• Board contributors include instructors with "800" GMAT scores.
  • 95% of posts have replies within 24 hours.
  • Join for discounts with 800score, VeritasPrep and ManhattanGMAT


FAQ  - Register  - Search - Login 

All times are UTC - 7 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:48 am
Posts: 483
What is the value of x?
(1) y² = x
(2) (x + 4)/4 = y + 1

A. Statement (1) BY ITSELF is sufficient to answer the question, but statement (2) by itself is not.
B. Statement (2) BY ITSELF is sufficient to answer the question, but statement (1) by itself is not.
C. Statements (1) and (2) TAKEN TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, even though NEITHER statement BY ITSELF is sufficient.
D. Either statement BY ITSELF is sufficient to answer the question.
E. Statements (1) and (2) TAKEN TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question, meaning that further information would be needed to answer the question.

(E) Statement (1) is insufficient: we cannot determine the value of x without knowing the value of y.

If we multiply both sides of the equation in Statement (2) by 4, we get:
x + 4 = 4(y + 1), or
x + 4 = 4y + 4.
Subtracting 4 from both sides gives us:
x = 4y.
This statement is also insufficient.

Combined, both statements are still insufficient. When we substitute the second equation into the first, we get:
y² = 4y.

We cannot simply divide each side of the equation by y because this is a quadratic equation, and we do not know that y is not equal to 0.

We must set the equation equal to zero and factor it:
y² – 4y = 0
y(y – 4) = 0
y = 0 or 4.

Possible solutions for (x,y) are (0,0) and (16,4). But, we aren't looking for "possible" solutions, we are interested in THE solution. Since we do not have sufficient information to determine the value of x, even after combining the statements, the correct answer is choice (E).
---------

The question doesn't ask for a real value of x, or a value not in terms of other variables. So x very literally could be y², or x could be y – 3. Just because the 2 are not reconcilable with the given information, does not mean that either is not an acceptable answer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:25 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:11 pm
Posts: 459
When in GMAT question it is asked to find a value there is no ambiguity in it. You should find a specific, definite and unique VALUE.

If a question accepts a formula or a set as an answer, it implies so additionally: in words or in answer choices.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:25 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:48 am
Posts: 483
case 2
x + 4 = 4 (y +1)
x + 4 = 4y + 4
x = 4y
y² = 4y so y = 4 and x = y² so x = 16 ? Can the answer be C?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:11 pm
Posts: 459
"y = 4" does NOT follow from y² = 4y.
You must never divide by a variable, unless you've proven that it can not be 0. Or you must consider the case of zero value as well.

The proper solution for y² = 4y is:
y² – 4y = 0
y(y – 4) = 0
So y = 0 or y = 4.
Therefore x = 0 or x = 16.

The both statements combined are not sufficient, since x can have two distinct values. The correct answer is E.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:48 am
Posts: 483
(2): (x + 4)/4 – 1 = y
x/4 + 4/4 – 1 = y
x/4 + 0 = y
y = x/4
y² = x²/16

(1) & (2): x = x²/16
16x = x²
16 = x

Therefore the correct answer is C.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:11 pm
Posts: 459
Quote:
16x = x²
16 = x
"16 = x" does NOT follow from 16x = x² .
You must never divide by a variable, unless you've proven that it can not be 0. Or you must consider the case of zero value as well.

The proper solution for 16x = x² is:
x² – 16x = 0
x(x – 16) = 0
So x = 0 or x = 16.
Thus the two situations are possible: x = 0 and y = 0 , x = 16 and y = 4 (Plug them in the original statements to see that they both fit).

The both statements combined are not sufficient, since there are two possible different values of x. The correct answer is E.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:48 am
Posts: 483
Substituting the values of x and y back in the equation 2 must satisfy it. But the values of y = 4 and x = ±2 does not satisfy equation 2... only x = 0 and y = 0 satisfies both the equations and hence numerical value of x can be found.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GMAT Algebra
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:11 pm
Posts: 459
Quote:
Substituting the values of x and y back in the equation 2 must satisfy it.
That is true.
Quote:
x = 0 and y = 0 satisfies both the equations
That is true.
Quote:
But the values of y = 4 and x = ±2 does not satisfy equation 2...
Apparently, you've misplaced the equation y² = x with x² = y.

The correct equation, y² = x, results in x = 16, when y = 4.

The pair x = 16, y = 4 perfectly fits the both equations.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL -
phpBB SEO
 
GMAT(TM) and GMAT CAT (TM) are registered trademarks of the Graduate Management Admission Council(TM). The Graduate Management Admission Council(TM) does not endorse, nor is affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site.