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Data

Sufficiency

Data sufficiency is an extremely important topic from the CAT point of view. The
concept of data sufficiency is designed to test a candidates ability to deal with a
limited set of data. There are several questions or caselets in CAT every year and
this is a trend, which hasnt changed over the years.

The basic instructions for Data Sufficiency problems

A data sufficiency problem has 4 or 5 options (depending on the exam), which
examine whether a given problem can be solved with some given statements. We
need not calculate the exact answer, just determining whether the provided two
or three statements are sufficient or not is all we need to determine.

Lets look at a typical data sufficiency problem:

Is New Delhi the most polluted city in India?

Statement 1: The capital of India is the most polluted city.
Statement 2: New Delhi is the capital.

Instructions:

Mark option a if statement 1 alone is sufficient to answer the question.
Mark option b if statement 2 alone is sufficient to answer the question.
Mark c if both statements are needed to solve the question.
Mark d if even both statements together are not sufficient.

The statement 2 says that New Delhi is the capital, but doesnt say that New
Delhi is the capital of India. Often students assume the latter due to their general
awareness. We must refrain from doing so!!

Therefore, we cant conclude that New Delhi is the most polluted city. We shall
mark d as the answer.

Two Important Guidelines

There are two very important guidelines which you must follow while solving
data sufficiency problems:

1. We always have to find a Unique Answer
2. Never Assume anything

Finding Unique Answer: In questions where we need to find value of an
expression, we always have to determine a unique value of the expression as the
answer. Lets understand this with the help of an example.

Example: If x and y are integers, what is the sum of x+y ?



1. x = 4
2. y2 = 4

a. Statement 1 alone is enough but 2 is not
b. Statement 2 alone is enough but 1 is not
c. Both statements together are sufficient, but neither alone is sufficient
d. Each statement alone is sufficient
e. Statement 1 and 2 together are not sufficient to answer the question

We are given that y2 = 4, i.e. y = 2 or 2
x+y = 4+2 or 42
x+y = either 6 or 2

Since we cant determine a single unique value for the expression x+y, we mark
e as the answer.

This is the most common source of error in data sufficiency. Students often
determine two or more values of an expression using either statement or both,
and then mark any of the first four options. However, the correct answer in these
cases is e because we cant determine one unique value.

Example: What is the value of 2x+3?

1. x2 = 4
2. x3 = 8

a. Statement 1 alone is enough but 2 is not
b. Statement 2 alone is enough but 1 is not
c. Both statements together are sufficient, but neither alone is sufficient
d. Each statement alone is sufficient
e. Statement 1 and 2 together are not sufficient to answer the question

From statement 1, x = 2 or 2
2x+3 = 1 or 7
From statement 2, x = 2
2x+3 = 7

From statement 2 we can determine a unique value, which isnt the case with
statement 1. Therefore, option b is the answer.

From this example we can learn to beware of the even exponents.

Example: If x is an integer, what is the value of x2 + x 12?

1. x = 3
2. x = 3, x = 4

a. Statement 1 alone is enough but 2 is not


b. Statement 2 alone is enough but 1 is not
c. Both statements together are sufficient, but neither alone is sufficient
d. Each statement alone is sufficient
e. Statement 1 and 2 together are not sufficient to answer the question

Using statement 1, x2 + x 12 = 0
Using statement 2, x = 3 and x = 4 both give the same value for x2 + x 12 = 0.

From both the statements, we get the same value of x2 + x 12.
d is the answer

In this example we saw that two different values for x may not necessarily give
different results for the expression. In statement 2, both values of x lead to the
same value of the expression.

Never Assume Anything

This is another very common source of error for students. I have often seen
candidates make assumptions and get wrong answers. Check out this example.

Example: What is the value of x?

1. x < 12
2. x > 10

a. Statement 1 alone is enough but 2 is not
b. Statement 2 alone is enough but 1 is not
c. Both statements together are sufficient, but neither alone is sufficient
d. Each statement alone is sufficient
e. Statement 1 and 2 together are not sufficient to answer the question

From the two statements, 10 < x < 12, so x must be 11. Isnt it so?
The statement doesnt state that x is an integer, so x can be 10.5 or 10.8 or any
other value between 10 and 12.
Therefore, we cant find one single unique value of x. Just finding a range of
values for x, 10 < x < 12 is not enough.
The answer is e.

Example: What is the value of 5x+7y ?

1. 4x+6y = 15
2. 2x = 7 3y

a. Statement 1 alone is enough
b. Statement 2 alone is enough
c. Both statements together are sufficient
d. Both statements put together are not sufficient

This looks to be a simple problem of two equations and two variables. So, we can
find the individual values of x and y, and calculate the value of the expression
5x+7y. The answer should be c. Shouldnt it?

The answer is NO. Look at these two statements:
4x+6y = 15 and 2x = 73y
4x+6y = 15 and 2x+3y = 7 are two parallel lines with no point of intersection.
Therefore, we cant find the values of x and y.
Hence the answer is d.

From this example we learnt that a system of two equations and two
variables doesnt always provide us with the values of the two variables.

Example: If A and B are working together, in how many days can they finish the
work?

1. A takes 20 days to finish the work
2. B takes 30 days to finish the work

a. Statement 1 alone is enough
b. Statement 2 alone is enough
c. Both statements together are sufficient
d. Both statements put together are not sufficient

Using concepts of Time and work, we can easily find that A and B can finish the
work in 12 days.
However, the question doesnt mention that A and B dont start working at the
same time. It is quite possible that A finished half the work and then B joined
him. It can also be true that B started the work much before A.

Therefore, d is the answer.

Lets solve some examples now.

Example: Is x > y?

1. x+y = 4
!
2. = 2
!


a. Statement 1 alone is enough
b. Statement 2 alone is enough
c. Both statements together are sufficient
d. Both statements put together are not sufficient

Solving from statement 1 and 2 together, x = 2.66 and y = 1.33
Therefore, we can determine x > y.
Hence c is the answer.

Example: What is a?

1. LCM of a and 9 is 36
2. HCF of a and 6 is 2

a. Statement 1 alone is enough
b. Statement 2 alone is enough
c. Both statements together are sufficient
d. Both statements put together are not sufficient

From statement 1, a can be 4 or 12 or 36
From statement 2, b can be 2, 4, 8, 10, 14, 16,

It is obvious that either is not enough (since there is no unique answer)
However, by using both the statements, we can see that 4 is the common
solution.
a = 4
Therefore, option c is the answer.






























EXERCISES

For all the questions in this exercise, the options a, b, c, d indicate:



a. Both statements 1 and 2 alone are sufficient to answer the question
b. Only one of the two statements alone is sufficient to answer the question
c. Both statements are required to answer the question
d. Both statements even after putting together are not sufficient

1. What is x?
i.
x27x+12 = 0
ii.
x2+7x30 = 0
c.
2. Is y > x?
i.
x4 > y4
ii.
x3 > y3
b.
3. What is the value of 2x+3y?
i.
2x4y = 9
ii.
6y+1 = 3x
d.
4. Is x > y?
i.

!! !!

> 0

!! !!!
x3 y3
ii. x4 +y4 > 0

b.

5. Is x > y?
i.
ii.
d.

!! !!

> 0

!! !!!
x2 y2
> 0
x4 +y4

6. What percentage of the cake did the fourth man eat at the party?
i.
The first three men ate 1/3rd, 1/5th, 2/9th of the cake
ii.
There were a total of 4 men at the party.
d.
7. Is k a prime number?
i. When k is divided by 6, the remainder is 3
ii. k > 100
c.
8. Is c a prime number?
i. c is a positive integer
ii. c divisible by 2
d.
9. What is the LCM of xy, yz, zx if x, y, z are natural numbers?
i. LCM of x, y, z is 30
ii. HCF of x, y, z is 2 d

10. The product of four natural numbers p, q, r, s is 1349. Which one is the
largest among these four?
i. s > r > q
ii. s > r > p
a
11. If N is a natural number, is N a perfect square?
i. Number of factors of N are even
ii. Remainder with 9 is 3
a
12. The sum of three distinct prime numbers = 102. Which are those numbers ?
i. The smallest is 2
ii. Difference of larger two is 78
b
13. Is rectangular block X a cube?
i. At least 2 faces of X are squares
ii. The volume of X is 64
d
14. Mr. Murthy takes the morning train to his office from station A to station B,
and his colleagues Mr. Rahman joins him on the way. There are three stations C,
D and E on the way not necessarily in that sequence. What is the sequence of
stations?
i. Mr. Rahman boards the train at D
ii. Mr. Thomas, who travels between C and D has two segments of journey in
common with Mr. Murthy but none with Mr. Rahman.
c.
15. Conside three numbers X, Y, Z. Is Z the smallest of these numbers ?
i. X is greater than at least one of Y and Z
ii. Y is greater than at least one of X and Z
c.
16. F and M are father and mother of S respectively. S has four uncles and three
aunts. F has two siblings. The siblings of F and M are unmarried. How many
brothers does M have?
i. F has two brothers
ii. M has five siblings
b.
17. Four candidates for an award obtain distinct scores in a test. Each of the four
casts a vote to choose the winner of the award. The candidate who gets the
largest number of votes wins the award. In case of a tie in the voting process, the
candidate with the highest score wins the award. Who wins the award?
i. The candidates with top three scores each vote for the top score amongst the
other three
ii. The candidate with the lowest score votes for the player with the second
highest score.
b.
18. In a class of 30 students, Rashmi secured the third rank among the girls,
while her brother Kumar studying in the same class secured the sixth rank in the
whole class. Between the two, who had a better overall rank?
i. Kumar was among the top 25% of the boys merit list in the class in whicb 60%
were boys

ii. There were three boys among the top five rank holders, and three girls among
the top ten rank holders.
b.
19. In a cricket match, the Man of the Match award is given to the player scoring
the highest number of runs. In case of a tie, the player (out of those locked in the
tie) who has taken the higher number of catches is chosen. Even thereafter if
there is a tie, the player (out of those locked in the tie) who has dropped fewer
catches is selected. Aakash, Biplab, and Chirag who were contenders for the
award dropped at least one catch each. Biplab dropped two catches more than
Aakash did, scored 50, and took two catches. Chirag got two chances to catch and
dropped both. Who was the man of the match?
i. Chirag made 15 runs less than both Aakash and Biplab
ii. The catches dropped less by Biplab are 1 more than the catches taken by
Aakash.
c.
20. Four friends A, B, C, D got the top four ranks in a competitive examination,
but A did not get the first, B did not get the second, C did not get the third, D did
not get the fourth rank. Who secured which rank?
i. Neither A nor D were the among the first two
ii. Neither B nor C was third or fourth
a.
21. Five students A, B, C, D, E were the only ones who participated in a quiz
contest. They were ranked based on their scores in the contest. D got a higher
rank as compared to E, while B got a higher rank as compared to C. Cs rank was
lower than the median. Who among the five got the highest rank?
i. A was the last rank holder
ii. B was not among the top two rank holders
c.
22. If ab = 12, what is the value of ab(a+b)?
i. ab2 = 36
ii. ab = 7
b.
23. A game consists of tossing a coin successively. There is an entry fee of Rs. 10
and an additional fee of Re. 1 for each toss of coin. The game in considered to
have ended normally when the coin turns heads on two consecutive throws. In
this case, the player is paid Rs. 100. Alternatively, the player can choose to
terminate the game prematurely after any of the tosses. Ram has incurred a loss
of Rs. 50 by playing this game. How many times did he toss the coin?
i. The game ended normally
ii. The total number of tails obtained in the game was 138
a
24. In a football match, at half time, Chelsea FC was trailing by three goals. Did
Chelsea FC win the match?
i. In the second half Chelsea scored goals
ii. The opponent scored four goals in the match
d
25. The unit price of Product P1 is nonincreasing and that of Product P2 is
decreasing. Which product will be costlier 5 years hence?
i. Current unit price of P1 is twice that of P2

ii. 5 years ago, unit price of P2 was twice that of P1


d.
26. Tarak is standing 2 steps to the left of a red mark and 3 steps to the right of a
blue mark. He tosses a coin. If it comes up heads, he moves one step to the righ,
otherwise he moves one step to the left. He keeps doing his until he reaches one
of the two marks, and then he stops. At which mark does he stop?
i. He stops after 21 coin tosses
ii. He obtains three more tails than heads.
a
Refer the paragraph for questions 27 and 28: In a single elimination tournament,
any player is eliminated with a single loss. The tournament is played in multiple
rounds subject to the following rules :
(a) If the number of players, say n, in any round is even, then the players are
grouped into n/2 pairs. The players in each pair play a match against each other
and the winner moves on to the next round.
(b) If the number of players, say n, in any round is odd, then one of them is given
a bye, that is he automatically moves on to the next round. The remaining (n1)
players are grouped into (n1)/2 pairs. The players in each pair play a match
against each other and the winner moves on to the next round. No player gets
more than one bye in the entire tournament.
Thus, if n is even, then n/2 players move on to the next round while if n is odd,
then (n+1)/2 players move on to the next round. The process is continued till the
final round, which obviously is played between two players. The winner in the
final round is the champion of the tournament.

27. What is the number of Matches played by the champion?
i. The entry list for the tournament consists of 83 players.
ii. The champion received one bye.
c.
28. If the number of players, say n, in the first round was between 65 and 128,
then what is the exact value of n?
A. Exactly one player received a bye in the entire tournament.
B. One player received a bye while moving on to the fourth round from the third
round.
c.
29. X is older than Y, Z is younger than W and V is older than Y. Is Z younger than
X?
i. W may not be older than V.
ii. W is not older than V.
d.
30. Three professors A, B and C are separately given three sets of numbers to
add. They were expected to find the answers to 1 + 1, 1 + 1 + 2, and 1 + 1
respectively. Their respective answers were 3, 3 and 2. How many of the
professors are mathematicians?
i. A mathematician can never add two numbers correctly, but can always add
three numbers correctly.
ii. When a mathematician makes a mistake in a sum, the error is +1 or 1.
d.

31. For each rupee in monthly advertising expenditure, Kumar and Co.
experiences a Rs. 6 increase in sales. How much Kumar and Co. has to spend on
advertising to attain Rs. 10,00,000 in sales revenue for the month?
i. Without advertising Kumar and Co. earns Rs. 2,00,000 sales revenue per month
ii. When Kumar and Co. spends Rs. 15,000 on advertising, it earns Rs. 2,90,000 as
sales revenue.
a
32. Let PQRS be a quadrilateral. Two circles O1 and O2 are inscribed in triangles
PQR and PSR respectively. Circle O1 touches PR at M and circle O2 touches PR at
N. What is the length of MN?
i. A circle is inscribed in the quadrilateral PQRS
ii. The radii of the circles O1 and O2 are 5 and 6 units respectively.
B
33. Geetanjali Express, which is 250m long when moving from Howrah to
Tatanagar crosses Subarnarekha Bridge in 30 seconds. What is the speed of
Geetanjali Express?
i. Bombay Mail, which runs at 60km/hour crosses the Subarnarekha bridge in 30
seconds.
ii. Bombay Mail when running at 90km/hour crosses a lamp post in 10 seconds.
c
34. Consider four natural numbers x, y, x+y, and xy. What is the sum of these
four numbers?
i. All four numbers are prime numbers
ii. The arithmetic mean of these numbers is greater than 4.
b.
35. The median of 11 different positive integers is 15 and seven of those 11
integers are 8, 12, 20, 6, 14, 22, 13. Which is the largest possible integer of these
numbers ?
i. The difference between the averages of four largest integers and four smallest
integers is 13.25
ii. The average of all the 11 integers is 16.
a
36. Is N divisible by 99?
i. N is divisible by both 9 and 11
ii. If the digits of N are reversed, N is divisible by 9 and 11
a
37. What is the value of prime number x?
i. x2+x is a two digit number greater than 50
ii. x3 is a three digit number
b
38. What are the ages of the three brothers?
i. Product of their ages is 21
ii. The sum of their ages is not divisible by 3
d
39. What are the values of three positive integers a, b, c?
i. ab = 8
ii. bc = 9
c

40. If x, y, z are real numbers, is zx even or odd?


i. xyz is odd
ii. xy+yz+zx is even
b
41. Is x+yz+t even?
i. x+y+t is even
ii. t and z are odd
c
42. How old is Sachin in 1997?
i. Sachin is 11 years younger than Anil whose age will be a prime number in
1998.
ii. Anils age was a prime number in 1996.
d
43. What is the value of a3 + b3 ?
i. a2+b2 = 22
ii. ab = 3
d
44. Four students were added to a dance class. Would the teacher be able to
divide her students evenly into a dance team(or teams) of 8?
i. If 12 students were added, the teacher could put everyone in teams of 8
without any leftovers.
ii. The number of students in the class is currently not divisible by 8.
b
45. What is the price of bananas?
i. With Rs. 84, I can buy 14 bananas and 35 oranges
ii. If price of bananas is reduced by 50%, then we can buy 48 bananas in Rs. 12
b
46. Zakib spends 30% of his income on his childrens education, 20% on
recreation, 10% on healthcare. The corresponding percentage for Supriyo are
40%, 25% and 13%. Who spends more on childrens education?
i. Zakib spends more on recreation than Supriyo
ii. Supriyo spends more on healthcare than Zakib
a
47. If the selling price were to be increased by 10%, the sales would reduce by
10%. In what ratio would profits change?
i. The cost price remains constant
ii. The cost price increased 10%
b
48. Harshad bought shares of a company on a certain day, and sold them the next
day. While buying and selling, he had to pay to the broker 1% of the transaction
value of the shares as brokerage. What was the profit earned by him per rupee
spent on buying the shares?
i. The sales price per share was 1.05 times that of its purchase price
ii. The number of shares purchased was 100
b.
49. Is the average of the largest and the smallest of four given numbers greater
than the average of the four numbers?
i. The difference between the largest and the second largest numbers is greater
than the difference between the second smallest and the smallest numbers.

ii. The difference between the largest and the second largest numbers is less than
the difference between the second largest and the second smallest numbers.
B
50. What is the average weight of the 3 new team members who are recently
included into the team?
i. The average weight of the team increases by 20kg.
ii. The 3 new men substitute earlier members whose weights are 64kg, 75kg,
66kg.
d







































ANSWERS AND HINTS



1

11

21

31

41

2

12

22

32

42

3

13

23

33

43

4

14

24

34

44

5

15

25

35

45

6

16

26

36

46

7

17

27

37

47

8

18

28

38

48

9

19

29

39

49

10

20

30

40

50

1. From statement 1, x = 3, 4
From statement 2, x = 3, 10
The common solution is x = 3.
Hence x = 3.
Since we can determine a unique solution using both statements, c is the
answer.

2. From statement 1, if both are negative, y > x, if both are positive, x > y
From statement 2, if x > y
Therefore, we can definitely define only from statement 2.
Hence option b

3. The lines represented in statement 1 and 2 are parallel lines.
=> we cant determine the values of x and y.

4. From statement 1,

!! !!
!! !!!

> 0

=> (x ! y ! )( x ! + y ! ) > 0
x3+y3 can either positive or negative, so we cant really say anything about the
sign of x4y4.
From statement 2, (x3-y3)(x4+y4) > 0
Since (x4+y4) > 0
x3y3 > 0
x > y
Therefore, option b alone is sufficient

5. From both statements we cant determine the relationship.
Therefore, d is the answer.

6. This question does not mention that the 4 men ate the entire cake.
It is possible that the cake got wasted.
In that case, we cant calculate.
Therefore, d is the answer.

7. If k is a prime number > 100,


k = 6n 1 (because all prime numbers 5, are 6n1)
Since it leaves a remainder 3 when divided by 6, it is not a prime number.
Therefore, we used both the options to determine the answer.

8. From the two statements, c can be 2.
Thereore, we cant determine from both the statements.

9. If HCF is 2, x,y,z are 2a, 2b, 2c.
If LCM is 30, x,y,z can be 2, 6, 10, 30
Therefore, we cant get any one definite set of three values for x, y, z.

10. 1349 = 17119
=> two of them are 1.
From either of the statements, we can find out the values of all four.
Therefore, both statements are sufficient alone.

11. Any perfect square has an odd number of factors.
Also, no perfect square can leave a remainder of 3 when divided by 9.

12. Since sum of three prime numbers is even, the smallest of them is 2.
=> the sum of the other two is 100.
From statement 2, their difference is 78.
Therefore, they are 89 and 11.
Hence statement 2 alone is sufficient.

13. Since two faces are squares (at least), length = breadth
=> 64 = 444 + 2216 + 1164
Hence X can be a cube or a cuboid.
Therefore, we cant determine uniquely even after using both the options.

14. From statement 2, we get the following arrangement:
A
C/D
E
C/D
B
From statement 1, Rahman boards at D, which can only be possible if D is the 4th
station because Thomas has no segment in common with Rahman.
If D is 2nd, Rahman will travel DECB, and Thomas will travel CEB. Thus,
theyll have common segments.
If D is 4th, Rahman will travel from D to B, and Thomas can travel from D to C (in
the opposite direction). Therefore, they wont have any common segment.

15. Using both the statements, X > Y > Z.
Hence Z is the smallest

16. From the first statement, we can determine that M has 2 brothers. However,
from the second statement we cant determine anything.
Therefore, statement 1 alone is sufficient.

17. From statement 1, we can deduce that A is the winner.
From statement 2, nothing can be deduced.


18. Using statement 2, we can determine that Kumar was ranked 6th and Rashmi
is either 7th or below. Hence statement 2 alone is sufficient.
Statement 1 is of no use.

19. Combining both statements, we can find that Aakash is the man of the match.

20. Using any of the two statements alone we can deduce the ranks: A4, B1, C
2, D3.

21. Using both the statements together we can find the sequence:
1
2
3
4
5
D
E
B
C
A

22. Statement 1 is sufficient alone but statement 2 is not.
From statement 2 we get two different values of b.

32. Statement 1 alone is sufficient.

33. Using both the statements, we can calculate the speed to be 16.66m/s.

34. Only statement 1 is sufficient.

35. By any of the two statements, we can find the remaining integers to be 16, 17,
and 33. Therefore, the largest number is 33.

36. Statement 1 is obviously sufficient alone.
In statement 2, if we reverse the number, it is again divisible by 9 and 11.
Check for any random number divisible by both 9 and 11 594. Reverse of 594 is
495, which is divisible by 99.
Therefore, statement 2 is also sufficient alone.

37. From statement 1, if 50 < x3+x < 100, then x = 7.
Hence statement 1 is sufficient alone.

40. From statement 1 xyz is odd, all three are odd numbers

42. There are many prime numbers with difference of 2. So, we cant determine
definitely.

43. a3 + b3 = (a+b)(a2+b2ab)
From statement 1 and 2, we get two different values for a+b.
We cant get a unique value for a+b.
Therefore, option d is the answer.

44. If on adding 12, the number of students is divisible by 8, then on adding 4, it
would also be divisible by 8.

45. Statement 2 is quite obviously sufficient alone.


47. This can be solved with the help of statement 2 alone.

48. From statement 1 we can conclude that the profit is 2.95%.

49. The question can be answered using statement 1 alone.