GAT Section A – Numeracy

Tips & Tricks

General tips and tricks

Read the WHOLE question first. If there are multiple parts to a question, read all parts before beginning the questions

Often question require you to complete multiple steps to answer it. E.g. You may be given a table of raw data, have to find an average first, then convert that to a percentage to answer it.

Check your answer- not just if it is correct, but does it actually match what the question is asking?

Include units in your answers. E.g. 10cm

Underline/highlight key terms and important information

Assign operations to words. E.g. Sum is +, Difference is -, Product is X, Solve & Evaluate = find the answer

Topic specific tips


If a questions says round, make sure you do.

Example 1.
Round 3.456 to two decimal places

1.Underline 3.456,

2.Look at the 6

Because the 6 is ‘5 or more’, add 1 to the 5.
= 3.46

Example 2.
Round 67.089999 to three decimal places

1.Underline 67.089999

2.Look at the 9

Because the 9 is ‘5 or more’, add 1 to the 9. However, adding 1 to a 9 becomes 10, therefore move to the left and add 1 to the first number that you can to the left.
= 67.090

underline the digit to be rounded

Look at the digit to the right of place value being rounded

if the digit is 4 or less, the underlined digit remains the same

If the digit is 5 or more, add 1 to the underlined digit

Fractions / decimals / percentages

Fractions are part of a whole. I.e. Usually less than 1 (for a proper fraction).

3/4  This line just means divide. Therefore in your calculator, you would put 3 ÷ 4.

Percentages are out of 100. I.e. 100%. If a question asks for a percentage, ensure you write it as one and include the percentage sign.

E.g. 1.

John is a casual adult worker in a shop. His hourly rate of pay is 20% more than the normal hourly rate of pay for permanent adult workers.
The normal hourly rate of pay for permanent adult workers is $22.

What is John’s hourly rate of pay?


E.g. 2.

Kim is starting an apprenticeship. The tuition fee is $2,400 and the toolkit costs $1,500.
Kim’s employer will pay one-third of the total cost.
Kim will pay the rest.

A. $1,000
B. $1,300
C. $1,600
D. $2,600


Convert units if needed.

Questions can be written in one type of unit (e.g. metres) and the answer will require you to convert them into another type of unit (e.g. centimetres)

Questions can give you two units in different two different measurements, in which you are required to convert to the same units first, then answer the question.


Calculate the perimeter of this shape


Water is being pumped from a farm dam to be stored in a cylindrical water tank.
The water can then flow down to a water trough.

The pumping rate is 120 litres per minute.

Which of these is closest to the time it would take to pump 10 000 litres of water?

A. 1.1 and a half hours
B. 2.2 hours
C. 3.7 hours
D. 4.8 and a half hours


Perimeter = boundary of shape

Area = inside of shape (2D). Various formulas

Volume = capacity of shape (3D). Various formulas


Rates are always “something per something else”.
E.g. km/h or L/min

Time is usually written second with rates and are written in single units.
I.e. it is never written as “ km / 3 hours”

E.g. 1.
The cost of a taxi fare is the flag fall plus a cost based on the distance travelled in kilometres (km) .
The table below shows taxi fees and rates for Melbourne at different times of the day in 2019. The flag fall is a fee charged as soon as the taxi is hired.

Which amount is closest to the difference between the Day-time distance rate and the Peak-time distance rate?

A. 18 cents/km
B. 19 cents/km
C. 36 cents/km
D. 37 cents/km


Compare the quantity (parts) of something with another.
2:3 could mean 2 parts milk to 3 parts flour.

Simplify ratios (by finding the HCF)

If you are required to find a different amount of something (or a best buy), always change your ratio to single units first, then multiply.
See example.

E.g. 1.
Mel fills up his petrol tank with 18 litres of unleaded petrol for $42.56.

How much would it cost Mel to fill a 31 litre tank?