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GMAT

Foundations of Math
Level I

FOUNDATIONS OF MATH I

In-Class Drills
Contents
Page
Warm Up: Order of Operations 3
Solutions to Warm Up
4
Equations
Principles
5
Rules and Tips
6
Drills
7-8
Games (Divisibility and Exponents)
Principles
9
Rules and Tips
10
Drills
11
Official Guide Problem Sets
Problem Solving
12
Data Sufficiency
13

WARM UP: ORDER OF OPERATIONS


The order of operations helps us determine the order in which we should perform
computations that simplify a term. The six operations in the correct order are
Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division and Addition/Subtraction.
Parentheses
Exponents
Multiplication
or Division

Addition or
Subtraction

Simplify anything inside parentheses first.


Apply exponents. For instance, you might square a number: 32
Multiply or divide.
Remember that multiplication can be written in several ways:
32 = 3(2) = (3)2 = 6.
6
Also, division can be represented by fractions: 6 3 =
= 2.
3

There are hidden parentheses on the top and bottom of fractions:


6 + 9
= ( 6 + 9 ) 3 = 15 3
3
Add or subtract numbers.

PEMDAS is a useful acronym you can use to remember the order in which operations
should be performed.
If you have two operations at the same level of importance, you should just do them in
left-to-right order: 3 2 + 3 = 1 + 3 = 4. To override this order, you need to have
parentheses: 3 (2 + 3) = -2.
Simplify the following expressions to a single number:
1.

7(3 + 2) 9 =

P
E
M/D
A/S

3.
P
E
M/D
A/S

2.

25 5(3 1)2 =

P
E
M/D
A/S
3+1 9 3
+
=
2
3

4.

3(2.3 + 1.7) 4(2.3 1.3) =

P
E
M/D
A/S

SOLUTIONS TO WARM UP: ORDER OF OPERATIONS


1.

7(3 + 2) 9 =

2.

25 5(3 1)2 =

P
E
M/D
A/S

7(5) 9

P
E
M/D
A/S

25 5(2)2
25 5(4)
25 - 20
5

35 9
26

7(3 + 2) 9 = 26

3.
P
E
M/D
A/S

3+1 9 3
+
=
2
3

4 6
+
2 3
2+2
4

3+1 9 3
+
=4
2
3

25 5(3 1)2 = 5

4.

3(2.3 + 1.7) 4(2.3 1.3) =

P
E
M/D
A/S

3(4.0) 4(1)
12 4
8

3(2.3 + 1.7) 4(2.3 1.3) = 8

EQUATIONS
Three basic skills serve as the foundation for successfully solving a variety of GMAT
quantitative problems:
1) Solving for a variable
2) Combining equations together
3) Turning words into numerical relationships
In order to comprehend, compute, and solve challenging problems in two minutes or less,
these three skills should be automatic. Lets start from the ground up
Solving for a variable: In order to solve for a variable, simply isolate the variable on one
side of the equation. Get rid of numbers attached to the variable by reversing the original
operations (for example, in order to isolate x in x + 5 = 7, you should subtract 5).
In many ways, isolating a variable is similar to unraveling a problem. If you become
unsure of the order in which you should work, remember to go in reverse of the order of
operations, PEMDAS. First, get rid of numbers that are being Subtracted from or Added
to the variable. Then get rid of numbers that the variable is being Divided or Multiplied
by. Then get rid of Exponents. Finally, get rid of Parentheses.
Additionally, you should take three other steps whenever the opportunity presents itself:
simplify blocks of work within the equation, always combine like-terms, and always
try to get variables out of denominators.
Combining equations: Students new to the GMAT often make the mistake of trying to
combine all the information in a long problem into one equation. Many problems are not
built to be solved this way. It is often much easier to create simple equations first,
because combining them later is generally not difficult.
There are two common methods for combining equations: substitution, which you will
use far more frequently, and elimination. The goal of both is the same: to end up with one
equation with one variable.
Turning words into numeric relationships: GMAT problems are often worded in a
way that makes it difficult to translate them into numeric relationships. An important
initial step is to correctly identify and label the unknowns. The rest of the problem is
there to tell you something about the relationship between these unknowns. Be on the
lookout for two common relationships: two parts that equal one another (tip: look for all
forms of the word is), and two parts that add to a total.
Checking your work: Successful test takers have a variety of efficient and effective
methods for checking their work. These test takers know how to (1) estimate, (2)
recognize limiting number properties, (3) eliminate unreasonable answer choices, and (4)
plug in numbers. In addition, you should be comfortable walking back through a problem
with your solution to make sure everything makes sense. Performed properly, this step
will help you catch most simple computation errors.
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RULES AND TIPS

EQUATIONS

Solving For A Variable

Combining Equations

Isolate a variable by reversing the order of


operations (PEMDAS).

5(x 1)3 30 = 10
A/S
M/D
E
P

5(x 1) = 40
(x 1)3 = 8
(x 1) = 2
x=3

Tip: Always combine in the easiest way possible,


regardless of what variable you are asked to solve
for.

If 3x + y = 10, and
y = x 2, y = ?
Substitute from one equation into the other:
3x + (x 2) = 10

While simultaneously performing three other


actions whenever you can:
(1) Simplify already-combined terms
(2) Combine common variables
(3) Cross-multiply to eliminate denominators

4x + 3 3 + 1
+
=5
2x 1
2
(1)

4x + 3
+2=5
2x 1

A/S

4x + 3
=3
2x 1

(3)

4x + 3 = 3(2x 1)

(1)

4x + 3 = 6x 3

(2)

3 = 2x 3

A/S

6 = 2x

M/D

3= x

Solve:
4x 2 = 10
4x = 12
x = 3. If x = 3, y = (3) 2 = 1.
Sometimes it is necessary to first isolate a variable
before you substitute:

If 3x + y = 10, and
y 2x = - 5, x = ?
Isolate: y = 2x- 5
Substitute: 3x + (2x 5) = 10
Solve:
5x 5 = 10
5x = 15
x=3
Sometimes you can eliminate a variable by adding
or subtracting entire equations from one another.
3x + y = 10
+ 2x y = 5
5x = 15
x=3

Turning Words Into Numeric Relationships


Common Terms:
is, was, were, will be, same
difference, less
of, times, product
average of x and y

(x + y)/2

total, sum, add


y less than x
quotient, proportion
ratio of x to y

+
x-y
x/y
x/y

EQUATIONS DRILL #1
1. h + k = 40, k = h + 18

2.

30t + 50
= 25, q = t + 5
q

3. 7x + 4y = 43, y + 8 = 2x

4. 3k 2z = 16, 2z = 2k 12

EQUATIONS DRILL #2
1. * There are four more women than men on Centervilles board of education. If
there are ten members on the board, how many are women?
Variables:
Equations:
Combine and Solve:
Check your work:
2. If Sam were twice as old as he is, he would be 40 years older than Jim. If Jim is 10
years younger than Sam, how old is Sam?
Variables:
Equations:
Combine and Solve:
Check your work:
3.* The average of 10, 30, and 50 is 5 more than the average of x, 20, and 40.
What number is x?
Variables:
Equations:
Combine and Solve:
Check your work:
*This problem is reprinted or slightly adapted from the Official Guide for GMAT Review (11th Edition or Math Supplement),
published by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

GAMES
Divisibility Questions require you to understand numbers in terms of their basic
multiplicative building blocks. Problems that include the words divisible by, factor,
and multiple are generally divisibility questions.
The most basic multiplicative building blocks of a number are known as prime factors.
The factors of that number are all the terms that divide into the number cleanly. Factors
can be created by multiplying any combination of prime factors together. If the question
asks for a total number of factors, you must always also count 1 as a factor.
GMAT divisibility questions commonly work in reverse; instead of giving you a number,
they give you the factors, and ask what you can determine about the number from these
factors. In more difficult problems, factors often give overlapping information about the
building blocks of your number (the prime factors), because the same building blocks can
be used several times to create various factors.
Exponents are simply shorthand for multiplying or dividing the same number by itself
multiple times. Exponential terms consist of a base (the number being multiplied) and the
exponent (the number of times the number is being multiplied).
Exponential terms can only be combined if they have a common base or a common
exponent. Common base problems are, for the lack of a better word, more common on
the GMAT. It is often necessary to change the base of a term in order to have the
common bases necessary to combine terms.
The rules for combining exponents, like the rules of other types of shorthand, are difficult
to comprehend and memorize unless you understand the logic behind them. When in
doubt, think about exponent rules by writing out the multiplication or division that is
involved.
The fundamental rules of exponents involve basic multiplication and division. When
multiplying exponential terms with common bases, you should add the exponents. When
dividing exponential terms with common bases, you should subtract the exponents. Most
other exponent rules are derived from these two.

RULES AND TIPS

GAMES
Divisibility
Example: x = 45

Prime Factors (the basic multiplicative building blocks): 3 3 5


Factors (all the different numbers you can form by combining the prime factors):
1, 3, 5, 9, 15, 45
1

33=9

3 5 = 15

3 3 5 = 45

Dont forget that 1 is always a factor!


Note: A number that doesnt have any factors other than 1 and itself is a prime number.

Exponents
a5 a3 = (aaaaa) (aaa) = a8

a 5 aaaaa
=
= a2
3
a
aaa

(a5)3 = aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa = a15

a0 = 1

a 2 =

1
1
= 2
aa a

6a 3a = 18a

1
2

a = a

6a
= 2a
3a

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GAMES DRILL
1. List the prime factors and factors for the number 36.
Prime factors:
Factors:
2. If x is divisible by 6 and 9, then x must be a multiple of
I. 3

II. 18

III. 27

(A) I only
(B) I and II only
(C) II and III only
(D) I and III only
(E) I, II and III
3. Combine the following into one exponential term.
A. 5 4 5 2 5 1 =

g12
B. 4 3 =
(g )

C. 3295 =

D. 58 28 =

4. If 103x = 1000y, x =
A. y
B. y/2
C. y/3
D. 3y
E. y - 3

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Official Guide Problem Solving Set


Equations
Combining Equations and Solving for a Variable
2015/13th Edition: 14, 42, 54, 55, 72, 102
2015/13th Quantitative Review: 2, 40, 41, 107
2016 Edition: 16, 47, 53, 54, 92, 126
2016 Quantitative Review: 11, 41, 42, 112
Word Problems
2015/13th Edition: 4, 60, 64, 76, 83, 88, 89, 93, 131, 137, 140, 154, 203
2015/13th Quantitative Review: 3, 13, 19, 25, 51, 52, 54, 62, 75, 94, 115, 124, 126, 127,
171
2016 Edition: 4, 71, 74, 95, 103, 109, 110, 115, 156, 162, 165, 176, 208
2016 Quantitative Review: 12, 24, 25, 51, 52, 54, 62, 101, 128, 130, 131, 172

Games
Divisibility
2015/13th Edition: 74, 77, 87, 95, 110, 116, 118, 127, 155, 174, 204, 219
2015/13th Quantitative Review: 68, 78, 98, 112, 125, 149, 164, 169, 172
2016 Edition: 93, 96, 106, 118, 132, 140, 143, 151, 177, 190, 209, 223
2016 Quantitative Review: 71, 77, 105, 115, 129, 148, 168, 170, 173
Exponents
2015/13th Edition: 106, 150, 164, 180, 196, 217, 230
2015/13th Quantitative Review: 47, 86, 96, 108, 147, 170
2016 Edition: 128, 174, 184, 193, 204, 221, 230
2016 Quantitative Review: 46, 85, 103, 113, 147, 171

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Official Guide Data Sufficiency Set


Equations
Combining Equations and Solving for a Variable
2015/13th Edition: 60, 98, 171
Quantitative Review: 15, 35, 61, 80, 106
2016 Edition: 74, 113, 172
2016 Quantitative Review: 36, 57, 75, 78, 92
Word Problems
2015/13th Edition: 9, 28, 44, 54, 57, 65, 71, 78, 124, 126, 141, 142, 147
Quantitative Review: 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 17, 26, 27, 29, 33, 84, 97, 108
2016 Edition: 4, 32, 57, 68, 71, 82, 89, 97, 139, 141, 153, 154, 158
2016 Quantitative Review: 18, 21, 23, 33, 34, 38, 51, 52, 55

Games
Divisibility
2015/13th Edition: 58, 83, 101, 135
Quantitative Review: 3, 16, 39, 45, 64, 70, 82, 87, 90, 92, 115
2016 Edition: 72, 102, 117, 149
2016 Quantitative Review: 37, 60, 66, 85, 94, 97, 100, 115
Exponents
2015/13th Edition: 41, 53, 169, 172
Quantitative Review: 18, 25, 54, 76, 79, 81, 100, 121
2016 Edition: 53, 65, 170, 173
2016 Quantitative Review: 39, 50, 73, 89, 91, 93, 106, 112

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