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Data Sufficiency Structure

This topic has 4 expert replies and 0 member replies

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fskilnik GMAT Instructor
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Data Sufficiency Structure

Post Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:53 am
Dear Rebecca,

I´ve been teaching students in Brazil for the quantitative section of the GMAT for more than a decade and although the (D) alternative in data sufficiency does NOT necessarily mean EXPLICITLY that both statements answers in the same way to the question asked it is usually the case in official problems. After many years thinking about this small (but interesting) detail and having read good arguments for the fact that the answers (in this (D) right choice case) "must" be the same (for instance: http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2012/01/07/witnesses-to-the-crime-in-data-sufficiency) I found a good "mathematical" reason to also believe on that, too. (My explanation follows the article mentioned.)

Well, my question is: could you please tell me/us the "official" position in this matter? In other words, may we (students/teachers) be 100% sure all GMAT data sufficiency problems are created in the following sense: there is one single scenario presented pre-statements and both statements must refer to the same scenario and, therefore, all info given in the statements are "coherent" between them without any possible situation in which one statement could give us a conclusion that is not compatible to any possible conclusion taken from the other statement?

I hope I could make my question clear.

Thanks a lot,
Fabio.

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Post Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:01 am
Hi Fabio,

Thank you for asking this Data Sufficiency question. I have forwarded your question to one of our psychometricians in order to get the best answer possible. When I receive a response I will post it on this thread.

Thanks!

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fskilnik GMAT Instructor
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Post Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:16 am
Hi Rebecca!

Thank you for your quick reply, your friendly tone and your carefull support.

The service you provide here is really amazing.

I´m looking forward to your response (but no hurry, of course)!

Regards,
Fabio.

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Post Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:54 pm
Hello, Fabio! There are not any "official" rules with regard to your scenario. DS has been on the GMAT exam since 1991 and it is certainly possible that someone very familiar with DS would be able to find a counter example in one of the OGs. That said, it is highly unlikely that you would come across a question with independently sufficient statements that contradict each other.

I hope that answers your question.

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Thanked by: fskilnik

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fskilnik GMAT Instructor
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Post Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:05 am
Dear Rebecca,

Thank you for your very careful and honest answer. That´s a bit surprising, because most "experts" would be ready to *guarantee* his/her students that this "contradiction" would be impossible in official gmat problems!

It´s nice to see that GMAT psychometricians are "conservative" on this matter. That´s an elegant position, by the way, because in my humble opinion the DS rules interpretation really leaves the answer to my question (strictly speaking) "open".

Regards and thanks a lot,
Fábio.

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