Data Sufficiency

Data Sufficiency Problems: Data Sufficiency Questions with examples. Data Sufficiency Tricks for solving problems in Competitive Exams (such as GMAT)

5 TIPS on cracking Aptitude Questions of Data Sufficiency type

Looking for Questions instead of tips? - You can directly jump to  Logical Reasoning Test Questions on Data Sufficiency

Tip #1: Do not solve the problems

Analyze the information provided: Do not solve the question using the information at hand.

Question: Two towns are connected by railway. Can you find the distance between them?

I.         The speed of the mail train is 12 km/hr more than that of an express train.

II.         A mail train takes 40 minutes less than an express train to cover the distance.

A.   I alone sufficient while II alone not sufficient to answer.

B.   II alone sufficient while I alone not sufficient to answer.

C.   Either I or II alone sufficient to answer.

D.   Both I and II are not sufficient to answer.

E.    Both I and II are necessary to answer

Solution:

Let the distance between the two towns be D km. Let the speed of the express train be S km/hr. The speed of the mail train is S+12 km/hr.

Creating an equation using I and II:

D/(S+12) = (D/S) – (2/3)  [because 40 minutes = 2/3 hrs]

Don’t try to solve this equation. There is one equation with two variables and cannot be solved. Hence, the correct answer is D.

Note: Questions of this type do not require you to actually solve them- you just need to interpret the information provided to you in the statements. Also, working out the problems may mislead you into hasty assumptions. So, avoid trying to solve them.

Tip #2: Represent the given information visually on paper to easily process it

Question: How many children does M have?

I.         H is the only daughter of X who is wife of M.

II.         K and J are brothers of M.

Options:

A.   I alone sufficient while II alone not sufficient to answer.

B.   II alone sufficient while I alone not sufficient to answer.

C.   Either I or II alone sufficient to answer.

D.   Both I and II are not sufficient to answer.

E.    Both I and II are necessary to answer.

Solution:

From I, we have that H is the only daughter of M. But that does not mean that M has no son. Thus, the information is not enough to answer the question.

II does not give tell us anything about M’s children.

Thus, the correct answer is D.

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Tip #3: Do not make assumptions that cannot be justified by the given statements

Question: How many ewes (female sheep) in a flock of 50 sheep are black?

I.         There are 10 rams (male sheep) in the flock.

II.         Forty percent of the animals are black.

Options:

A.   I alone sufficient while II alone not sufficient to answer.

B.   II alone sufficient while I alone not sufficient to answer.

C.   Either I or II alone sufficient to answer.

D.   Both I and II are not sufficient to answer.

E.    Both I and II are necessary to answer

Solution:

Do not assume that the proportion of white: black sheep is uniform across rams and ewes. We know from (I) that there are 40 ewes but we do not know that 40% of ewes are black. Hence the right answer is D.

Tip #4: Use Venn Diagrams when possible

Question: Of the 70 children that visited a certain doctor last week, how many had neither caught cough nor cold?

I.         40 of 70 had cough but not cold.

II.         20 of 70 had both cough and cold.

Options

A.   I alone sufficient while II alone not sufficient to answer.

B.   II alone sufficient while I alone not sufficient to answer.

C.   Either I or II alone sufficient to answer.

D.   Both I and II are not sufficient to answer.

E.    Both I and II are necessary to answer.

Solution:

As we see in the Venn diagram, neither is sufficient but together, they are enough to solve the question. Hence, the answer is E.

Note: Try representing Venn diagrams when possible. That way you do not have to rattle your brain on the problem unnecessarily. Also, this might be the fastest way to figuring out the answer in some questions.

Tip #5: Typically the choices A through E tend to be the same

We have already seen from the above examples that the choices are always given as follows:

A.   I alone sufficient while II alone not sufficient to answer.

B.   II alone sufficient while I alone not sufficient to answer.

C.   Either I or II alone sufficient to answer.

D.   Both I and II are not sufficient to answer.

E.    Both I and II are necessary to answer.

So you can save time by just skimming over the choices superficially...

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Data Sufficiency

Data Sufficiency Problems: Data Sufficiency Questions with examples. Data Sufficiency Tricks for solving problems in Competitive Exams (such as GMAT)

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