Can you use a calculator on the gmat
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized exam that is designed to assess a candidate’s readiness for management and business programs. The exam consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. One of the most common questions asked by students preparing for the GMAT is whether they can use a calculator during the test. In this article, we will answer that question in detail.
Calculators on the GMAT
The short answer to whether you can use a calculator on the GMAT is both yes and no. A calculator is allowed in certain parts of the exam, but not in others. Here’s a brief explanation of where calculators are permitted:
1. Integrated Reasoning Section: Yes
In the Integrated Reasoning section, you can use an on-screen calculator provided by the test center. The purpose of this section is to assess your ability to interpret and analyze data from various sources, such as graphs, charts, and tables. Since this section focuses more on your data interpretation skills than arithmetic ability, it makes sense to provide you with a calculator.
However, it’s important to note that the on-screen calculator provided in the Integrated Reasoning section is a basic calculator with functions like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots and percentages. It does not have advanced functions like logarithms or trigonometry.
2. Quantitative Section: No
There’s no calculator allowed in the Quantitative section, which includes Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions. This section tests your mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills using middle school-level math concepts like arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
The GMAT creators designed this section so that one should not require a calculator to solve problems because calculations are relatively simple; candidates are assessed on their ability to reason and apply logical thinking rather than perform complex calculations.
3. Analytical Writing and Verbal Sections: No
It’s quite apparent that calculators are not needed for the Analytical Writing or Verbal sections, as
these involve evaluating arguments, constructing essays, and testing your command of English grammar and usage.
Preparing for the GMAT
Since you know that you will not be allowed to use a calculator in some sections of the GMAT, it’s essential to develop your mental math and estimation skills. This can help you perform calculations quickly while minimizing errors on test day. Here are a few tips to improve your quantitative abilities:
1. Practice mental math regularly: To improve your mental math skills, dedicate some time daily to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division without using a calculator.
2. Estimate: Learn and practice estimation techniques, which can help you narrow down answer choices and potentially solve problems faster.
3. Familiarize yourself with common patterns: Many GMAT questions require finding patterns or identifying shortcuts that can save time when solving problems.
4. Work on time management: Taking timed practice tests will enable you to become comfortable with managing your time effectively during the exam.
Having clarity on calculator usage during the GMAT is crucial in your exam preparation strategy. Remember that while an on-screen calculator is provided in the Integrated Reasoning section, it is not permitted in the Quantitative section. Thus, focus on honing your mental math and problem-solving strategies to achieve success in this standardized test for prospective business students.