say S is the length of the shorter piece. Then, since the longer piece is 13 feet longer, it’ll be S + 13. Now, the total length is 50, so , so feet.
This is a very straightforward example. You will also need to be able to handle polynomials, solve two simultaneous equations in two variables, second-degree equations, and inequalities. Here is a slightly more complicatde example:
If , find .
This is pretty easy. Just multiply both sides by 3 + 2x to get , so . Dividing everything by 2, you find that .
You will have to be able to solve these and other similar types of questions if you want to ace the GMAT. To improve your score, why not try out some of our practice tests?
Practice GMAT Algebra Problems
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