For one thing, every single data sufficiency question has the same five answers. Data sufficiency questions are one of two types of questions on the GMAT quant section. While there is no set number of data sufficiency questions on the quant section, GMAT Club reports that data sufficiency questions generally make up just under half of questions on the quant section. Since there are 31 questions in Quantitative Reasoning, about 15 of them will be data sufficiency questions. A GMAT data sufficiency question is made up of a question and two statements, labeled 1 and 2.

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Of all the GMAT question types, data sufficiency is the most unique and most confusing. Here's how to solve these perplexing GMAT math questions. The first, called problem-solving questions, should be familiar to you if you've ever taken a standardized math test. These multiple-choice questions ask you to solve an equation or a word problem, read a table or graph, or calculate the answer to a geometric problem.

You've seen questions like this since K school. And then there's the second type, which almost certainly will not look familiar to you. They're called data sufficiency questions, and they ask you not to solve a problem but rather to figure out whether you have enough information to solve a problem. It's a weird and confusing question, especially when posed under strenuous, high-stakes test conditions. The GMAT is administered in a computer-adaptive format only, with all quantitative reasoning questions asked in a single section.

That means you can see either of these question types at any time, in any order, when you take the exam. You need to be prepared. Noodle works with top US universities to build and manage online programs. To answer, look first at statement 1. Does it provide enough information to answer the question "What is the value of x? What about statement 2? So yes, statement 2 is also sufficient. Which answer choice means "statements 1 and 2 are each sufficient on their own? OK, that was a pretty easy question, so the format didn't trip us up too much.

But these questions get significantly more difficult. As they do, the unfamiliarity and just plain weirdness of the format can cause some unforced errors. And that's the way to work through each and every data sufficiency question. By using this systematic approach, you will avoid the confusion caused by too much information at once, and you'll avoid the all-too-common error of mixing up the meanings of the answer choices. Sadly, people get data sufficiency questions wrong all the time simply because they invert the meaning of answer choices C and D.

Did we mention that this is a weird and confusing question format? Here's a mnemonic for the answer choice groupings: AD stands for "anno domini," which is Latin for "the year of our Lord. So, what happens when you look at statement 1 and realize "I have no idea whether this statement is sufficient to answer the question?

The answer: you tweak your approach slightly. Instead of assessing statement 1's sufficiency, assess statement 2. If it's sufficient, the correct answer must be B or D. If it's insufficient, the correct answer must be A, C, or E. And yes, we have a mnemonic for these answer choice groupings too: in the comic strip Doonesbury , there's a character named BD who was an ACE quarterback in college.

Yeah, it's not as good as the AD-BCE mnemonic because, well, not everyone reads Doonesbury, but it's the best we could do. If you come up with a better one, please let us know. Our contact information is below. You'll need to practice to prepare for all GMAT questions, but you need to focus particularly on data sufficiency questions because, as we've noted repeatedly, the question format is so weird and confusing.

The Official Guide to the GMAT contains lots and lots of practice questions — and entire practice tests — that actually appeared on real GMATs, which is what makes it the best some would argue only valuable test prep resource available. Get yourself a copy and start practicing a little every day; you should give yourself a minimum of four weeks to prepare for the test. Consider These Online Positions.

How to Become a Vice President of Engineering. Noodle is all about you! Tom Collins-Meltzer. What GMAT data sufficiency questions look like A data sufficiency question offers two statements followed by five answer choices. Here's an example of an easy data sufficiency question: What is the value of x? Our experts can help you find the right path, at no fee Noodle works with top US universities to build and manage online programs.

Making sense of the answer choices OK, that was a pretty easy question, so the format didn't trip us up too much. How to use the AD-BCE method First and foremost, resist the temptation to read both statements before you start your work. You'll be taking in too much information too quickly if you do that, a surefire way to get confused and pick the wrong answer. Instead, look only at statement 1. As we did in the first sample question, make a determination whether it's sufficient before you look at statement 2.

If statement 1 is sufficient to answer the question on its own, the only possible answer choices are A and D. Those are the only two answer choices that say statement 1 is sufficient on its own. If statement 1 is insufficient to answer the question on its own, the only possible answer choices are B, C, and E.

So simply by making a determination about statement 1, you've improved your odds of guessing the correct answer to one in two or one in three. And you haven't even looked at statement 2 yet! Now look at statement 2 alone — forget all about statement 1.

Is statement 2 sufficient? Then the answer is B. If it isn't, then the answer is either C or E. Now, and only now, do you look at the two statements together.

If together they are sufficient, the answer is C. If they aren't, the answer is E. Sample question Now it's time for you to try a question.

Remember, these can get tricky. Jada sold her house through a realtor. What was the sale price of Jada's house? Is it sufficient? We can write a solvable equation to determine the sale price based on that information. Note that we don't have to; we only need to know that we could.

But, indeed, we could; that equation is. Divide both sides by. The answer must be A or D. Now look at statement 2. But we're not supposed to figure out whether this statement is true; we're supposed to figure out whether it provides sufficient information to answer the question. We do not have sufficient information to answer the question , Because statement 2 does not provide a commission rate.

The correct answer to this question, then, is A. Statement 1 is sufficient on its own, statement 2 is not. Where are the traps? We've already suggested one trap: that you will carry information from statement 1 over to your assessment of statement 2, incorrectly assuming that you know the realtor's commission rate.

That's why you have to forget all about statement 1 when you assess the sufficiency of statement 2 on its own. They think "Great! The answer is C! That's why the correct answer here is A. What about when you can't make a decision about statement 1? Questions or feedback? Email editor noodle.

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Top 10 Tips to Ace GMAT Data Sufficiency

New User? Already a member? We have sent an email with verification code to. If you are taking GMAT for the first time, you must know that data sufficiency section is a part of Quant but you do not need to solve it like standard math. It requires exceptional strategic skills to ace this section. Thankfully, there are many tips to help you through.


GMAT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Ever heard of a Math problem that you actually don't have to solve. If you have just started your GMAT prep, then this can be confusing. Don't worry! With some practice, your mind will be trained to think like a DS Wizard. Know in the blink of an eye what choice C is. On test day, if you find that Statement 1 is insufficient, be able to cross out choices A and D without hesitation. Takes notes efficiently Each statement alone will be sufficient if both of the statements on their own contain all the information necessary to answer the question.

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