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In “How to Conquer GMAT Rate Problems”, we discuss one of the most valuable GMAT math strategies — taking complex problems step-by-step.
GMAT rate problems often require a series of steps to get to the answer. This series of steps is often not immediately obvious because there are so many elements to the problem, because the math is couched in a word problem, etc. This means that seeing a clear path to the finish line is difficult with many GMAT rate problems.
This is *okay*. Rather than waste time working out a game plan, the best choice is to figure out just the next step you *can* take given the information you have, then repeat the process. In the case of GMAT rate problems, this is doing the next possible conversion. We walk through exactly what this means by solving one of the real GMAT rate problems from the GMATPrep software.
With this strategy, you’re ready for the most conversion-heavy rate problems GMAT test writers throw at you. However, this isn’t all — taking problems one step at a time when the solution isn’t immediately clear is one of the broader GMAT math strategies, as we can apply it to a variety of multi-step problems. Not sure what to do with a bunch of terms exponents? See how you can combine two or three of them, then see if it simplifies further with your new term. Have a complicated geometric figure? See which angle or side you can solve for now, then see if you can solve for more with the new information.
As a final note, this strategy applies best to _distance_ rate problems, but it can also be used on certain _work_ rate and _interest_ rate questions. If you’d like more detailed information on how to solve each of these specific types of rate problem, check out our rundown of the three types of GMAT rate problems: https://goo.gl/ZfqP81