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# For any numbers a and b, a ┬╖ b = a + b -ab If a

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Director
Joined: 28 Oct 2003
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For any numbers a and b, a ┬╖ b = a + b -ab If a [#permalink]  25 Jan 2004, 18:08
For any numbers a and b, a ┬╖ b = a + b -ab

If a ┬╖ b = 0, which of the following CANNOT be a value of b?

a 2
b 1
c 0
d -1
e -(3/2)

I post this to see if anyone has the same issues with this problem that I have.

I did the final unseen practice test tonight, and this problem torpedoed the whole damn thing. And if I have a problem with this deficiency on the test, I'll go seriously nuts. But maybe I'm overreacting. You tell me.
Manager
Joined: 26 Dec 2003
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Stoolfi is it (b) 1?
Manager
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Becasue.. [#permalink]  25 Jan 2004, 19:02
a+b-ab = 0

=> a = b/(b-1)

b cannot be equal to 1

Verify by b =1 in a+b-ab = 0
Director
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Either of you think that this problem might be misleading?
Manager
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I think it is, and was extra carefull while doing the problem. Anyways ALL THE BEST Stoolfi.
Manager
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DS clarity.. [#permalink]  25 Jan 2004, 21:32
DS does give scope to creep in misleading stuff . For ex, the other day I saw a problem which asked for 999 th term of a sequence S with the following conditions

a) The first four terms of sequence S are (1+1)^2, (2+1)^2, (3+1)^2, (4+1)^2
b) The nth term of the sequence is given by (n+1)^2

I was wrong in chosing D.
Director
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Please take one more loook at the problem and tell me if you think it is misleading.
Manager
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Manager
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IT IS NOT MISLEADING AND CAN SOLVED .....
Let us do the basics....
A + B = AB

A. Substitue B by 2.
A + 2 = 2A ( it is possible for a = 2 so 2 can be a value of B.....option a rejected)

B. Substitue B by 1.
A + 1 = A ( Not possible so b = 1 is impossible,but wait lets check other choices)

C. Substitue B by 0.
A + 0 = 0 ( possible for a = 0,so B can be 0...rejected)

D. Substitue B by -1.
A - 1 = -A ( possible for A= 1/2 so B can be -1,rejected)

E. Substitue B by -3/2
A - 3/2 = -3/2A (possible for A=3/5, so B can be -3/2)

The only possible value which B can not have is 1.
Please let me know if you have some queries.
Director
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The reason that I claimed that this problem was misleading is that, ever since I took Algebra in 8th grade, I understood that the dot " ┬╖ " means multiply.

Are Mr. Young and the rest of the Lexington public school faculty the only people that teach that dot means multiply?

There are dozens of symbols that ETS could have used that don't have a specific, widely held connotation.
Manager
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U see this is different:) [#permalink]  31 Jan 2004, 11:38
Stoolfi,

The Dot in 8th grade algebra is a circle. ETS dot is a Square and therefore UNIQUE.

Please take a closer look. I compared them using a magnifying lens:)
Director
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Manager
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Joking around.. [#permalink]  31 Jan 2004, 12:11
I was poking fun at ETS and their own notations..
Joking around..   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2004, 12:11
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