What are GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions?
Out of the four sections of the GMAT, only two sections account for the total score, which reflects your performance and they include the Verbal and the Quantitative sections. The Verbal section tests your language skills while Quantitative section evaluates your problem solving and analytical abilities. The Quantitative section of the test evaluates your mathematical skills through two different types of questions, namely the problem solving and the data sufficiency questions. We, in this article will discuss in depth about the data sufficiency questions in order to make sure that you understand their question pattern correctly and can perform well in the exam.What are the Data Sufficiency Questions?These questions require you to weigh between two different choices based upon the question. We shall discuss about this in further detail as we progress. The GMAT Quantitative section consists of 37 questions, which need to be attempted within an allotted time frame of 75 minutes. Out of the total of 37 questions, nearly fifty percent of the questions would be of data type. All these questions are multiple-choice and each question has five answer options. After analyzing the given inputs, you should be able to select the correct answer to be awarded marks. Let us now see in detail about the pattern of these questions.Data Sufficiency Questions Explained ComprehensivelyEach question of this type will be a mathematical statement or a problem, which would essentially require either hints or any further information in order to be deduced completely. Following the question, there will be two options presented, each of which would present either a hint or any further information that is required to answer the given question. Here, it may be possible to solve the given question by using the given hints. There are four different cases for the answer options of these questions and they are explained below:
- Any one of the given two hint statements can only be used to solve the given question. This makes up the first two answer options of such questions (One statement alone is sufficient, but the other statement alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.).
- The second case is that both the statements are necessary and useful if they are used together but not alone. This case forms the third answer option for these questions (Both statements together are sufficient to answer the question asked, but neither statement alone is sufficient to answer the question asked.).
- Each statement can be individually used to answer the question separately. This case forms the fourth answer option (Each statement alone is sufficient to answer the question asked.).
- The fifth answer option states that neither of the statements can be used, individually or otherwise, to answer the given question (Both statements together are not sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data specific to the problem are needed.).
What do these Questions Test?It should be understood that all the data sufficiency questions have this format of answer options. You should first read the given question and then analyze about the given two statements. You should finally decide on one of the options that explains the outcome of your analysis of the question along with the given hint statements.Practically, the syllabus for the data sufficiency questions is same as that of the problem solving questions, which include the broad concepts of Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra and Geometry. The questions, in a way, test your ability to analyze quantitatively apart from just solving the problems that are crudely based upon the mathematical concepts. Hence, you should be alert while you answer them. Even if you solve the given question correctly, you should not get confused while choosing from the options. Practice will help you get acquainted with these types of questions and would make you confident by improving your competence levels.