If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? : GMAT Problem Solving (PS)
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# If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x?

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If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2011, 02:17
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If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x?

A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Bunuel on 20 Sep 2012, 13:15, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2012, 02:25
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vaivish1723 wrote:
5^x – 5^(x- 3) = (124)(5^y), what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

Oa is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
c

Finding one variable in terms of another is very simple. Assume a value for one and find the other. Then look for the option that works.

Say, x = 3 (so that x-3 becomes 0 and we are left with simple calculations)

$$5^3 - 5^{3- 3} = (124)(5^y)$$
$$1 = 5^y$$
y = 0

Now put x = 3 in the options and find out which option gives you y = 0. Only C does so answer is (C)
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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Math Expert Joined: 02 Sep 2009 Posts: 36590 Followers: 7092 Kudos [?]: 93369 [4] , given: 10557 Re: ps [#permalink] ### Show Tags 11 Feb 2011, 04:13 4 This post received KUDOS Expert's post 7 This post was BOOKMARKED alltimeacheiver wrote: If 5x – 5x - 3 = (124)(5y), what is y in terms of x? A. x B. x - 6 C. x - 3 D. 2x + 3 E. 2x + 6 Answer: Question should read: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? A. x B. x - 6 C. x - 3 D. 2x + 3 E. 2x + 6 $$5^x-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$ --> factor out $$5^{x-3}$$: $$5^{x-3}(5^3-1)=124*5^y$$ --> $$5^{x-3}=5^y$$ --> bases are equal so we can equate the powers: $$y=x-3$$. Answer: C. alltimeacheiver format the questions correctly. _________________ SVP Status: The Best Or Nothing Joined: 27 Dec 2012 Posts: 1858 Location: India Concentration: General Management, Technology WE: Information Technology (Computer Software) Followers: 47 Kudos [?]: 1935 [4] , given: 193 If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 26 Feb 2014, 19:47 4 This post received KUDOS 1 This post was BOOKMARKED $$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = 124*5^y$$ Re-write as $$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = (125 - 1 ) * 5^y$$ $$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = 125* 5^y - 5^y$$ $$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = 5^{(y+3)} - 5^y$$ LHS = RHS, so equating the powers y = x+3 ; Answer = C _________________ Kindly press "+1 Kudos" to appreciate Senior Manager Joined: 08 Nov 2010 Posts: 417 WE 1: Business Development Followers: 7 Kudos [?]: 106 [3] , given: 161 Re: ps [#permalink] ### Show Tags 18 Feb 2011, 11:17 3 This post received KUDOS u can also plug in x=3. makes it very simple. _________________ Senior Manager Joined: 13 Aug 2012 Posts: 464 Concentration: Marketing, Finance GMAT 1: Q V0 GPA: 3.23 Followers: 25 Kudos [?]: 433 [2] , given: 11 If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Dec 2012, 18:52 2 This post received KUDOS 1 This post was BOOKMARKED $${5^{x}}\frac{124}{125}=124(5^y)$$ $$5^{x}=5^{y+3}$$ $$x=y+3-->y=x-3$$ Answer: C _________________ Impossible is nothing to God. Optimus Prep Instructor Joined: 06 Nov 2014 Posts: 1782 Followers: 51 Kudos [?]: 393 [1] , given: 21 Re: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Mar 2015, 07:10 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post 1 This post was BOOKMARKED alltimeacheiver wrote: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? A. x B. x - 6 C. x - 3 D. 2x + 3 E. 2x + 6 Given that 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y So, 5^(x-3+3) - 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y So, 5^(x-3) [5^3 - 1] = 124*5^y So, 5^(x-3)*124 = 124*5^y So, 5^(x-3) = 5^y So, x-3 = y Hence option (C). -- Optimus Prep's GMAT On Demand course for only$299 covers all verbal and quant. concepts in detail. Visit the following link to get your 7 days free trial account: http://www.optimus-prep.com/gmat-on-demand-course
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If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2015, 16:29
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ok this is how you solve this

you have 5^x -5^x-3 = (124) (5^y)
step 1: 5^x (1-5^-3) =(124) (5^y)
Step 2: 5^x(1 - 1/5^3) = (124) (5^y)
Step 3: 5^x(1- 1/125) = (124) (5^y)
Step 4: 5^x (125-1)/125 = (124) (5^y)
Step 5: 5^x (124/125) = (124) (5^y)
Step 6: 5^x =[(124) (5^y) (125) ]/124
Step 7: 5^x = (125) (5^y)
Step 8: 5^x = 5^3 (5^y)
Step 9: x = 3 +y --> y = x -3
for explaining purposes I broke it down in to 9 steps. It should not take you more than 5 steps to solve this in term of y.
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If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2016, 12:06
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secterp wrote:
I have a very hard time believing this is a sub 600 level question

The trick with GMAT quant is not the level of questions but the time constraint. For PS, you either adopt the traditional algebraic method that can sometimes very time consuming or you can use the options to your advantage as mentioned below.

Let x=3 as you have a power of 3 and I wanted non negative powers of 5. Let see if we get values of 3 or -3 or 0 or 9 or 12 (based on the 5 options given) for y when we do RHS = LHS from the given equation of 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y.

When x =0, the LHS becomes

5^x-5^(x-3)=5^3-5^0=125-1=124.

RHS = 124*5^y and for LHS=RHS , the only way this is possible is when y=0 , giving you y=x-3 as the correct answer. Thus, C is the correct answer.

Hope this helps.
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20 Sep 2012, 13:05
Bunuel wrote:
alltimeacheiver wrote:
If 5x – 5x - 3 = (124)(5y), what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

$$5^x-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$ --> factor out $$5^{x-3}$$: $$5^{x-3}(5^3-1)=124*5^y$$ --> $$5^{x-3}=5^y$$ --> bases are equal so we can equate the powers: $$y=x-3$$.

alltimeacheiver format the questions correctly.

Hi Bunuel,
I', trying to understand your factorization, but I find some troubles when I have to factorize some value with exponent an expression like in the question (x-3 or x+4),
Could you explain me that or do you have a deck where I could dive into this argument?
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20 Sep 2012, 13:14
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mario1987 wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
alltimeacheiver wrote:
If 5x – 5x - 3 = (124)(5y), what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

$$5^x-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$ --> factor out $$5^{x-3}$$: $$5^{x-3}(5^3-1)=124*5^y$$ --> $$5^{x-3}=5^y$$ --> bases are equal so we can equate the powers: $$y=x-3$$.

alltimeacheiver format the questions correctly.

Hi Bunuel,
I', trying to understand your factorization, but I find some troubles when I have to factorize some value with exponent an expression like in the question (x-3 or x+4),
Could you explain me that or do you have a deck where I could dive into this argument?

$$5^{x-3}(5^3-1)=124*5^y$$ --> $$5^{x-3+3}-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$ --> $$5^{x}-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$.

Theory: math-number-theory-88376.html

Practice:
tough-and-tricky-exponents-and-roots-questions-125956.html
tough-and-tricky-exponents-and-roots-questions-125967.html

Hope it helps.
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24 Sep 2013, 08:07
144144 wrote:
u can also plug in x=3. makes it very simple.

Hi,

Can you please tell why you chose only 3 to substitute x with ?
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Re: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2015, 22:00
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Re: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2015, 12:57
Rookie124 wrote:
ok this is how you solve this

you have 5^x -5^x-3 = (124) (5^y)
step 1: 5^x (1-5^-3) =(124) (5^y)
Step 2: 5^x(1 - 1/5^3) = (124) (5^y)
Step 3: 5^x(1- 1/125) = (124) (5^y)
Step 4: 5^x (125-1)/125 = (124) (5^y)
Step 5: 5^x (124/125) = (124) (5^y)
Step 6: 5^x =[(124) (5^y) (125) ]/124
Step 7: 5^x = (125) (5^y)
Step 8: 5^x = 5^3 (5^y)
Step 9: x = 3 +y --> y = x -3
for explaining purposes I broke it down in to 9 steps. It should not take you more than 5 steps to solve this in term of y.

Your answer may be right. But it is not good practice to do long steps in GMAT. Time is critical.
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Re: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2016, 11:55
I have a very hard time believing this is a sub 600 level question
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Re: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2016, 13:14
Bunuel wrote:
alltimeacheiver wrote:
If 5x – 5x - 3 = (124)(5y), what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

$$5^x-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$ --> factor out $$5^{x-3}$$: $$5^{x-3}(5^3-1)=124*5^y$$ --> $$5^{x-3}=5^y$$ --> bases are equal so we can equate the powers: $$y=x-3$$.

alltimeacheiver format the questions correctly.

Hi Bunuel

Would factoring it like this be correct?

$$5^x-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$
$$5^{x}(1-5^{-3})=124*5^y$$ --> x-3 = y
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Re: If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2016, 13:15
Bunuel wrote:
alltimeacheiver wrote:
If 5x – 5x - 3 = (124)(5y), what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x?
A. x
B. x - 6
C. x - 3
D. 2x + 3
E. 2x + 6

$$5^x-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$ --> factor out $$5^{x-3}$$: $$5^{x-3}(5^3-1)=124*5^y$$ --> $$5^{x-3}=5^y$$ --> bases are equal so we can equate the powers: $$y=x-3$$.

alltimeacheiver format the questions correctly.

Hi Bunuel

Would factoring it like this be correct?

$$5^x-5^{x-3}=124*5^y$$
$$5^{x}(1-5^{-3})=124*5^y$$ --> x-3 = y
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If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x? [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2016, 06:34
PareshGmat wrote:
$$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = 124*5^y$$

Re-write as

$$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = (125 - 1 ) * 5^y$$

$$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = 125* 5^y - 5^y$$

$$5^x – 5^{(x- 3)} = 5^{(y+3)} - 5^y$$

LHS = RHS, so equating the powers

y = x+3 ; Answer = C

If 5^x – 5^(x- 3) = 124*5^y, what is y in terms of x?   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2016, 06:34
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