How to Crack the GMAT Data Sufficiency


Your GMAT Preparation should help you to effectively reflect the desired skills- skills that a business leader in the making must necessarily possess- through your responses.

The Data Sufficiency sub-section, a third of the Quantitative Ability section on the GMAT, tests, as trainers for GMAT Preparation will tell you, your ability to determine the relevance of given data in terms of its sufficiency. This ability is useful in business. Since it is important in business to process information quickly, developing this skill and building speed during GMAT Preparation will come in handy beyond the exam.

The purpose is not to see whether you can find the answer but to test your ability to determine whether it is possible to answer using only the provided information. You are required to analyze if (a) either of the statements alone (and not the other alone) is sufficient to answer; (b) both statements together are sufficient; (c) each alone is sufficient; or (d) both taken together are insufficient.

DS does not require you to form equations or do complex calculations. But, as you will realize in the course of your GMAT Preparation, to do well on this, you do require an understanding of key mathematical concepts. You must be able to grasp questions requiring you to look at figures, questions where you need to use the properties of numbers, questions on inequalities, etc. Besides, some questions may require the knowledge of some basic facts.

You need to go beyond mathematics to solve them. Reputed trainers for GMAT Preparation can introduce you to effective strategies for and approaches to these questions. These will certainly help you save valuable time but they cannot do the job for you. There is no short-cut to success. You must practice each question type during GMAT Preparation. And, of course, you must use your common sense.

For instance, for questions on inequalities, an effective approach is to substitute concrete numbers in place of variables and search for counter examples to determine for sure whether the data is sufficient. Practice the approaches recommended by good trainers while doing GMAT Preparation.

Build speed during GMAT Preparation as you cannot afford to not properly analyze and answer hurriedly. Evaluate which mathematical formula or principle is applicable for each statement. Also, ascertain that the statements are not providing the same information differently and not merely repeating what the question itself provides. Next, consider the statements separately to see if either alone is sufficient and then, consider them both together. Remember that the information is sufficient if only one numerical value can be determined from it.

Experienced trainers for GMAT Preparation will tell you how much practice you need to become adept. The study material for GMAT Preparation that trainers provide contains all the question types for practice. Keep a tab on your accuracy and speed as you progress in GMAT Preparation.

While engaged in GMAT Preparation, develop the habit of not spending too much time on one given question. In the exam, you cannot put at stake the rest of the questions.


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