Assumption about the third side? : GMAT Data Sufficiency (DS)
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# Assumption about the third side?

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16 Apr 2011, 09:56
If a data sufficiency question about triangles asks whether a triangle is isosceles and in one of its two provisions mentions that two sides are equal, should we assume that the third side is unequal to the first two? In other words, the question is framed as follows:

Is the triangle in the attached picture isosceles?

1. a = b
2. c <> b

My answer would be E because a = b does not preclude b = c and hence that the triangle is equilateral. Though I agree that all equilateral triangles are isosceles in a sense, I do not assume GMAT will accept that 'sense.

Regards
Rahul
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Rahul

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16 Apr 2011, 10:08
retro wrote:
If a data sufficiency question about triangles asks whether a triangle is isosceles and in one of its two provisions mentions that two sides are equal, should we assume that the third side is unequal to the first two? In other words, the question is framed as follows:

Is the triangle in the attached picture isosceles?

1. a = b
2. c <> b

My answer would be E because a = b does not preclude b = c and hence that the triangle is equilateral. Though I agree that all equilateral triangles are isosceles in a sense, I do not assume GMAT will accept that 'sense.

Even if you consider that b could be equal to c, 2nd statement specifies that it ain't. Using both statements, we can definitely conclude that the triangle is an isosceles. But, I believe the answer should be A. Please refute if others don't agree.

Regards
Rahul

retro:
Is this an official Data Sufficiency question?

If yes, "A" should be sufficient.

I believe an equilateral triangle is a special type of isosceles. I am not 100% sure though.

Also,
Square is special rectangle
Square is special rhombus.

There may be more such cases.

I get a feeling that this question is meant more for the main Math forum(Intellectual Discussion) than an official "Data Sufficiency" question.

What do you say?
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16 Apr 2011, 10:37
The question comes into this list because it is a DS question. The concept is mathematical.

I'd disagree with the answer being A because IT DOES NOT PRECLUDE the third side also being equal.

I agree with you that I should go with answer C. My initial post had a typo.
It is not from the OG. It is from Nova's guide.

Regards
Rahul
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Rahul

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16 Apr 2011, 10:41
retro wrote:
The question comes into this list because it is a DS question. The concept is mathematical.

I'd disagree with the answer being A because IT DOES NOT PRECLUDE the third side also being equal.

It is not from the OG. It is from Nova's guide.

Regards
Rahul

Let me move it to the Data Sufficiency sub-forum and wait for others to respond.

What's the "OA"?
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16 Apr 2011, 10:47
In contemporary mathematics, an equilateral triangle is normally considered to also be isosceles, in the same way that a square is considered to be a rectangle and a parallelogram. Euclid and other classical geometers, however, defined an isosceles triangle to be one with two equal sides and one unequal side. So there's no universal agreement about whether to consider an equilateral triangle to be isosceles. The GMAT simply can never test you on something that mathematicians cannot even agree about: many test takers could legitimately dispute the correct answer. This is the kind of technicality you'll never need to worry about, and you won't see a question like the one in the original post above on the real test.
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16 Apr 2011, 10:49
It should be A.

This link calls equi. as a special case of isosceles
http://library.thinkquest.org/20991/geo/ietri.html

Retro - why did you rule out C i.e both together are sufficient. Point 1 gives a relationship between two sides and point 2 provides information for the other two
A=B
B<>C
implies A<>C, so it is an isosceles tri.
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16 Apr 2011, 10:54
I am not ruling out C. In fact, that was my first choice but for a typo in my first post.

Rgds
Rahul
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16 Apr 2011, 11:19
Please take a look at this Real GMAT question from the past.
isosceles-triangle-96685.html

GMAT does consider a triangle with at least 2 equal sides as isosceles.
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