Can You Use A Calculator On The GMAT? (FAQs)

Can You Use A Calculator On The GMAT? Well, the answer to this question is both yes and no.

In case this causes you concern, take solace in the statement “You can’t use a calculator” is merely another way of stating that you are not required to come in with one, but you will still have access to one.

It is important to keep in mind that the quantitative section of the GMAT does not evaluate your capacity to conduct calculations that take a lot of time but your capacity to perform computations in an intelligent and time-efficient manner.

You can save a substantial amount of time and increase your score on the GMAT quantitative section if you can learn the difference between the two.

What Process Is Behind The GMAT Quantitative Section?

The quantitative portion of the GMAT consists of 37 multiple-choice questions that test a student’s ability not only to solve mathematical equations but also apply their analytical and reasoning skills to conclude data.

This portion of the exam lasts for 75 minutes. There are two distinct categories of questions in this section:

  • Problem-solving, including the resolution of mathematical conundrums and the interpretation of data.
  • The process of analyzing data as part of an effort to solve an issue.

The prospect of tackling the math-intensive quantitative part without a calculator may sound intimidating.

Still, the arithmetic abilities required for the section are not more advanced than those obtained in mathematics classes in high school.

As a result of the fact that the majority of students who are preparing for the GMAT graduated high school several years ago, it is essential for them to review their fundamental mathematical abilities when they are preparing for the quantitative component of the exam.

So, There Won’t Be Any Need For Calculators, Then?

No, not quite like that. During the part of the test known as Integrated Reasoning (IR), you are permitted to use a calculator.

You can access an on-screen calculator for this part of the test.

Be aware that this calculator only has the most fundamental mathematical operations built into it, the same operations as you would find on a calculator used in elementary school.

The quantitative portion of the exam is the one in which you are most likely to find yourself needing a calculator; nevertheless, you will not be allowed into the exam hall with any form of the calculator.

But What Options Do I Have If Arithmetic Isn’t My Strong Suit?

Everyone who takes the GMAT will do so with their unique blend of advantages and disadvantages.

You are not alone if you do not have great mathematical skills; in fact, many people are in the same boat as you.

However, there are several things you may do to prepare for a test that does not involve the use of a calculator.

For starters, you should make it a must to brush up on your basic arithmetic skills often.

Most people who are not particularly skilled in mathematics do not put much effort into improving their math skills because calculators are so prevalent in everyday life.

But there is something that can be done about this situation.

There is a plethora of material available to you that can assist with this matter, including flashcards, applications, and internet resources.

Knowing your multiplication tables by heart can make all the difference between having enough time to solve a problem and not having enough time to solve a problem.

This work is not exciting; however, knowing your multiplication tables by heart can make all the difference.

The GMAT Is Not A Test Of Complicated Mathematics

The General Measurement Admission Test (GMAT) includes a portion called Quantitative Reasoning, essentially a test of reasoning.

During the Quant portion, you will, without a doubt, be asked to demonstrate your proficiency in basic arithmetical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The people who developed the GMAT and, more significantly, those who work in admissions at business schools are not attempting to evaluate your level of proficiency in conducting calculations using a calculator.

They are interested in determining how proficient you are at applying your knowledge and logic to reason through difficult situations effectively.

Therefore, a question that, at first glance, appears to involve intricate mathematical calculations is, in reality, assessing your capacity to perform the following tasks:

  • Conduct an investigation into the current state of the problem.
  • By applying your understanding of mathematical concepts and principles, you can narrow down the possible answers and arrive at the right one.

Read more:

A Guide To The GMAT Calculator

To begin, the fact that students are not permitted to bring in their calculators for the GMAT places significant limitations on the administrators of the test.

They are only permitted to include questions on the exam that can be answered sensibly without using a calculator.

Because there is no calculator available for the quantitative section of the GMAT, they are unable to include sophisticated math questions on the exam, which eliminates the need for you to study such questions.

In addition, there are several essential studying tactics that you can follow right now that will prepare you very well for the day that you are not allowed to use a calculator when you take the actual GMAT.

The next subheading explains more.

Tips To Ace GMAT Arithmetic

1. Daily practice with mental arithmetic is recommended.

If you have a marathon coming up in six months, it is only natural that you will train for it by jogging and going for runs, aiming to get to peak condition prior to the main event.

Your “mental arithmetic muscles,” which are analogous to the muscles in your physical body, need to be exercised and brought into peak condition before the day of the exam.

2. Make fractions your pals.

You realize that fractions and decimals are simply two distinct notations for expressing the same number, right?

When you have no choice but to perform calculations by hand, employing fractions is almost always going to be easier on you than attempting to work with decimals for several reasons.

This is especially true on the GMAT, where the numbers chosen for the problems are frequently chosen because they are conducive to fractions.

3. Make use of estimations

You can complete an exact calculation when you have a calculator.

Still, because you do not get a calculator on the GMAT Quant section, you do not have to figure out an exact solution for every math question on the GMAT; frequently, an estimation is sufficient.

If you observe 48.3 times 8.22, you know, it will be close to 400 because 50 multiplied by 8 equals 400, which may be close enough for you to pick an answer from the several options offered to that question.

4. Let the multiple answers serve as a guide for you

When answering questions requiring problem-solving, the structure of the answer choices can help direct your approach.

It’s possible for a student to spend many minutes manually calculating the cube root of 4 before realizing that the solution possibilities are presented as a range (less than 0, between 0 and 1, between 1 and 2, etc.).

It is appropriate to use estimation rather than calculation in situations like these.

5. Reduce it right away and frequently

Have you ever multiplied two difficult fractions only to find that the numerator and denominator of the resulting fraction needed to be lowered because they were so large?

Not only does the first multiplication take more time than it should but not having to lower such huge numbers also opens the possibility of making an error in the calculation.

If you anticipate being in this predicament on the GMAT (or even on a practice GMAT), seek ways to reduce fractions quickly.


Do not get intimidated or scared that you won’t be able to use your calculator when you take the GMAT.

Taking the arithmetic section of the GMAT could be easier if you: first, simplify the problem as much as is feasible, then disseminate it; and last, let the responses direct how you proceed.

Put your “real-world math” to the test by connecting the questions on the GMAT quantitative section to everyday situations. 

You should also try to live without using a calculator as often as possible.

You should commit your multiplication tables to memory, work on converting decimals to fractions, and be able to add and subtract manually as necessary.

If you make math a regular part of your life, you’ll develop the self-assurance you need to achieve the same level of such

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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