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A Guide to GMAT Data Sufficiency

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is used to assess the qualifications of applicants who wish to pursue graduate business programs, such as MBA programs. Data Sufficiency is a part of one of the sections of the examination. It evaluates a candidate's ability to analyze and evaluate the information provided in a question and determine if it is enough to solve a problem.

GMAT Data Sufficiency

GMAT data sufficiency mainly evaluates candidates’ decision-making abilities based on available information, their critical thinking capabilities, and their ability to recognize flawed information while choosing the correct answers to statements. It comes more as a reasoning exercise rather than a hard-core mathematical evaluation. It is one of the two prominent question types in the Quantitative Reasoning section. There are diverse mathematical concepts and functions that may be required for these questions. Still, the core premise is less about mathematical wizardry than the ability to interpret and analyze available data to come up with solutions. 

Number of GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions

The Quantitative Section has a total of 31 questions with a time limit of 62 minutes. This section has a score range between 6-51. The section contains two types of questions, namely problem-solving and data sufficiency. The questions may be distributed in any pattern across these two question types. 

Weightage of GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions

The weightage of the Data Sufficiency section in the overall GMAT score is not specified. The GMAT sections include Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. 

Read More About GMAT Exam:

GMAT Eligibility

Syllabus For GMAT

Exam Pattern of GMAT

GMAT Exam Dates 2022

GMAT Test Centers in India

GMAT Registration

GMAT Results & GMAT Scores

Validity of GMAT Score

MBA Without GMAT in Germany




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How to go about answering GMAT DS options in the test.

In the Data Sufficiency section, a question is presented as a problem, followed by two statements (labeled (1) and (2)). The test-taker must determine if the information provided in each statement, alone or in combination, is enough to ensure a solution for a problem or if additional information is needed. 

The test-taker must choose one of the following answers in the GMAT DS options:

A) Statement (1) alone is sufficient, but condition (2) alone is not sufficient.

B) Condition (2) alone is sufficient, but condition (1) alone is not sufficient.

C) Both conditions (1) and (2) together are sufficient to answer the question, but neither condition alone is sufficient.

D) Each statement alone is sufficient.

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

Tips to solve GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions

Here are a few tips that will help with the GMAT data sufficiency test:

  • Understanding the question is vital- You should first analyze the question with care and gather your information before moving to the statements. In many cases, vital information is always concealed in the question stems and not the given statements. Understanding the GMAT data sufficiency questions is essential in this regard. 
  • Tap into available information- Ensure that you are tapping all data that is given for a question and do not make any assumptions. This will help you spot something that makes a statement insufficient or any vital element that contributes towards making it sufficient in turn. 
  • Nothing comes easy- If anything seems to be perfect, then it is probably not in this section. There are subtle hints that you have to pick up to prove either insufficiency or sufficiency. 
  • Use the process of elimination: Eliminate the answer choices you know are not helpful for solving problems. This will help you narrow down your options and increase your chances of selecting the correct answer.
  • Test the statements individually: Before combining them, test them individually to see if either statement can be effective. It is an essential part of the process. 
  • Be careful of extraneous information: Statements may contain irrelevant information at times. Ignore such unnecessary information in GMAT data sufficiency questions and focus instead on what you require. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are data sufficiency options in GMAT easy to solve?

The GMAT Data Sufficiency section can be challenging for some test-takers, as it requires a unique set of skills and a different approach than traditional multiple-choice questions. 

What are the best books that help you prepare to answer data sufficiency options in GMAT?

The following books will help you prepare for GMAT DS:

  • "The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review" by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)
  • "The GMAT Quantitative Review 2.0" by Manhattan Prep
  • "The PowerScore GMAT Quantitative Bible" by David M. Killoran
  • "Cracking the GMAT with 2 Computer-Adaptive Practice Tests, 2021 Edition" by The Princeton Review
  • "GMAT Data Sufficiency: The Official Guide" by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.