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Beef Up Your Foundational Math for the GMAT

Basic GMAT Math“Help! I need to take the GMAT but haven’t studied math in 10 years. I don’t even remember how to do some of the most basic things like multiply and divide fractions!”

Sound familiar?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I always tell my students that they were better prepared for the GMAT quantitative section the day they graduated high school than they are today. The reality is that the math tested on the GMAT isn’t all that difficult, yet it’s math that most students haven’t seen in years. There’s a definite need to dust off some of the “math cobwebs” as I call them, at which point the learning cure for the GMAT is actually pretty steep.

Our online GMAT prep courses certainly cover the relevant math tested on the GMAT, but it comes in stages and also focuses not only on the math itself, but also how to apply it to get right answers on test day. If you’d like to really go back to the basics and tackle some of the most foundational math you’ll need on the GMAT, here are three (3) great resources that my students have benefitted from:

1. The Khan Academy – Free Math Videos

Backed by Bill Gates and other donors, the Khan Academy offers a library of over 4,300 free videos on nearly every topic under the sun, from arithmetic and geometry to physics, history, and finance. For your purposes studying for the GMAT, there are a whole suite of basic math videos that you can find here:

Basic Math Videos: http://www.khanacademy.org/math/arithmetic

As you’ll notice, you can toggle around the different GMAT math categories or enter words like “probability” or “fractions” in the search area at the top. Some of the videos are a bit dry, but hey, at least they’re free!

2. Brightstorm

Not quite as well-known as the Khan Academy, nevertheless Brightstorm provides over 200 free math videos on all sorts of different topics that are quite good.

You can check it out here: http://www.brightstorm.com/math/

Here’s what one GMAT student had to say about this resource: “I’ve been out of school for quite a few years and really needed some basic math refresh work. This site is absolutely free and was a huge help for me in just getting back to basics and relearning basic algebra and geometry. Obviously, this site is not going to get you that 700, but if any of you are like me and just need to cover some very basic principles before tackling the bigger stuff it’s got you covered.¬†They have everything pretty organized so it’s pretty easy to find the topics that are relevant to the GMAT. Each topic has a short video on the general topic then a couple more videos working problems. Again, this site is targeted at high school kids so keep that in mind when watching the videos.”

3. Manhattan GMAT’s “Foundations of Math” Book

I generally don’t like to plug competitors’ books, but in this case, Manhattan GMAT sort of has the market cornered with their Foundations of GMAT Math book. Here’s how Amazon.com describes it:

“Designed to be user-friendly for all students, this book provides easy-to-follow explanations of fundamental math concepts and step-by-step application of these concepts to example problems.¬†With ten chapters and over 700 practice problems, this book is an invaluable resource to any student who wants to cement their understanding and build their basic math skills for the GMAT.”

So there you have it! Three great resources to help you bone up on your foundational GMAT math. Of course, once you get the basics down, you’ll want to really learn the crucial content, tips, and test-taking strategies that will enable you to crack 700 on the GMAT. For that, you’ll definitely need our comprehensive GMAT Quantitative Course online. When you’re ready, I’ll look forward to working with you and helping you to dominate the GMAT!