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tips on approaching DS questions

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tips on approaching DS questions [#permalink]  16 Nov 2010, 12:33
Hi guys,

what is an effective way in trying to solve these questions? I often try to draw a chart and record down answers from different possibilities, but it gets confusing and i'm very inconsistent in my approach. How do you guys approach data sufficiency questions?

-Ken
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Re: tips on approaching DS questions [#permalink]  16 Nov 2010, 15:02
MGMAT has couple of videos about DS approaches. Look for "Thursdays with Ron".

They suggest using tables (as you already do) and simplifying the equations before doing anything else.
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Re: tips on approaching DS questions [#permalink]  17 Nov 2010, 08:52
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bayareastudent wrote:
Hi guys,

what is an effective way in trying to solve these questions? I often try to draw a chart and record down answers from different possibilities, but it gets confusing and i'm very inconsistent in my approach. How do you guys approach data sufficiency questions?

-Ken

Quick overview of another approach we follow:

Read the question stem. If it needs some rephrasing of the question to help you understand it better, do it right away.
Look at statement 1. Is it sufficient alone? Two possible answers - Yes or No

Yes - Answer is either A or D. Write down A/D on your paper. Go back and read the question stem again. (This step is to forget what you read in statement 1 and keep an eye on the question.) Read statement 2. Is it sufficient alone? If yes, answer is D. If no, answer is A.

No - Answer is either B, C or E. Write down B/C/E on your paper. Go back and read the question stem again. Read statement 2. Is it sufficient alone? If yes, answer is B. Move on to the next question. If No, consider both statements together now. Are they sufficient now? If Yes, answer is C else it is E.

If it suits you, you could also analyze statement 2 first and statement 1 later. Sometimes, GMAT gives tricky data in statement 1 that is difficult to forget while considering statement 2 (because most people read statement 1 first)
Whatever you do, follow only one strategy consistently till it becomes second nature. The question itself will be tricky. At least you shouldn't waste time in deciding how to approach it.
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Re: tips on approaching DS questions [#permalink]  17 Nov 2010, 08:57
Also, if Statement 1 looks too complicated, you can start with Statement 2. This will help you understand the problem better and eliminate choices. And then go back to Statement 1.

By the way, if both Statement have the solution for the problem - it has to be the same for both.
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Re: tips on approaching DS questions [#permalink]  29 Apr 2011, 10:27
Thanks, VeritasPrepKarishma!

Your suggestions "Go back and read the question stem again. (This step is to forget what you read in statement 1 and keep an eye on the question.)" and "Sometimes, GMAT gives tricky data in statement 1 that is difficult to forget while considering statement 2 (because most people read statement 1 first)" are really BIG help for me.
Re: tips on approaching DS questions   [#permalink] 29 Apr 2011, 10:27
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