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Should you plug-in numbers on GMAT Quant questions?

Should you plug-in numbers on GMAT Quant questions?

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should you plugin numbers

Should you plug-in numbers on GMAT Quant questions?


It’s one the biggest debates among GMAT tutors and coaches.  Should you plug in numbers as a habit?

It’s not a simple question but my answer is very simple.


Many GMAT tutoring companies play into the desire for quick fixes

In an industry built on sales tactics, a lot of tutors love to talk about beating the GMAT with tricks and shortcuts — and that’s fine if you’re aiming around the 600 level or below. Once your target exceeds that level, The plugging strategy starts to fall apart.

Remember what the GMAT was designed to test

 The GMAT is a test of executive reasoning skills.  And remember who is on the other side (your opponent) when you’re playing the GMAT “game” — highly paid expert psychometricians.   When you put those two things together you have a pretty good idea of what the answer is to the question of plugging numbers.  Picture a group of expert test writers building each challenging GMAT quant question.  How likely are they to allow a quick plug-in approach to defeat one of their 700 level GMAT questions?


Not a resilient capability

Unlike algebra skills, the ability to plug-in numbers doesn’t set you up well for harder questions. On the other hand, having strong algebraic skills is very powerful and empowers you to take on the hardest GMAT questions. It’s a resilient capability that takes you across many quant topics and insulates you against the most typical trap answers.

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