# How to crack the Data sufficiency section?

April 25, 2016

Data sufficiency (DS) is by far the trickiest section for anyone starting the GMAT preparation. Here are some tips to tackle this section:

Let's start with something basic. You should know how to use the choices. See the table below:

Choice A: Statement 1 is sufficient, Statement 2 is insufficient

Choice B: Statement 1 is insufficient, Statement 2 is sufficient

Choice C: Statement 1 is insufficient, Statement 2 is insufficient, Combined is sufficient

Choice D: Statement 1 is sufficient, Statement 2 is sufficient

Choice E: Statement 1 is insufficient, Statement 2 is insufficient, Combined is insufficient

2) Zoom in on the question:

There are two parts of the DS questions - facts and question. The best technique is to draw a box on paper and put the question in there so you separate the facts from question.

3) Simplify the question and facts:

Sometimes we are asked a complex question e.g. 3x-y<0? Try to simplify it, so you can keep noise away. So in this case this will be 3x<y. Similarly simplify the facts as well.

4) Clarity:

Before solving the question be very clear about what is being asked. See the question below:

Example Question:

[x] represents the least integer equal or greater than x. Is [x]  = 0?

Solution:

To achieve clarity, the best trick is to plug in numbers to see how the brackets work []

 = 1   as you can see based on definition, here x = 1, so we need to find the least integer equal or greater than 1. Not very helpful was it. That means we should try non-integers.

[1.9] = 2, as 2 is the least integer greater than 1.9

[1.1] = 2, again 2 is the least integer greater than 1.1

Now I am clear what the brackets mean. Imagine x on a number line. If x is a fraction then, [x] is the integer on the right side of x on the number line.

So what does [x] = 0 mean? This means that  -1<x<=0, because I imagine x to be a fraction less than 0 but greater than 1, so a [x] will give us a 0 i.e. the least integer greater than x.

The question box in this case will be:

-1<x<=0?

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How to crack the Data sufficiency section?

April 25, 2016

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