In this module, you'll learn all of the concepts, techniques and strategies needed to answer counting questions on the GMAT. In particular, this module covers:

  • The Fundamental Counting Principle
  • Factorial notation
  • Handling restrictions
  • “At least” & “at most” questions
  • The MISSISSIPPI rule
  • Combination questions
  • Permutation-type questions

Two ways to prepare

Beneath each video lesson in this module, we have a Related Resource box with practice questions that test the concepts covered in the video. With this lesson format, you have two learning options:

  • Watch the video lesson first and then reinforce your learning by answering several related questions, or…
  • Tackle the practice questions first and watch the lesson only if you need help with the concepts the practice questions test 



  • 1. Lesson: Listing and Counting (3:53)
  • 2. Question: Distributing Coins (2:19)
  • 3. Lesson: The Fundamental Counting Principle (4:48)
  • 4. Lesson: Fundamental Counting Principle Example (2:58)
  • 5. Lesson: GMAT Counting Strategies - Part I (0:56)
  • 6. Question: 3-Digit Odd Numbers (1:55)
  • 7. Question: Test Answers (1:49)
  • 8. Lesson: Factorial Notation (3:22)
  • 9. Question: Math with Factorials (0:31)
  • 10. Question: Books on a Shelf (2:29)
  • 11. Lesson: Handling Restrictions (5:12)
  • 12. Question: Numbers with at Least One 7 (4:12)
  • 13. Lesson: MISSISSIPPI Rule (3:10)
  • 14. Question: Number of Routes (2:15)
  • 15. Lesson: Introduction to Combinations (4:31)
  • 16. Lesson: When to use Combinations (8:15)
  • 17. Lesson: Calculating Combinations (4:46)
  • 18. Question: Committee of 4 people (2:26)
  • 19. Lesson: GMAT Counting Strategies - Part II (1:50)
  • 20. Question: Arranging Buttons (1:17)
  • 21. Question: Evening Out (1:02)
  • 22. Question: Bicycle with Optional Features (3:43)
  • 23. Question: 2 Men and 2 Women (2:44)
  • 24. Question: 2 Repeated Digits (3:11)
  • 25. Question: Committees without R&S (3:30)
  • 26. Question: Product Codes (4:08)
  • 27. Question: Value of R (2:45)
Total viewing time for the GMAT Counting module: 84 minutes.

Additional Practice

NOTE: In each of the above video lessons, you’ll find a Related Resources box containing several practice questions that are specifically related to the concepts covered in that lesson (e.g., the lesson on the Fundamental Counting Principle). Conversely, the practice questions below cover a variety of topics under the umbrella of GMAT Counting, and are intended for general reinforcement.

Given this, you may find it beneficial to work on the questions below after you’ve mastered the module content by watching the video lessons and answering concept-specific practice questions from the Related Resources boxes. For more on this learning strategy, visit our course overview page.

Problem Solving (level of difficulty: 350 to 500)

Temporary employees

Problem Solving (level of difficulty: 500 to 650)

8 teams in a league


Posting letters

Medical experiment

Cycling race


Carson family

Basketball team

Stock exchange codes

Team with exactly 2 women

University math department

Problem Solving (level of difficulty: 650 to 800)

Shake hands with 3 people

5-letter words

Triangles and quadrilaterals

Number of rectangles in plane (geometry, counting)

16 different gifts

Bill’s 12-card deck

Triangles in the plane

Note:  Data sufficiency questions related to counting are very rare. 


Practice from the Official Guides

Official Guide for GMAT Review (2017 edition)

Problem Solving: 129, 166, 169, 174, 186, 209

Data Sufficiency: 317

Official Guide for GMAT Review (2016 edition)

Problem Solving: 117, 148, 152, 158, 172, 228

Data Sufficiency: 73 

Official Guide for GMAT Review (2015/13th edition)

Problem Solving: 124, 128, 133, 148, 228


While answering practice questions from the Official Guide for GMAT Review (2017, 2016 or 2015), you can enter your responses directly into our downloadable Improvement Chart. This will help track your progress and identify areas of weakness.

Practice Questions

Looking for more practice questions? If so, check out our this list of free and paid resources.

Ask on Beat The GMAT

If you have any questions, ask them on the Beat The GMAT discussion forums. The average response time is typically less than 30 minutes.