03 Feb 2017

## GMAT Basics: Data Sufficiency

A while ago I wrote a blog piece about GMAT math in general. I mentioned a funny little question type unique to the GMAT called Data Sufficiency. Today, we are going to explore this novel question type in a little more detail. Hopefully you’ll get some sense of what it’s about and maybe how to go about dealing with it.

Ok, first things first. Out of the 37 total Quantitative questions on the GMAT around 15 are Data Sufficiency. I say around 15 because it’s an adaptive test and nobody really knows how they decide what they give you. Well, except for GMAC of course. About a fourth of the total questions are experimental and will not count toward your score. And before you ask, there is no way to know for sure which are experimental, so don’t try to figure it out while taking a test. Better yet, don’t even bother thinking about it. Personally, I like to think that if I make a mistake on a question it very well could be experimental and not count. Stay positive.

So, down to business. Below are the same directions you’ll see anywhere. This comes straight from the GMAT.

Directions

This data sufficiency problem 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 the word counterclockwise), you must indicate whether:

• Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
• Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
• BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.