GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 11 Dec 2018, 23:40


GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance


we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.


Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel
Events & Promotions in December
Open Detailed Calendar
  • Free GMAT Prep Hour

     December 11, 2018

     December 11, 2018

     09:00 PM EST

     10:00 PM EST

    Strategies and techniques for approaching featured GMAT topics. December 11 at 9 PM EST.
  • The winning strategy for 700+ on the GMAT

     December 13, 2018

     December 13, 2018

     08:00 AM PST

     09:00 AM PST

    What people who reach the high 700's do differently? We're going to share insights, tips and strategies from data we collected on over 50,000 students who used examPAL.

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message

Hide Tags

Math Expert
User avatar
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 51103
GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 Mar 2015, 04:07
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System
If you’ve studied for the GMAT for a while, you likely have a decent understanding of the answer choices:

(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;

(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;

(C) BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient;

(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked;

(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed

And you probably have a device to help you both remember these answer choices and use process of elimination. Some like “AD/BCE” (make your decision on statement 1 and cross out one side), others like “1-2-TEN” (1 alone, 2 alone, together, either, neither). But, ultimately, remembering the answer choices (which are always attached to the question on test day anyway) and understanding how to use process of elimination is just the “price of entry” for actually solving these problems correctly. For true Data Sufficiency mastery and a competitive advantage, you should think of the answer choices this way:






As an added bonus it’s helpful for process of elimination (like the other tools) but as a strategic thought process it can be instrumental in using your time wisely and avoiding trap answers. Because what these answers really mean is:

___D___ — Each statement alone is sufficient

A_____B — One statement alone is sufficient; the other is not

___C___ — Both together are sufficient, but neither alone is sufficient

___E___ — The statements are not sufficient, even together

And since most Data Sufficiency questions are created with one of these constructs:

*One answer seems fairly obvious but it’s a trap

*One statement is clearly sufficient; the other is a little tricky

*One statement is clearly insufficient, but gives you a clue as to something you need to consider on the other

The above chart tells you how to better assess the answer given the answer that looks most promising. Consider a question like:

Set J consists of terms {2, 7, 12, 17, a}. Is a > 7?

(1) a is the median of set J

(2) Set J does not have a mode

For most, statement 1 looks very sufficient, as if a is the “middle number” then it would go between 7 and 12 on the list {2, 7, a, 12, 17}. That would mean that on this chart, you’re at A, as statement 2 is pretty worthless on its own:





You can very confidently eliminate B and probably E, too, but if you’re sitting on a “probable A,” you’ll want to consider one level above and one level below your answer on the chart. Why? Because if the answer is, indeed, trickier than your first-30-seconds-assessment, the options are that either:

*The statement you thought was sufficient was close, but there’s a little hiccup (you thought A, but it’s C)

*The statement you thought was not sufficient was actually really cleverly sufficient had you just worked a little harder to reveal it (you thought A, but it’s D)

This is what Veritas Prep’s Data Sufficiency book calls “The Reward System” – many questions are created to reward those examinees who dig deeper on an “obvious” answer via critical thinking, and to “punish” those who leap to judgement and fall for the sucker choice. If A is the sucker choice, the answer is almost always D or C, so you know what you have to do…check to make sure that statement 2 is not sufficient, and then check (often using statement 2) to make sure that you haven’t overlooked a unique situation that would show that statement 1 is actually not sufficient. And here, further review shows this:

If a = 7, a is still the median of the set, but 7 is NOT greater than 7, so that answer would be “no” – there’s a way that a is not greater than 7, so we actually need statement 2. If there is no mode, then a can’t be 7 (that would be a duplicate number, making 7 the mode). So the answer is C, and the Reward System thinking can help make sure you streamline your thought process to help you identify that. If you picked A you’re not alone – many do. But if you picked A and then considered the chart:





You should have spent that extra 30 seconds making sure that the answer wasn’t C or D, and that may have given you the opportunity to reap the rewards of thinking critically via the Data Sufficiency question structure.

So remember – merely knowing what the answer choices are is an elementary step in Data Sufficiency mastery; learning to use those to your advantage via the Reward System will help you avoid trap answers and stake your place among those being rewarded.

Are you studying for the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Brian Galvin
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors


New to the Math Forum?
Please read this: Ultimate GMAT Quantitative Megathread | All You Need for Quant | PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW: 12 Rules for Posting!!!

GMAT Math Book | Triangles | Polygons | Coordinate Geometry | Factorials | Circles | Number Theory | Remainders; 8. Overlapping Sets | PDF of Math Book; 10. Remainders | GMAT Prep Software Analysis | SEVEN SAMURAI OF 2012 (BEST DISCUSSIONS) | Tricky questions from previous years.

Collection of Questions:
PS: 1. Tough and Tricky questions; 2. Hard questions; 3. Hard questions part 2; 4. Standard deviation; 5. Tough Problem Solving Questions With Solutions; 6. Probability and Combinations Questions With Solutions; 7 Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions; 8 12 Easy Pieces (or not?); 9 Bakers' Dozen; 10 Algebra set. ,11 Mixed Questions, 12 Fresh Meat

DS: 1. DS tough questions; 2. DS tough questions part 2; 3. DS tough questions part 3; 4. DS Standard deviation; 5. Inequalities; 6. 700+ GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions With Explanations; 7 Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions; 8 The Discreet Charm of the DS; 9 Devil's Dozen!!!; 10 Number Properties set., 11 New DS set.

What are GMAT Club Tests?
Extra-hard Quant Tests with Brilliant Analytics

Non-Human User
User avatar
Joined: 09 Sep 2013
Posts: 9121
Premium Member
Re: GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 07 Oct 2018, 14:40
Hello from the GMAT Club BumpBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.

GMAT Books | GMAT Club Tests | Best Prices on GMAT Courses | GMAT Mobile App | Math Resources | Verbal Resources

GMAT Club Bot
Re: GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System &nbs [#permalink] 07 Oct 2018, 14:40
Display posts from previous: Sort by

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.