Quantitative Reasoning (QR) is one of the sections in the GMAT exam that contributes to your total GMAT score. Hence, it’s imperative that you practice this section thoroughly. However, to do exceptionally well in quant, it’s essential to come up with strategies or some tricks to solve problems in a short span of time. Hence, through this article we will highlight the significance of Vedic Maths — a collection of sutras or techniques to solve maths problems in a faster way — a trick that has worked well for many GMAT aspirants in the past.
However, before we take you through some Vedic Maths tips and tricks, let’s just briefly give you an overview of the GMAT Quant section.
Quant Section of the GMAT Exam
The Quantitative Reasoning section consists of 31 questions — from problem-solving and data sufficiency — that you have to attempt in just 62 minutes. This section of the exam is designed to measure your ability to reason mathematically, interpret graphic data and solve quantitative problems. Though a tricky section, if you are thorough with your high school level mathematics, you can ace it easily with practice. However, besides your mathematical skills, your logical and analytical skills are required to solve questions from this section.
Now that you have a brief idea of the Quant section, let’s look at Vedic Maths and its tricks and tips to score well in the Quant section.
A Brief About Vedic Maths
Vedic Maths, rediscovered from the Vedas — Indian Sanskrit text — by Swami Bharati Krishna between 1911 and 1918, refers to a collection of ancient techniques or sutras to solve mathematical problems in a simpler and faster way. It consists of 16 Sutras (formulae) with 13 Upa-Sutras (sub-formulae) that aid in mentally solving the questions of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, conics, and other auxiliary topics. The entire structure is unified, interrelated to each other, and very easy to understand. In 1965, Bharati Krishna, published a book titled ‘Vedic Mathematics’, that incorporated all these mathematical knowledge and calculation techniques.
Key Features and Benefits of Vedic Maths:
- Employs simple principles to get solutions to lengthy and complex mathematical problems.
- Enhances accuracy and speed of doing mental calculations.
- Improves the quantitative reasoning and logical thinking capabilities of the aspirants.
- Aids aspirants in nailing different competitive exams that have quantitative and logical reasoning sections.
Vedic Maths – A Boon for GMAT Aspirants
The GMAT exam requires accuracy and speed, especially in the quant section. Hence, knowledge and application of Vedic Maths sutras aid in effectively solving intricate mathematical problems in a short time. Vedic Maths tricks makes you proficient in doing quick mental calculations involving elementary mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and simple stepwise methods for performing complex operations (finding the square, square root, cube, cube root, percentages, fractions, and reciprocals of numbers). This unique technique also helps in solving mathematical problems on topics such as geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and algebra. The primary condition is that you remember multiplication tables (at least up to 35) to get a good grasp of the tricks.
For instance, finding the square of a three-digit number or the square root of a five-digit number is a long and tedious task when done manually using pen and paper. However, with Vedic Maths tricks, you can get the results in just 15-20 seconds! And once done you can cross-check the accuracy of the answers on a calculator.
Let us now learn the tricks to solve some mathematical problems using Vedic Maths tricks:
(1) Finding the Square of a Number Ending with 5 (say, to find 75²)
Step 1: Add 1 to the left number (7) and multiply it by itself
7 x (7+1) = 7 x 8 = 56
Step 2: Add 5² (i.e. 25) at the last of the number obtained in Step 1
New number 5625 is your answer.
So, 75² or 75 x 75 = 5625
(2) Subtracting a Number from 1000 (say, to find 1000-734)
Step 1: Subtract each digit in 734 from 9 and then subtract the last digit from 10
9 – 7 = 2
9 – 3 = 6
10 – 4 = 6
Step 2: Place the differences obtained in Step 1 in a sequential order to get the answer (266 in this case)
So, 1000 – 734 = 266
(3) Multiplication of any Two 3-digit Numbers (say, to find 406 x 404)
Step 1: Subtract the unit place digits from the actual number
406 – 6 = 400
404 – 4 = 400
Step 2: Add the unit digit of any one of the numbers to the other number
404 + 6 = 410
Step 3: Multiply the product obtained in Step 2 and Step 1 for that number
410 x 400 = 164000
Step 4: Multiply the unit digits of both the numbers
4 x 6 = 24
Step 5: Add the product obtained in Step 4 to the product obtained in Step 3 to get the final answer
164000 + 24 = 164024
So, 406 x 404 = 164024
To conclude, Vedic Maths increases your calculation speed and enables you to solve more questions in the quant section in less time, with more accuracy. It increases your mental agility, and boosts your confidence to perform well in the exam. All in all, Vedic Maths teaches step-wise techniques that are useful to swiftly perform mental calculations and thus, score high in the quant section of the GMAT exam.
GMAT Quant Solving Tips:
- Read the Questions Thoroughly
The first step is to read the questions and the choices given carefully. Once you have done that, note down the relevant points and make assumptions accordingly. Also, while reading the questions try and figure out which of the questions require detailed calculation.
- Learn Shortcuts
Since the quant section includes several calculation-based questions, it is advisable to learn and utilize shortcuts for solving them. Using different tricks of Vedic Maths can be of great help while doing lengthy calculations. For example — the Sankalana-Vyavakalanabhyam Sutra, along with the Yavadunam Tavadunam Sub-Sutra, provides shortcuts to perform addition and subtraction calculations.
- Learn and Remember Formulae
To quickly solve numerical questions, it is essential to learn and remember formulae (such as formula of area and perimeters of various shapes, rate of work, simple and compound interest, speed, etc.). You can use flashcards to remember them during your GMAT preparation.
- Use the Elimination Technique
If you are stuck with a question during the exam, use the elimination technique. This means that you have to eliminate all improbable answer options and guess the right answer. To begin with, start by eliminating values that are either too small or too big. Once you have done that, it becomes a lot easier to choose from a few options.
- Don’t Waste Time Memorizing Conversion Tables
If a question involves two different units, such as cubic metres and metres, generally the conversion formula is provided in the question itself if required. Hence, don’t waste time remembering them.
Practice is key to scoring high in the GMAT quant section. Consistently practicing GMAT question sample papers or taking mock tests helps you recognise the areas that you need to work upon. Besides, using shortcuts and tricks of Vedic Maths helps solve questions under time pressure, thereby, enabling you to solve as many questions accurately.
Vedic Maths tips and tricks are quite helpful for GMAT aspirants who want to excel in the quant section but do not have very strong command over Mathematics. Hence, this shortcut method helps with accurate calculations, in turn saving a lot of time that would generally go into lengthy calculation processes.