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DS strategy questions for the experts

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DS strategy questions for the experts [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2012, 11:32
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In my error logs, I am finding that I am much better at problem solving than data sufficiency. I feel that on the data sufficiency questions, I jump to conclusions a little to quickly and suffer from selecting the wrong answer, or in order to answer the question it feels like it will take to long and I give up. The answer explanations go into great lengths to answer each question, am I supposed to be doing the same to get the right answers? If so, how do you manage the time aspect of the test for this way takes up a lot of time. I was figuring the people who score 700 and up make assumptions to answer more quickly. Also it feels like my understanding of Math is decent because I do okay in the problem solving area. I guess the main question would be, how do the 700+ people go about answering these questions? Do they go through it like the answer explanations do? Do they do the answer explanations in their head quickly somehow?

My general strategy is for each DS question is, on my scratch pad I write down A B C D E. I then read the question and try to see if I can simplify it in anyway. I then go to #1, if #1 seems more difficult I then go to #2. But once I begin on one of the options, I try to see if it is sufficient or not. Once I figure it out I cross out the answer choices that cannot work until I find the answer.

It seems where I go wrong is in the actual answer, am I correct on deciding whether the information is sufficient or not is the problem...... I think.......

Thanks for the help,

Josh
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Re: DS strategy questions for the experts [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2012, 16:10
Is there any experts or 700+ out there who can help? I just want to know how you go about answering DS questions. Do you try to work through every possible answer on paper, or in your head, or do you make assumptions which require less work?

I hope someone can help....

Thanks,


Josh
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Re: DS strategy questions for the experts [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 02:28
Expert's post
lippy730 wrote:
In my error logs, I am finding that I am much better at problem solving than data sufficiency. I feel that on the data sufficiency questions, I jump to conclusions a little to quickly and suffer from selecting the wrong answer, or in order to answer the question it feels like it will take to long and I give up. The answer explanations go into great lengths to answer each question, am I supposed to be doing the same to get the right answers? If so, how do you manage the time aspect of the test for this way takes up a lot of time. I was figuring the people who score 700 and up make assumptions to answer more quickly. Also it feels like my understanding of Math is decent because I do okay in the problem solving area. I guess the main question would be, how do the 700+ people go about answering these questions? Do they go through it like the answer explanations do? Do they do the answer explanations in their head quickly somehow?

My general strategy is for each DS question is, on my scratch pad I write down A B C D E. I then read the question and try to see if I can simplify it in anyway. I then go to #1, if #1 seems more difficult I then go to #2. But once I begin on one of the options, I try to see if it is sufficient or not. Once I figure it out I cross out the answer choices that cannot work until I find the answer.

It seems where I go wrong is in the actual answer, am I correct on deciding whether the information is sufficient or not is the problem...... I think.......

Thanks for the help,

Josh


I don't think there is general answer to these questions.

Below are some links on DS strategies, tips and tricks that might help you:
data-sufficiency-strategy-guide-130264.html
trouble-with-quant-some-tips-traps-that-might-help-you-34329.html
tips-on-approaching-ds-questions-104945.html
http://gmatclub.com/blog/2010/01/verita ... questions/
http://gmatclub.com/blog/2010/09/elimin ... fficiency/
http://gmatclub.com/blog/2011/08/gmat-d ... tion-type/
http://gmatclub.com/blog/2011/08/must-k ... trategies/
http://gmatclub.com/blog/2011/08/kaplan ... questions/

Hope it helps.
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Re: DS strategy questions for the experts [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 06:48
Expert's post
lippy730 wrote:
In my error logs, I am finding that I am much better at problem solving than data sufficiency. I feel that on the data sufficiency questions, I jump to conclusions a little to quickly and suffer from selecting the wrong answer, or in order to answer the question it feels like it will take to long and I give up. The answer explanations go into great lengths to answer each question, am I supposed to be doing the same to get the right answers? If so, how do you manage the time aspect of the test for this way takes up a lot of time. I was figuring the people who score 700 and up make assumptions to answer more quickly. Also it feels like my understanding of Math is decent because I do okay in the problem solving area. I guess the main question would be, how do the 700+ people go about answering these questions? Do they go through it like the answer explanations do? Do they do the answer explanations in their head quickly somehow?

My general strategy is for each DS question is, on my scratch pad I write down A B C D E. I then read the question and try to see if I can simplify it in anyway. I then go to #1, if #1 seems more difficult I then go to #2. But once I begin on one of the options, I try to see if it is sufficient or not. Once I figure it out I cross out the answer choices that cannot work until I find the answer.

It seems where I go wrong is in the actual answer, am I correct on deciding whether the information is sufficient or not is the problem...... I think.......

Thanks for the help,

Josh


First of all, it is normal to take more time in DS than in PS. Even though both use the exact same concepts, you have to solve 2 or 3 PS questions for every DS question so you take more time (this means that you take each statement alone and try to solve it as an independent PS question and since you have 2 statements, you end up doing this at least twice). Try and solve the PS questions quickly so that you have extra time for DS questions.

Also, different people use different DS strategies. I like to do the following:
Read the question.
Analyze what I need to find out (i.e. what is the question asking)
Go to statement 2 first (or 1 if it seems easier) and try to answer based on info I have. If it is, I put a small tick on the right hand side on my paper. Else, I put a cross.
Go back to the question stem and read it quickly (to try to wash the data from statement 2 from my mind)
Go to statement 1 and try to answer it using the info. If I can, I put a tick on the left hand side. Else I put a cross.
If I have 2 crosses, I try to solve the question using both statements.
Answer accordingly.

Mind you, this is the theoretical procedure. In actual questions, very often I skip putting ticks and crosses and jump on to the answer but that is because with practice I am quite comfortable with DS. You can start by following these steps and then cut short as you get comfortable.

There are lots of other strategies and you can check some of them out in the Veritas DS book if you wish.
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Re: DS strategy questions for the experts   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2012, 06:48
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