Data Sufficiency questions are very confusing for many students at first since this format is hardly ever seen outside of the GMAT. In this post I will show you the mindset necessary to conquer Data Sufficiency questions.
First, there are two types of Data Sufficiency questions, depending on the answer that is expected:
The key, I think, is to understand the meaning of sufficiency. The following are common incorrect ways to understand "sufficiency":
For example, if the question asks "What is Paul's age?" and the statement says "Paul's age is between 26 and 30", it's erroneous to think that it's sufficienct because "it helps".
This is what I call the "implicit question". Everytime you have a Data Sufficieny question with variables, you are inclined to think "I need to find the value of all the variables in order to give an answer". That is not true for many cases.
This usually happens when students try to eyeball the question. Since they don't see an inmediate relationship between the statement and the question, they conclude that it's insufficient. It can be understood as similar to "it doesn't help"
If you follow this rule, you will make a lot fewer simple errors and have a pretty good chance at getting the hard questions right.
Here is what this means in the context of solving the problem:
If you memorize all of the properties and formulas for the GMAT and you don't grasp this way of solving Data Sufficiency problems, you will find yourself falling for the easy traps (which hurt your score more). Practice with this mindset of forcing you to find a unique solution in order to answer sufficient, or forcing you to find two or more solutions in order to answer insufficient.
If you have any questions, leave me a comment in the section below and share this post if you found it helpful.
Learn these 5 uncommon tips that will have a big impact in your GMAT score