Problem Solving Question Strategies
Problem solving questions measure your ability to use logic and analytical reasoning to solve quantitative problems. You will solve the problem and indicate the best of five answer choices.
- Pace Yourself. Consult the on-screen timer periodically. Work as carefully as possible, but don’t spend valuable time checking answers or pondering problems you find difficult. It’s important to try to finish the section.
- Use the erasable noteboard provided at the test center to work out answers. Solving problems in writing may help you avoid errors.
- Read each question carefully to determine what data is given and what is being asked. For word problems, take one step at a time. Read each sentence carefully and translate the data into equations or other useful mathematical representations.
- Skim the answer choices before you answer a question. If you don’t, you may waste time putting answers in a form that’s not given.
- For questions that require approximations, skim the answer choices first. If you don’t get some idea of how close the approximation should be, you may waste time on long computations when a short mental process would serve you better.
- Don’t waste time by trying to solve a problem you recognize as too difficult or time-consuming. Eliminate the choices you know are wrong, select the best of the remaining choices, and move on to the next question.
Data Sufficiency Question Strategies
Data Sufficiency questions measure your ability to analyze a quantitative problem, recognize which data are relevant, and determine at what point there is enough data to solve a problem.
- Decide whether the problem allows only one value or a range of values. Remember that you are only determining whether you have enough data.
- Avoid making unwarranted assumptions based on geometric figures. Figures are not necessarily drawn to scale.