We know what you’re thinking: math is a scary subject and not everyone can excel at it. When attempting math on the Executive Assessment – better known as the EA – the stakes may seem much higher. Especially since there is a whole section dedicated to math that you need to prepare for. There is good news though, the EA is not actually testing your math skills, but rather your creative problem-solving skills through math questions. Furthermore, the EA Quant Section only requires that you have sound knowledge of high-school-level mathematics. So, you just need to practice your fundamentals and learn how to use them to solve specific EA problems and find solution paths that work to your advantage.
The EA Quant Section contains a total of 14 questions, and you are given 30 minutes to complete all of them. This gives you about 2 minutes to solve each question, so in most cases, the regular way of solving math equations that you were taught in high school will not cut it. To succeed on the EA you must find the optimal problem-solving strategy for each question type. This can seem a daunting start, so our expert instructors at Apex GMAT recommend that you start your quant section prep with a review. Look over the types of EA questions asked in the test and review the math fundamentals which you may not have been using in your day-to-day life.
What types of questions will you find in the EA Quant Section?
There are 2 main types of questions you should look out for when preparing to take the GMAT exam:
Data Sufficiency Questions
For this type of EA question you don’t generally need to do calculations. However, you will have to determine whether the information that is provided to you is sufficient enough to answer the question. These questions aim to evaluate your critical thinking skills.
They generally contain a question, 2 statements, and 5 answer choices that are the same in all EA data sufficiency questions.
Here is an example of a Data Sufficiency Question:
(1) 9x-1 = 3
(2) 3x-3 = 19
A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.
B) statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.
C) Both statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.
Find the answer at the bottom of this article!
Problem Solving Questions
This question type is pretty self-explanatory: you’ll have to solve the question and come up with a solution. However, you’ll be given 5 answer choices to choose from. Generally, the majority of questions in the quant section of the EA will be problem-solving questions as they clearly show your abilities to use mathematical concepts to solve problems.
Here is an example of an EA problem-solving question from the official GMAC itself:
In a certain town of 4,000 residents, 40 percent of the residents are registered voters and 25 percent of the registered voters voted in the mayoral election. How many of the town’s registered voters voted in the mayoral election?
Find the answer at the bottom of this article!
The main concepts you should focus on
The one thing that you need to keep in mind when starting your EA prep is the level of math you need to know before going in for the Quant section. All you’ll need to master is high-school-level math. That being said, once you have revised and mastered these math fundamentals, your final step is learning how to apply this knowledge to actual EA problems and you should be good to go. This is the more challenging side of things but doing this helps you tackle all the other problem areas you may be facing such as time management, confidence levels, and test anxiety.
Here are the 3 main groups of questions on the quant section of the EA and the concepts that you should focus on for each:
- Algebraic expressions
- Permutations and combinations
- Coordinate Planes
- Number theory
- Basic statistics
- Power and root
- Integer properties
- Real numbers
5 tips to improve your EA Quant skills
1. Master the fundamentals! This is your first step towards acing this section of the EA. As this section only contains math that you have already studied thoroughly in high school, you’ll only need to revise what you have already learned and you’ll be ready to start practicing some real EA problems.
2. Practice time management! This is a crucial step as every single question is timed and you won’t get more than 2 minutes to spend on each question. That is why you should start timing yourself early on in your EA prep, so you get used to the time pressure.
3. Know the EA question types! This is something that you will learn once you get enough practice with some actual EA questions. That way, you’ll be able to easily recognize different question types and you’ll be able to use your preferred solution path without losing time.
4. Memorize the answer choices for the data sufficiency questions! These answers are always the same and their order never changes. Memorizing them will help you save precious time that you can spend elsewhere. To help you better memorize them, we are sharing an easier and less wordy way to think of them:
A) Only statement 1
B) Only statement 2
C) Both statements together
D) Either statement
E) Neither statement
5. Make use of your scrap paper! There is a reason why you’re provided with scrap paper, so make sure to take advantage of it. You will definitely need it to take notes and make calculations, especially for the problem-solving questions that you will come across in this EA section.
It’s true that math might seem like a scary subject and that’s why many people fear struggling with the EA quant section. Yet, it can be easily conquered with the right strategy and prep process. You just need to get acquainted with the question types, assess your skill level related to them and work, work, work until you become confident enough to crack that EA Quant section.
EA Data Sufficiency Questions: The answer is D. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
EA Problem Solving Question: The answer is A) 400.
Contributor: Bilhen Sali