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GMAT Data Sufficiency: Say Yes, Saying No

May 21, 2012 by

The trickiest question type in the quantitative section of the GMAT for most students is yes/no data sufficiency questions.  When approaching these problems, it is imperative that you keep in mind the purpose of data sufficiency.

Let’s start with a review of data sufficiency.  On these questions, your goal is not to find the answer.  Rather, it is to determine if you have enough information to find the answer, regardless of what the answer is.  On value questions, this is fairly straightforward.  If you are asked for the value of x and you know it is 4, that’s sufficient, but if it could be 4 or 6, that’s not sufficient.  In the former case we could narrow down the possibilities to one answer.  In the latter, we could not.

Now let’s see how this same concept applies to yes/no questions.  If a question asks us if x is positive and … Read full post

The GMAT isn’t about what you think it’s about

December 10, 2011 by

I’ve got a new crop of eager test-preppers just starting out on their road to GMAT success.  Often, my classes will contain one or two folks with at least some prior GMAT experience, but this group is all green and it’s gonna be fun.  However, before the fun can really get rolling I have to spend time drawing blood.

Many of the battles I must wage (and win) in the GMAT classroom are focused on preconceptions.  Whether a student has GMAT history or is coming in blind, all will inevitably have several strongly held beliefs about the test and everything that comes along with it, including their ability to crack it.  Sometimes, these beliefs will be their most significant road block on the way to hitting their target.

After last night’s class, a student stayed behind for some clarification on Data Sufficiency questions.  This student—let’s call her Jane—believes that … Read full post

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