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A certain list has an average of 6 and a standard deviation [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2010, 12:33

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31% (01:08) wrong based on 320 sessions

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A certain list has an average of 6 and a standard deviation of d (d is positive). Which of the following pairs of data when added to the list, must result in a list of 102 data with standard deviation less than d?

A certain list has an average of 6 and a standard deviation of d (d is positive). Which of the following pairs of data when added to the list, must result in a list of 102 data with standard deviation less than d?

a. (-6;0) b. (0;0) c. (0;6) d. (0;12) e. (6;6)

OA Later

"Standard deviation shows how much variation there is from the mean. A low standard deviation indicates that the data points tend to be very close to the mean, whereas high standard deviation indicates that the data are spread out over a large range of values."

So when we add numbers, which are far from the mean we are stretching the set making SD bigger and when we add numbers which are close to the mean we are shrinking the set making SD smaller.

According to the above adding two numbers which are closest to the mean will shrink the set most, thus decreasing SD by the greatest amount.

Closest to the mean are 6 and 6 (actually these numbers equal to the mean) thus adding them will definitely shrink the set, thus decreasing SD.

Thank you Bunuel, I just add 1 following remark. E is only correct if we take into account that d is positive. In case of d=0, the SD remains the same.
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A certain list of 100 data has an average of 6 and standard deviation of d where d is positive. Which of the following pairs of data, when added to the list must result in a list of 102 data with the standard deviation less than d? (A) 0 and 6 (B) 0 and 12 (C) 0 and 0 (D) -6 and 0 (E) 6 and 6

A certain list of 100 data has an average of 6 and standard deviation of d where d is positive. Which of the following pairs of data, when added to the list must result in a list of 102 data with the standard deviation less than d? (A) 0 and 6 (B) 0 and 12 (C) 0 and 0 (D) -6 and 0 (E) 6 and 6

Option E offers two numbers equal to the mean while other options (including C) offer number(s) different from the mean. Adding two numbers which are closest to the mean (option E in our case ) will shrink the set most, thus decreasing SD by the greatest amount.

Re: A certain list has an average of 6 and a standard deviation [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2012, 09:49

+1 E

This is a conceptual question. If you add more data to the average, more data will be closer to the average. Hence, the standard deviation is lower.
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Tricky question! Is there an alternative solution?

This is a conceptual question. There is no so-called process that you can follow. You need to understand how SD is related to the average and the number of terms (through the SD formula). Once you do, you solve it by just looking at the options. Check out the links given above.
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Re: A certain list has an average of 6 and a standard deviation [#permalink]

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24 Dec 2014, 12:10

Hello from the GMAT Club BumpBot!

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Re: A certain list has an average of 6 and a standard deviation [#permalink]

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17 May 2015, 16:51

Could someone explain what the question means by "must result in a list of 102 data" - that threw me off and I ended up completely ignoring that piece of information and was still able to get the question right but found it to be confusing.

Could someone explain what the question means by "must result in a list of 102 data" - that threw me off and I ended up completely ignoring that piece of information and was still able to get the question right but found it to be confusing.

It just means that with the addition of the two numbers, there will be 102 numbers in the list. So originally the list had 100 data points. In fact, the same question given here clarifies this: a-certain-list-has-an-average-of-6-and-a-standard-deviation-97473.html#p769038 Since the question is conceptual, it doesn't matter much what the exact number of numbers are. It is just given to clarify that only 2 numbers were added and all others were retained.
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Re: A certain list has an average of 6 and a standard deviation [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2016, 02:01

Hello from the GMAT Club BumpBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
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