Picking Numbers: How to Avoid Ugly Algebra on the GMAT

Look at how ugly this GMath problem appears:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That expression is NOT something we want to have to simplify on Test Day. How do we do this problem in less than 2 minutes if we don’t want to deal with ugly fractions?

Pick Numbers!! My advice to students if they see something that is even 50% as complicated as this is to quickly plug in numbers. The GMAT is about flexibility and strategy, not rote calculation. :blushing

Here’s one way to do it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look for opportunities to replace variables on these hideous algebraic questions and you’ll soon find yourself a more flexible GMAT Quant test-taker!