GMAT Data Sufficiency Strategy
Data sufficiency part of GMAT evaluates the quantitative skills of an individual through mathematical problems that are unlike plain mathematical ones. You have to manipulate numbers and be familiar with basic concepts like averages, and geometric principles. Also high scores of an individual depend on the strategies or planning for the test. The important GMAT strategies for data sufficiency are elaborated below.
Strategies for Data Sufficiency
Find out the Meaning of the Statements
Data sufficiency problems are given in the form of numbered statements like Statement (1) and Statement (2).The task of the test taker is to determine which statement is required to answer the question. The answer choices will be the same for data sufficiency questions. Usually data sufficiency problems are the ones the test takers find difficult to answer.
Rather than relying on your own assumptions, find out the information contained in the statement. Separate assumptions from the meaning hidden in the statement. By doing this it becomes easier to identify the correct answer.
Elimination of Answer Choices
There is one more tactic to separate the wrong answer choices from the right ones. It is nothing but simple memorization of answer choices. Practice memorizing the answer choices while preparing with practice questions.This will in turn helps a test taker to memorize the answers in the test section. Then rephrase them and arrange them. This should be done to eliminate the wrong answer choices.
Avoid Lengthy Calculations
This is the best tactic to avoid ending up with wrong answers. Calculating by depending only upon the formulae is not sufficient. This will result in long calculation. The trick for short calculations is to calculate the problem according to the information given in the statement.
Some of the data sufficiency problems contain figures or diagrams along with the statement. These diagrams contain information relevant to the answers. Identify the information in those diagrams and try fitting them with answer choice. This will help you in short calculations and in saving time.
To separate the assumptions, draw a grid on a scratch paper and write the alphabetical order of the choices. Now start eliminating the wrong choices in the grid. For example if the choices B, C and D are the wrong ones, cross them in the grid.
Combining the Statements
In some cases both choices are necessary to answer a question. In situations of this kind, consider the information in both the statements and try combining them i.e. information. Rephrase the information you have understood from both the statements and combine them. There you are! You will find that you have got the correct answer.
Evaluating Statements on their Own
There is a technique which is applicable for quantitative section, “Do not rely on what your mind conceives”. Some statements seem to have the same idea. But the statements are designed in such a way so as to trick you. Evaluating statements is a common area where test takers tend to make errors.
Evaluating each statement on its own is the only way to avoid such errors. For example, assume that statement A is X and it may be either an odd number or even number. And also assume that statement B is Y, which might be an odd, even or prime number. More over for real numbers used in data sufficiency, this method will end up in short and systematic calculation. As a result you will find the answer choice which is relevant to answer.
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