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Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets?

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Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets? [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2013, 05:41
Can anyone suggest the most efficient way for dealing with Overlapping Sets questions on the GMAT?

The Manhattan GMAT suggests using a double-set matrix for two sets and a Venn Diagram for three sets. However, I have found that the double-set matrix, although very accurate, is extremely time-consuming to construct, while using Venn Diagrams for simple two-set problems is much faster. I have also found that the Venn Diagram for three-set problems is very accurate, but also time consuming. Is there another way?
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Re: Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets? [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2013, 05:51
The double set matrix is actually pretty quick.. Why do you think it is time consuming???
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Re: Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets? [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2013, 06:54
For me it takes about 1 minute to draw the whole matrix and label it appropriately. Then I have to scurry to fill it in with the correct numbers and solve the problem, which takes about another minute.
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Re: Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets? [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2013, 07:04
2 minutes is not bad at all... Although I do think that you could improve it to maybe a minute and a half with more practice... I've always found the matrix method the best to solve problems in overlapping sets
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Re: Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets? [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2013, 21:18
Expert's post
TooLong150 wrote:
Can anyone suggest the most efficient way for dealing with Overlapping Sets questions on the GMAT?

The Manhattan GMAT suggests using a double-set matrix for two sets and a Venn Diagram for three sets. However, I have found that the double-set matrix, although very accurate, is extremely time-consuming to construct, while using Venn Diagrams for simple two-set problems is much faster. I have also found that the Venn Diagram for three-set problems is very accurate, but also time consuming. Is there another way?



For me, Venn diagrams work for both 2 as well as 3 set cases. I have written some posts on both. Check them out for tips to increase speed and understanding:

http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/09 ... s-of-sets/
http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/09 ... sets-many/
http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/09 ... ping-sets/
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Re: Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2013, 11:16
You shouldn't waste your time "drawing and labelling" the matrix. You are only going to use it for that one sum right? So don't draw lines and use small names like "X - nX" etc. This should cut down the time to 30 - 45 seconds.
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Re: Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets? [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2013, 08:06
It's possible that you just haven't set up enough problems using the double matrix method. It should take much less than a minute to draw and label the table. Also, it's fine to to take over two minutes to solve an overlapping sets problem, as they are considered harder problems.
Re: Most Efficient Way for Dealing with Overlapping Sets?   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2013, 08:06
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