Why You Need Pacing Benchmarks on Quant

The Quant section contains 31 questions in 62 minutes. That is exactly 2 minutes per question!

How can we complete the sections with so little time? By knowing how the exam is scored and using that knowledge to our advantage!

Some tips:

95% of test-takers don’t have time to attempt every Quant question. With only 2 minutes/question on the Quant section, the GMAT purposefully does not provide you with adequate time. Don’t be fooled into thinking you must attempt every question. In fact, unless you are preternaturally fast with very high Quant accuracy, you should NOT be attempting every question!

Always look at the answer choices first in Problem Solving. On the GMAT Quant section, we’re looking for the fastest (and easiest) way to get through the problem. You’ll need to be flexible, and learn how to Approximate, Pick Numbers, Backsolve, and Guess Strategically. Yes, Algebra may be your go-to for most problems, but you will become faster the more flexible you are.

Every time your take a practice test, write out these above numbers on a sheet of paper. Have them on your desk so you can get used to “checking in” every 5 questions. Do not try to “memorize” these benchmarks right now. Though you probably will memorize them eventually just out of habit, on your first few CATs the visual aid will help you remember to check-in.

Bringing more awareness to how you “pace out” the Quant section will help you fight “test day panic” enormously! It often takes students 5-6 practice exams before they “get the hang” of how to deal with pacing. Be patient with yourself, and be a little more free with “throwing away” questions. Most students find their score jumps 50+ points once they have the pacing under control.