In one of the earliest Data Sufficiency posts on this blog, which you can read here and here, we discussed how the GMAT test-makers use the C-Trap to lure test-takers into making a mistake. The beauty of such questions is that the test-takers d not even realise that they have made a mistake. On the contrary they are very confident that they have answered it correctly. The C-Trap is set to lull test-takers into thinking that they can easily get the answer by using both the statements. But while both statements together will give you the answer, the question you need to ask is whether both statements are in fact required. Remember you need to choose option (C) only if both statements ARE required.
It goes without saying that the toughest GMAT Quant Problems are GMAT Data Sufficiency questions involving Inequalities. One specific issue that arises when solving tougher questions of this type is how to combine the two statements when both involve inequalities. Let us use two GMAT Data Sufficiency questions to understand how to go about combining inequalities.
Sometimes the process of teaching helps the teacher as much as the student. I was in Hyderabad the last weekend, conducting a GMAT Boot Camp for IMS Hyderabad students and during the course of the session, I discovered a better way to solve an old problem. Towards the end of a long and grueling day of solving 700-800 level problems we came to this Data Sufficiency problem as part of the segment where we focus specifically on the toughest type of Data Sufficiency problems – those involving inequalities.
In the previous Quantitative post , we saw how seemingly tough and time-consuming Data Sufficiency problems usually require a certain amount of pre-work. In most cases if the pre-work is done properly, you will precisely know what information is required to answer the question even before you go to the statements. The GMAT question below is another one of such problems.
The toughest GMAT Quant problems are usually Data Sufficiency questions involving numbers systems and inequalities. These problems tend to pose a lot of difficulties for test-takers because they seem to invite test-takers to plug in numbers and once they take that road, test-takers find themselves taking an inordinate amount of time. Once test-takers become aware of the of the ticking of the timer, panic sets in and even if they do manage to solve it, test-takers are still unsure of their answer. Answering these type of questions correctly is key to moving from a scaled score of 48 to a scaled score of 50 on the Quant.
One of the biggest challenges on the GMAT® is the battle against the timer. But the first thing that test-takers have to realize that it is not a test where a section cannot be completed in 75 minutes. Even the seemingly time-taking problems or calculations always have a straightforward solution provided you pause to think about the best way of going about solving a problem rather than jump into it. Usually the speed-breakers are Data Sufficiency questions involving inequalities. The first reaction of test-takers is to randomly plug numbers and see how things will pan out. Since they have not taken the time to first define the problem well, plugging numbers tends to become a trial and error process in the hope of hitting upon the answer rather than a process of testing the inequality! Over the next few Quantitative posts we will look at methods to effectively tackle Data Sufficiency problems involving inequalities. One of the first methods of decreasing the solving time required on these problems is to test the converse of the …
Problems involving Number Lines are a regular feature on the Quantitative section of the GMAT® . The best way to solve these problems is by using a combination of plugging values and visualizing them on a Number Line instead of trying to solve them algebraically. The GMAT® problem below highlights how to do the same.
Problems involving Venn Diagrams do make a compulsory appearance on the Quantitative section of the GMAT® . But oftentimes it makes a lot of sense to treat these problems like logical reasoning problems rather Venn Diagrams. In fact in some cases you might not need to draw any diagram at all! The GMAT® problem below is the best illustration of the same. DIRECTIONS: Each data sufficiency problem below consists of a question and two statements, labeled (1) and (2), in which certain data are given. You have to decide whether the data given in the statements are sufficient for answering the question. Using the data given in the statements plus your knowledge of mathematics and everyday facts (such as the number of days in July or the meaning of counterclockwise), you are to option A if statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; B if statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; C if BOTH …
In a previous post, we had discussed how the GMAT® does not really test formulae but logic. Along with logic, higher level GMAT problems test conceptual clarity. Such problems can be solved in almost no time, provided you know the concepts, and will leave you with time to solve the time-taking word problems. The GMAT® question below is a very good example of the same. DIRECTIONS: Each data sufficiency problem below consists of a question and two statements, labeled (1) and (2), in which certain data are given. You have to decide whether the data given in the statements are sufficient for answering the question. Using the data given in the statements plus your knowledge of mathematics and everyday facts (such as the number of days in July or the meaning of counterclockwise), you are to option A if statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; B if statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; …
How to avoid trap options on GMAT Data Sufficiency? For starters, you would need to understand the structure of a trap option so that you can spot it and side-step it. Given the standardized nature of the GMAT even the trap options have a structure.