The other week, we discussed the overall process for Data Sufficiency. This week, we’re going to test out the process using a GMATPrep question – and take a look at a couple of very common DS traps.
Set your timer for 2 minutes…. and… GO!
* ” A bookstore that sells used books sells each of its paperback books for a certain price and each of its hardcover books for a certain price. If Joe, Maria, and Paul all bought books in this store, how much did Maria pay for 1 paperback book and 1 hardcover book?
“(1) Joe bought 2 paperback books and 3 hardcover books for $12.50.
“(2) Paul bought 4 paperback books and 6 hardcover books for $25.00.”
Note that I haven’t listed the answer choices for you. Because DS answers are always the same, we should memorize them. If you don’t have them memorized yet, look back at the “How DS Works” article linked in the first paragraph.
All right, let’s tackle this problem.
Step 1: Read the Question Stem
The first sentence tells us that each paperback book sells for the same price and each hardcover book also sells for the same price (but possibly a different price than the paperback books).
The question asks how much Maria paid for 1 of each type of book. Is this a value or a yes/no question?
They’re asking for a specific amount; this is a value question. We’ve also got lots of words; we’re going to have to translate.