Tips and tricks to solve data sufficiency questions in PO mains exam

Data sufficiency is an important part of the IBPS PO and SBI PO mains exam. This type comes in the reasoning section and the quant section, and there are several methods to solve this. So, it is necessary to find a simple and less time-consuming way to do data sufficiency questions. In this blog, we are providing you some tips and tricks to solve DS for PO mains. It will help you to increase your problem-solving speed and to score well in the actual exam. 

Let us first go through the data sufficiency concept, and then we will discuss some tips and tricks to solve it. 

DS for PO mains: Basic concept

Data sufficiency questions generally test your knowledge of basic facts related to quant and reasoning. In this type of question, finding the answer is not necessary. You have to identify whether the statements alone or together given in the question are sufficient or not. A data sufficiency problem is followed by two or more than two statements with some information and a question related to that. The question asked can be a numerical value or it can be a relationship. 

When a question has followed two statements I and II, then at first check if each statement I or II alone is sufficient to find the answer. If not, then see if the answer is determined by taking the information given in both the statements together. For two statements DS, the options can be:

– Statement I alone is sufficient to find the answer, but statement II alone is not sufficient. 

– Statement II alone is sufficient to find the answer, but the statement I alone is not sufficient. 

– Either statement I or II alone is sufficient to find the answer. 

– Both statements I and II together are sufficient to find the answer. 

– Both statements I and II together are not sufficient to find the answer.

If more than two statements are given in the question, then the step for checking the sufficiency of statements is the same. At first, check whether any/each statement alone is sufficient to find the answer. If not, then check for the combination of any two or more statements. 

The most important thing to remember while solving data sufficiency questions is to check if only one exact numerical value or relationship is obtained either from any statement alone or taking two or more statements together. 

Tips and tricks to solve DS for PO mains 

The first step to prepare for DS questions is to clear your basics (regarding facts, formulas, etc.) along with good observation skills. With this, you can solve a DS question in reasoning as well as in the quant easily. Sometimes, you need to do some calculations to solve the question. So, increase your calculation speed as well. You should follow some proper steps while solving DS questions to save problem-solving time and determine the accurate answer. These steps are:

– Focus on what is asking in the question and what is the type of the question. Whether a numerical value, a range or a relationship between any two quantities is asking. 

– Examine what information is given in each statement or what information you need to solve the question. 

– Examine whether any/each statement is sufficient alone to find the answer. 

– If the answer is not obtained by taking any of the given statements alone, then combine the data given in two or more statements together. 

Example for DS questions 

Let us first take an example of two statements DS. 

Example: Who is the shortest person among P, Q, R, S, and T. 

Statement I: P is taller than only two persons, and none of them is T. S who is shorter than T is taller than R. 

Statement II: Q is taller than T who is taller than S. P is not the shortest person. 

Solution: 

From statement I:

P is taller than only two persons and none of them is T. Then, two cases are obtained. 

Case 1: T > _ > P > _ > _ (T is tallest)

Case 2: _ > T > P > _ > _ (T is taller than P but not tallest)

S who is shorter than T is taller than R. Here, three cases are formed. 

Case 1a: T > S > P > R/Q > Q/R

Case 2a: T > Q > P > S > R

Case 2: Q > T > P > S > R

So, from the statement I alone we cannot determine who is the shortest among Q and R. 

From statement II: 

Q is taller than T who is taller than S. Then, 

Q > T > S 

P is not the shortest person. So, the shortest person is either S or R. 

Therefore, from statement II alone we cannot determine who is the shortest among S and R. 

Now, we will combine the information given in both statements. 

From statements I and II together: 

Since Q is taller than T, so case 1a and case 1b are eliminated. The final case we have:

Case 2: Q > T > P > S > R

Here, R is the shortest among P, Q, R, S, and T. 

So, both statements I and II together are sufficient to find the answer. 

That’s all from us in this blog. We hope this helps you in your preparation of DS for the IBPS PO/SBI PO mains exam. 

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