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# For how many values of x, is |||x - 5| -10| -5| = 2?

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Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
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For how many values of x, is |||x - 5| -10| -5| = 2? [#permalink]  27 Oct 2010, 07:45
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

46% (02:59) correct 54% (01:41) wrong based on 523 sessions
Question of the Day:

For how many values of x, is |||x - 5| -10| -5| = 2?

(A) 0
(B) 2
(C) 4
(D) 8
(E) More than 8

(Those ls are mods)
(Earn kudos if you solve it in under 2 mins.)
Note: This question is beyond GMAT level. Nevertheless, it helps you understand mods and graphs and hence, is great for practice.)
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Last edited by Bunuel on 02 Feb 2014, 22:42, edited 2 times in total. Added the OA.  Kaplan Promo Code Knewton GMAT Discount Codes Veritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes Retired Moderator Joined: 02 Sep 2010 Posts: 805 Location: London Followers: 88 Kudos [?]: 660 [6] , given: 25 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 27 Oct 2010, 13:32 6 This post received KUDOS 2 This post was BOOKMARKED Easiest way is to graph it, which will immediately show exactly 8 solutions. Alternatively : |x-5|=0 .. Exactly 1 solution at x=5 ||x-5|-10|=0 .. Exactly 2 solutions at x=5-10=-5 & x=5+10=15 |||x-5|-10|-5|=0 .. Exactly 4 solutions at x=-5-5,-5+5,15-5,15+5 OR x=-10,0,10,20 At this point it is very easy to imagine what the graph looks like, it'll be 3 triangular humps touching the x-axis at the above points and going to +inf as x goes below -10 or above 20. All the lines are at 45 degrees, so the peaks will be at y=5 Now |||x-5|-10|-5|=2 is just equivalent to shifting the x-axis up by 2 units, or counting the number of intersections with the y=2 line. Given the peaks are at y=5, there will be the maximum possible number of intersections, which is 8 in the following regions : Below -10 Between -10 & -5 Between -5 and 0 Between 0 & 5 Between 5 & 10 Betweem 10 & 15 Between 15 & 20 Above 20 Answer is 8. As already mentioned, if you just graph it out, this should be straight forward to see _________________ Current Student Status: Nothing comes easy: neither do I want. Joined: 12 Oct 2009 Posts: 2798 Location: Malaysia Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship Schools: ISB '15 (M) GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V31 GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35 Followers: 202 Kudos [?]: 1247 [3] , given: 235 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 27 Oct 2010, 14:24 3 This post received KUDOS 1 This post was BOOKMARKED graphs are the best approach. $$|||x-5|-10|-5|= y$$ for y = 0 we have x = -10,0,10,20 also y>0 => the graph lies above x axis and the graph touches x axis 4 times. => y=2 will touch the graph 2*4 times = 8 times. ( we just have to check whether the peaks of y values are below y=2 or not. Eg if the question is $$|||x-5|-10|-5|= 6$$ then the answer will be 2) Hence 8 _________________ Fight for your dreams :For all those who fear from Verbal- lets give it a fight Money Saved is the Money Earned Jo Bole So Nihaal , Sat Shri Akaal Support GMAT Club by putting a GMAT Club badge on your blog/Facebook GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Gmat test review : 670-to-710-a-long-journey-without-destination-still-happy-141642.html Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 5967 Location: Pune, India Followers: 1527 Kudos [?]: 8421 [1] , given: 193 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 27 Oct 2010, 17:52 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post 1 This post was BOOKMARKED shrouded1 and gurpreet: Excellent work! There will be 8 values of x. shrouded1: I like your alternate solution as well. gurpreet: You are right! If it were 6 instead of 2, there would be only 2 solutions. I will provide the graphical solution in the morning. Meanwhile, if someone else wants to try too, but is unsure of the graphical approach, check out my yesterday's link where I have solved a similar question using graphs. See if you get the method on your own. http://gmatclub.com/forum/ps-triple-modul-1185.html#p807380 _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 5967
Location: Pune, India
Followers: 1527

Kudos [?]: 8421 [14] , given: 193

Re: Question of the Day [#permalink]  28 Oct 2010, 04:48
14
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Expert's post
2
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BOOKMARKED
Here goes the solution.

Once you are comfortable with graphs, it should not take more than 2-3 mins to figure out the answer.
Attachment:
Mod Ques.pdf [206.83 KiB]

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Karishma
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
My Blog

Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Manager Joined: 09 Sep 2009 Posts: 57 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 13 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 29 Oct 2010, 10:37 shrouded1 wrote: |x-5|=0 .. Exactly 1 solution at x=5 ||x-5|-10|=0 .. Exactly 2 solutions at x=5-10=-5 & x=5+10=15 |||x-5|-10|-5|=0 .. Exactly 4 solutions at x=-5-5,-5+5,15-5,15+5 OR x=-10,0,10,20 Will really appreciate if u can tell us how you got the number of solutions in each step mathematically (and not graphically)?? Cheers, R J Retired Moderator Joined: 02 Sep 2010 Posts: 805 Location: London Followers: 88 Kudos [?]: 660 [9] , given: 25 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 30 Oct 2010, 00:45 9 This post received KUDOS |x-5|=0 .. Exactly 1 solution at x=5 This is strt fwd, |Expression|=0 means Expression=0 ||x-5|-10|=0 .. Exactly 2 solutions at x=5-10=-5 & x=5+10=15 Now ||Expression|-10|=0, implies Expression must be either +10 or -10 Hence x-5=+10,-10 Hence x=15,-5 |||x-5|-10|-5|=0 .. Exactly 4 solutions at x=-5-5,-5+5,15-5,15+5 OR x=-10,0,10,20 Same concept as above x=15+5,15-5 & x=-5-5,-5+5 Hence x=-10,0,10,20 Finally to say |Expression|=2, means either expression is +2, or -2 Hence x=-10+2,-10-2,0+2,0-2,10+2,10-2,20+2,20-2 Thats how you get 8 solutions algebraicly w/o graphs _________________ VP Status: There is always something new !! Affiliations: PMI,QAI Global,eXampleCG Joined: 08 May 2009 Posts: 1356 Followers: 14 Kudos [?]: 179 [5] , given: 10 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 14 Jun 2011, 01:21 5 This post received KUDOS |x-5| = a |y-10|=b |b-5|= 2 thus b = 7 or 3. y = 17,3,13,7. x = 2 values for each of the values of y. Hence 8. _________________ Visit -- http://www.sustainable-sphere.com/ Promote Green Business,Sustainable Living and Green Earth !! Manager Joined: 19 Apr 2011 Posts: 111 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 3 [1] , given: 2 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 14 Jun 2011, 02:02 1 This post received KUDOS +1 Thanks for a good question Manager Status: Completed GMAT on 22 Nov 2011 Joined: 08 Nov 2010 Posts: 167 Followers: 8 Kudos [?]: 55 [0], given: 12 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 14 Jun 2011, 06:17 Hey, I got this one in 1:08 Intern Joined: 26 May 2012 Posts: 5 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 0 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 26 May 2012, 11:33 1 This post received KUDOS VeritasPrepKarishma wrote: Question of the Day: Q. For how many values of x, is lllx - 5l -10l -5l = 2? (A) 0 (B) 2 (C) 4 (D) 8 (E) More than 8 (Those ls are mods) (Earn kudos if you solve it in under 2 mins.) Note: This question is beyond GMAT level. Nevertheless, it helps you understand mods and graphs and hence, is great for practice.) I think its 8 |||x-5|-10|-5| =2 let |x-5| = a which makes above ||a-10|-5| =2 let |a-10| = b which makes |b-5| = 2 now for the above b can take 3, 7 for every b =3 a can have 13, 7 and for b = 7 a can have 17 and 3 so 'a' has four solutions 13, 7, 17 and 3 for a = 13; x has 18 or -8 thus has 2 for every combination hence 4x2 = 8 answer D Intern Joined: 26 Apr 2012 Posts: 8 Location: United States Concentration: Strategy, International Business GPA: 3.4 WE: Programming (Consulting) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 3 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 26 May 2012, 11:55 For equation mentioned by Gurpreet i.e. |||x-5|-10|-5| = 6 can you please explain, without graph, how you were able to get answer as 2. Following one of the post with mathematical values |||x-5|-10|-5| =6 let |x-5| = a which makes above ||a-10|-5| =6 let |a-10| = b which makes |b-5| = 6 now for the above b can take 1, 11 for every b =1 a can have 9, 11 and for b = 11 a can have 1 and 21 so 'a' has four solutions 1, 9, 11 and 21 Thus for a as 1 x can take 4,6 Thus for a as 9 x can take 4 , 14 Thus for a as 11 x can take 6 , 14 Thus for a as 21 x can take 16 , 24 Total - 5 different values. _________________ First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Senior Manager Joined: 28 Dec 2010 Posts: 335 Location: India Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 100 [0], given: 33 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 27 May 2012, 09:56 hey really super question! especially like the substitution approaches discussed in this thread. Also this question exposed me to a totally different question type. Senior Manager Joined: 28 Dec 2010 Posts: 335 Location: India Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 100 [0], given: 33 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 27 May 2012, 10:00 just studied the graphical method, its a perfect compliment to the numberline methods to solve absolute value equations i think! Senior Manager Joined: 28 Dec 2010 Posts: 335 Location: India Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 100 [0], given: 33 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 27 May 2012, 10:09 @ Karishma in problems such as |x-2| >4 we plot the equation on the number line (at x= +2, mark units to the left and to the right) and we get the ans. When do you recommend we opt for this graphical method that you suggest? Could you give us a thumb rule so to say? Manager Joined: 12 May 2012 Posts: 83 Location: India Concentration: General Management, Operations GMAT 1: 650 Q51 V25 GMAT 2: 730 Q50 V38 GPA: 4 WE: General Management (Transportation) Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 57 [0], given: 14 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 31 May 2012, 06:08 I got this in less than 2 min, without graphs. nice question. Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 5967 Location: Pune, India Followers: 1527 Kudos [?]: 8421 [0], given: 193 Re: Question of the Day [#permalink] 05 Jun 2012, 04:35 Expert's post vibhav wrote: @ Karishma in problems such as |x-2| >4 we plot the equation on the number line (at x= +2, mark units to the left and to the right) and we get the ans. When do you recommend we opt for this graphical method that you suggest? Could you give us a thumb rule so to say? Number line approach, which you can use in some situations, is just a short cut to the graphical approach. Think of the number line as the x axis and that there is the y axis at x = 0. You can solve |x-2| >4 using the graphical approach too but to solve |||x-5|-10|-5| =2, you need to use the complete graphical approach. You can use the number line only in cases where simple mod terms are added/subtracted (though subtraction is more complicated). _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Re: Question of the Day [#permalink]  06 Jun 2012, 18:04
Hi Karishma,
I can solve such questions using Algebraic approach, however, I am keen to understand the graphical approach as well. I have also studied your response in the attached pdf, but I am not too sure whether I have understood the whole process of graphs or not. Could you please point me to your forum posts, where you have detailed the graphical reasoning, or any good resource of understanding graphs.
The expected graphical solution is too complex for me to draw.

Thanks
H

VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
vibhav wrote:
@ Karishma in problems such as |x-2| >4 we plot the equation on the number line (at x= +2, mark units to the left and to the right) and we get the ans. When do you recommend we opt for this graphical method that you suggest? Could you give us a thumb rule so to say?

Number line approach, which you can use in some situations, is just a short cut to the graphical approach. Think of the number line as the x axis and that there is the y axis at x = 0. You can solve |x-2| >4 using the graphical approach too but to solve |||x-5|-10|-5| =2, you need to use the complete graphical approach.
You can use the number line only in cases where simple mod terms are added/subtracted (though subtraction is more complicated).

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Re: Question of the Day [#permalink]  02 Jul 2012, 09:36
1
KUDOS
Not using graphs:
Take |x-5| as "A" , |A-10| as "B"
then |B-5| = 2 would have 2 answers 7 and 3 for B
Now, take |A-10|=7, would give two solutions for A and |A-10|=3 would give 2 solutions for A
For each of these 4 solutions equate for |x-5| which would give 2 solutions for each equation and hence a total of 4*2 = 8 solution for x
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 5967
Location: Pune, India
Followers: 1527

Kudos [?]: 8421 [0], given: 193

Re: Question of the Day [#permalink]  03 Jul 2012, 23:10
Expert's post
imhimanshu wrote:
Could you please point me to your forum posts, where you have detailed the graphical reasoning, or any good resource of understanding graphs.

Check this out: http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2011/01 ... h-to-mods/
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Re: Question of the Day   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2012, 23:10

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