Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 21, 2012 – A few strategies that can be used for quick maths

This post is intended as a continuation of the previous dilemma. I have been traversing different sources of study materials recently and was lucky to have a chance to spend a week of trail with an online study portal. There were a few things that I understood there that were really good and are shaping my resolve to use the quick maths more regularly. I am only listing a few of them so that if someone is interested they can dive into the deeper depths of that specific analogy. Along with the names I am providing some simple explanations as reference for the usage / application.

i.                    Process of Elimination
This is undoubtedly one of the most widely known terms of usage. However I would think that in the pressures of the actual test environment this trick is under-utilized. Personally I find that I fail to apply it to the trickier problems. This process of elimination helps when one can arrive at some understanding of the possible answer.
ii.                  Substitution : Plugging in the value
I find this strategy is helpful when solving for the problems with ages, mixtures, percents and even more in Data Sufficiency questions. The skill or the trick here to be learnt is on the good numbers that can be plugged in. A specific piece of information that is helpful is that when dealing with fractions, multiply the unique denominators of all the fractions involved and use that number for the substitution.
iii.                Tables
This methodology is really helpful in all the cases where the solution is leaning towards a Venn Diagram. If there are two distinct choices then this solution should be applied more frequently. An example would be in a class of students 5 girls are tall and 4 boys are fair. Blah blah blah…no girl who is fair is short…blah blah blah…find the boys who are not fair. These are the typical examples of applying the tables setup.
iv.                Data Sufficiency (AD or BCE)
This is also another very popular trick when guessing on the DS questions. It is really helpful in eliminating the answer choices. The trick for me to work and learn on here is when it comes down to choosing between C and E. While the probality of choosing a the correct answer between C and E is 50%, somehow I am presently not making the correct choice and am hence working on this aspect.

I will edit and add on more such pieces of possible tricks as and when I come across them. Hope this post was helpful and informative to those new to quant or trying to find quick options.

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