## Question of the Week

GRE aspirants, it’s time to rack your brain and crack this question of the week! Our expert GRE faculty will drop in interesting questions for you every week to help you think logically and get closer to acing the GRE! Solve and post your answers in the comments section!

We will publish the correct answers and explanations in the comments section every Friday! STAY TUNED!

## A Few Great Tips on How to Tackle the GMAT DS Questions

by our Quantitative Reasoning Faculty

In last time’s blog we looked at why DS is so important in GMAT. In this one we’ll take a look at the 3 key things that you need to do in order to tackle this unfamiliar question type. There are:

1. Learn the Options

The first step in learning DS is to get absolutely familiar with the options. Fortunately, in DS, this is easy because the five options are always as follows:

(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

(E) Statements (1) and (2) together are not sufficient to answer the question asked and additional data are needed.

2. Remember the Aim

Remember, in DS our aim is NOT TO FIND THE FINAL ANSWER to the question but  just to verify whether the INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TWO STATEMENTS IS SUFFICIENT TO REACH TO THE FINAL ANSWER!

So while solving the question if, at any intermediate step, you realize that you can reach the final answer then QUIT and mark the option accordingly.

3. Understand the Approach

Now let’s have a look at how you should approach DS questions.

Step 1: Carefully Read the Question Statement and Find the Crux of the Question

After closely examining the question statement and before you read the information given in statements (1) and (2), ‘identify the crux of the question’. What I mean by ‘the crux of the question’ is the piece of information that is the key to the solution. Sometimes you have to think a little bit before you get it. But once you have it, it will lead you straight to the answer. For example, have a look at this question statement:

If x and y are distinct positive integers then:

(1) x = 2 (y + 3)

(2) x2 = y2 + 4

Now, if you have lost touch with maths, just the sight of that forest of terms is enough to want to make you give up. But again, remember that we are not at all interested in solving this inequality. We just need find out whether the expression on the left hand side is positive or not (that’s what is implied by >0) – and this is a much simpler matter! Further, in this mass of algebraic symbols is a key that reveals itself when you examine about the expression and think about it a little.

In order to get this key, the first thing to do is to carefully observe the question statement. First and foremost, it says, that x and y are distinct positive integers. This is a very important piece of information – and you’ll understand why in a moment. Secondly, if you observe the numerator of the expression on the left, it consists of additions throughout. Given both these pieces of information, the numerator has to be positive in nature: it is the sum of distinct positive integers (which is why the information about x and y was important). By the same logic, even the second bracket in the denominator has to be positive. The only unknown factor, therefore, is the first bracket in the denominator, i.e., (x – y) and this is what holds the key to the entire problem.

The entire expression will be positive if and only if (x – y) > 0, in short, if x > y. On the other hand, if x < y, the whole expression will be negative. So, the whole gigantic problem is reduced to an extremely simple question: is x > y? Once we have arrived at this conclusion, cracking the rest of the problem is really easy: any information about the relative magnitudes of x and y will be sufficient to arrive at the answer! Thus, in this case, the crux of the question (the key to the solution) is realizing that all we need to find out in order to answer this question is whether statements (1) and (2) allow us to decide whether x is bigger than y or vice versa.

Once you have reached this stage you are can confidently take on the options of this seemingly insoluble problem. The discussion above takes care of Step 1 of the approach i.e. carefully reading the question statement and finding the crux of the question. In the next post we’ll look at Step 2 of the approach: tackling the options in DS questions – and we’ll be giving you tips that will reduce the complexities to a few simple steps! Watch for the tips in our third DS blog post next week.

## Quantitative Comparison Questions: Doubtful D!

~ by our Maths Faculty

Now, here’s a tip about the weird GRE question type called Quantitative Comparison or simply QC. As we know, in QC questions there are two columns, ‘A’ and ‘B’, containing some quantities. Our job is to evaluate the quantities and compare their magnitudes. In QC questions, the options are always as follows:

(A) Quantity under Column A is GREATER THAN quantity under Column B

(B) Quantity under Column A is LESS THAN quantity under Column B

(C) Quantity under Column A is EQUAL TO quantity under Column B

(D) RELATIONSHIP CANNOT BE ESTABLISHED using the given information.

Now look at this example:

x2 – 2x – 24 = 0

y2 – 3y + 2 = 0

Column A Column B

x y

The question asks us to compare ‘x’ and ‘y’. In order to get the answer, we need to solve both the quadratic equations. When we do this, we get the following values: x (4, -6) and y (2, 1)

Thus, if we pick 4 as the value of ‘x’, it is greater than both values of ‘y’. Hence, option (B) and option (C) can be rejected outright.

Now, we are left with only two options, (A) and (D). But if we pick -6 as the value of ‘x’, it is less than both the values of ‘y’ so, we have to eliminate option (A) and thus, we have option (D) as the final answer!

Why was this example given? To show you that is that the only time we need to be extra cautious when solving QC questions is when we think that the answer is probably option D!

Now, try this one:

X < (1/X)

Column A Column B

X X2

## The Importance of Data Sufficiency Questions in GMAT

~ by our Maths Faculty

My opening GMAT blog post will focus on Data Sufficiency, an important and unique Quantitative Reasoning question type in GMAT. Later on we’ll take up some sample questions to illustrate how to tackle this strange and interesting question type but first we will look at a fundamental point: why is DS important? Well, look at Figure 1 below

Figure 1

What this pie chart tells us is that, out of 37 questions in the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section, you can expect around 22 to 23 will be of the Problem Solving (PS) type and 14 to 15 of the Data Sufficiency (DS) type.

Now, maybe you’re thinking that what this highlights is the importance of Problem Solving questions. But that is only the most obvious thing that the data says. The other important thing that it tells you is that if you want a good score in GMAT, you cannot afford to neglect Data Sufficiency. On the contrary, DS questions play a crucial role in converting mediocre GMAT scores into first-rate ones, so, if you ignore DS questions, that great GMAT score you are looking for may never be yours. Here’s why.

When you are through with your initial preparation and have given 3-4 mock GMAT tests, like most other students, you will probably find your scores stagnating. There are various reasons for this, but, in Quant, if you find that your raw score is fluctuating between 43 and 46 out of 60, the reason will usually be low accuracy in DS.

The most important reason why many students don’t achieve high accuracy in DS is that they don’t think the way that DS demands. We never solve such questions either in school or in college so, we don’t really understand them and so, we end up ignoring or trying to avoid DS questions. But that, is a big mistake! Remember the stats: you can’t think of getting a good score in GMAT without mastering DS questions. So, how do you deal with the difficulties that this question type throws up? Watch for our next post and find out.

## Did You Know these Facts about GRE Math?

~ By our Quantitative Reasoning Faculty

April is almost over and the countdown to the exam has already begun. You want a good overall score and if you’re an engineer, you are most probably thinking that getting 165 on Quant shouldn’t be too much of a problem (the typical engineer approaches maths questions with a raw “Just bring ‘em on” kind of arrogance and usually gets most questions right). But here’s the problem: sometimes even those with a strong background in maths may not cross the 160 mark – and when that happens, dreams of a score in the 325+ range come crashing down. To prevent that unhappy outcome, here are some basic insights about the way the math works on GRE.

One fundamental reason why some students don’t get the scores they should, is that they simply don’t understand the way the exam ‘TALKS’ maths. What this means is that the GRE test has its own way of defining mathematical terms. If you don’t understand the definitions used in the GRE exam, then time and time again you are going to end up making errors on questions you should have got right – and you are likely to end up feeling frustrated and demoralized. So, let’s have a look at a few basic differences between Indian maths and American math.

## How I Got 338/340: Aadheesh Gokhale

Here’s another blog from one of our Academy’s stars, Adheesh Gokhale, who scored a superb 338. What makes his performance even more creditable is that he was a working student. So, his is another inspiring story to let you know that getting a great score is possible.

——————————————–

Finally, with apologies for my procrastination (you can look up the meaning of the word here; I won’t tell you! :)) here’s my blog. Now, let’s get down to business.

I will not tell you what to do; instead I’ll share what I did. (But I do believe that anyone who can do this will be able to score above 330 – I won’t say much on AWM though as I have a score of only 4 🙂 ! So, here goes:

# Post: Did You Know these Facts about GRE Math?

Question: How many positive integers, less than 20, are either an even multiple of 2 or, a multiple of 9 or, the sum of a positive multiple of 2 and a positive multiple of 9?

Answer: There are 11 such integers:

• Multiples of 2 – 4, 8, 12, 16 (total 4)
• Multiples of 9 – 9, 18 (total 2)
• Sums of a positive multiple of 2 and a positive multiple of 9 – 11, 13, 15, 17, 19 (total 5)

# Post: Quantitative Comparison Questions: Doubtful D!

Question:

X < (1/X)

Column A Column B

X X2

The given inequality is X< (1/X).

This is possible only in two cases:

(1) If 0 < X < 1 OR

(2) X < -2

Now, you need to compare ‘X’ with ‘X2’

If you pick the value of ‘X’ from 1st range, let’s say ‘X’ = ½, then X > X2, thus the possible answer is option (A) and hence, options (B) and (C) can be eliminated.

But if you pick up the value of ‘X’ from the second range of values, lets say X = -3, then X < X2.

That means we are not able to reach to any unique conclusion using the information given, thus the answer is option (D)

## UC Irvine – and How I Got Admission There!

This week we bring you Suhas Bhadgaonkar, a software professional, and one of our alumni. He’s here with his experiences in getting admission to UC Irivine.

____________________________________

Profile:
Degree: BE (Computer Engineering), Univ. of Pune
Work Experience: 2.5+ years in Accenture Technology Solutions, as a Software Engineer
GRE Score: 1400 (Old Scale)/ 322 (New Scale)
Break Up:
Verbal: 640 (Old Scale)/162 (New Scale)
Quant: 760 (Old Scale)/160 (New Scale)
TOEFL: 112/120

____________________________________

My journey to a US university started when an acquaintance came to visit my home in Pune after spending a few years working for Oracle in San Jose. It was mid-May, and some of my other friends from Accenture had got admits from American universities and were planning to get visas and complete other application formalities. There was a ‘buzz’ in the air about going to America. My friend’s visit was like a little piece of sodium dropped into a bowl of water. The thought of the opportunities that lay in wait for me in the US began to bubble up in my mind. When the ‘reaction’ had subsided, higher studies and subsequent professional opportunities in America were the clear focus.

Like a lot of us who are now going to US, I was born and brought up in a middle class family with no immediate relatives in US). So, though the thought of studying further, or doing ‘something’, had been present in my mind for quite a while, I had never planned on going to US for higher education. The examples of my friends started me thinking about pursuing an MS in the USA.

## Cracking the GRE Test – Debanjana Nayak (GRE Score 330/340) – Tips for Quantitative,Verbal and Analytical Writing

Here’s the next part of Debanjana’s tips – this time with lots of specifics for each section of the test!

______________________

Before starting with this set of tips specifically for the Quantitative, Verbal and AW sections, I must mention that I took classes from Dilip Oak’s Academy and I will be talking a lot about the Academy’s classes and materials because I found them extremely useful in preparing for these sections. In giving these tips, I am also assuming that you too are a student of Dilip Oak’s Academy. Of course, you will have your own experience and perspective, but here’s what I would suggest.