How to Efficiently Tackle GMAT Data Sufficiency?

GMAT Data Sufficiency

When you think ‘math’, what comes to mind? Numbers, and formulae, and substituting values, right? Well, here is a type of math question that does not require you to solve a problem or come up with a solution!

Data Sufficiency questions from 40% (i.e., 2 out of 5) of all the quantitative questions on the GMAT. They are trickier than problem-solving questions for multiple reasons: for one, you are not expected to solve the problem. Instead, you need to assess whether the information given to the question is sufficient to answer the question.

Two, since there is no set order in which PS and DS questions appear, you must be adept enough to change your approach to each problem. It is easy to get stuck in a problem-solving mode and attempt finding a clear solution even when the information provided may not be sufficient.

You can identify a Data Sufficiency question by its structure. It consists of a problem along with two statements (1) and (2). All DS questions have these choices:

  1. Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.
  2. Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.
  3. BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
  4. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
  5. Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.

Here is a sample DS question:

{Question} If a real estate agent received a commission of 6 percent of the selling price of a particular house, what was the sale price of the home?

{Statements}

(1) The sale price minus the real estate agent’s commission was $84,600.

(2) The sale price was 250 percent of the original purchase price of $36,000.

{Answer options}

(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.

(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.

(C) BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.

(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.

(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.

Tips to Tackle DS Questions on the GMAT:

  1. The one thing that remains constant across every DS question is the five answer choices. Option A will always maintain that statement (1) alone is sufficient Option B will always say that statement (2) alone is sufficient, and so on. If you memorize these, you will certainly save a few seconds per question figuring out the correct answer choice. Even a saving of 3 seconds per question amounts to 111 seconds overall, which is enough time to answer at least one full question.
  2. The second advantage you have in DS questions is that it’s possible to eliminate answer choices in batches. For instance, if you find that statement (1) is sufficient to respond the question, then options B, C and E get eliminated straight away. All you need to do then is to figure out whether statement (2) is sufficient to answer the question.
  3. Don’t waste time trying to calculate an exact answer if the question does not require you to do so. Remember: your objective is mere to find out whether the given information is sufficient to answer the question.

Know why not only studying but also practicing GMAT mock test are very important when you are preparing for GMAT.

BYJU’S will be glad to help you in your GMAT preparation journey. You can ask for any assistance related to GMAT and MBA from us by calling at 088845 44444, or you can write to us at gmat@byjus.com.

Must Read GMAT Articles 2019: