Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

It appears that you are browsing the GMAT Club forum unregistered!

Signing up is free, quick, and confidential.
Join other 500,000 members and get the full benefits of GMAT Club

Registration gives you:

Tests

Take 11 tests and quizzes from GMAT Club and leading GMAT prep companies such as Manhattan GMAT,
Knewton, and others. All are free for GMAT Club members.

Applicant Stats

View detailed applicant stats such as GPA, GMAT score, work experience, location, application
status, and more

Books/Downloads

Download thousands of study notes,
question collections, GMAT Club’s
Grammar and Math books.
All are free!

Thank you for using the timer!
We noticed you are actually not timing your practice. Click the START button first next time you use the timer.
There are many benefits to timing your practice, including:

If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering of 1/x,2x and x^2 ? I. x^2<2x<1/x II. x^2<1/x<2x III. 2x<x^2<1/x

(A) None (B) I only (C) III only (D) I and II only (E) I II and III

ALGEBRAIC APPROACH:

First note that we are asked "which of the following COULD be the correct ordering" not MUST be. Basically we should determine relationship between \(x\), \(\frac{1}{x}\) and \(x^2\) in three areas: 0------1------2-------.

\(x>2\)

\(1<x<2\)

\(0<x<1\)

When \(x>2\) --> \(x^2\) is the greatest and no option is offering this, so we know that x<2. If \(1<x<2\) --> \(2x\) is greatest then comes \(x^2\) and no option is offering this.

So, we are left with \(0<x<1\): In this case \(x^2\) is least value, so we are left with:

I. \(x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}\) --> can \(2x<\frac{1}{x}\)? Can \(\frac{2x^2-1}{x}<0\), the expression \(2x^2-1\) can be negative or positive for \(0<x<1\). (You can check it either algebraically or by picking numbers)

II. \(x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x\) --> can \(\frac{1}{x}<2x\)? The same here \(\frac{2x^2-1}{x}>0\), the expression \(2x^2-1\) can be negative or positive for \(0<x<1\). (You can check it either algebraically or by picking numbers)

Answer: D.

NUMBER PLUGGING APPROACH:

I. \(x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}\) --> \(x=\frac{1}{2}\) --> \(x^2=\frac{1}{4}\), \(2x=1\), \(\frac{1}{x}=2\) --> \(\frac{1}{4}<1<2\). Hence this COULD be the correct ordering.

II. \(x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x\) --> \(x=0.9\) --> \(x^2=0.81\), \(\frac{1}{x}=1.11\), \(2x=1.8\) --> \(0.81<1.11<1.8\). Hence this COULD be the correct ordering.

III. \(2x<x^2<\frac{1}{x}\) --> \(x^2\) to be more than \(2x\), \(x\) must be more than 2 (for positive \(x-es\)). But if \(x>2\), then \(\frac{1}{x}\) is the least value from these three and can not be more than \(2x\) and \(x^2\). So III can not be true.

Thus I and II could be correct ordering and III can not.

I guess sometimes picking the "easy" numbers is not the best strategy.

Thanks again!

When picking a number, the most important thing is that we should try all possible numbers that could give us different answers. Let me explain by telling you how I would put in numbers and check.

I see \(\frac{1}{x}\), 2x and \(x^2\). I know I have to try numbers from two ranges at least '0-1' and '>1' since numbers in these ranges behave differently. Also, \(x^2\) is greater than 2x if x > 2 e.g. 3x3 > 2x3 but if x < 2, then \(x^2\) is less than 2x e.g 1.5 x 1.5 < 2 x 1.5. So, I need to try a number in the range 1 to 2 as well. Also, 0 and 1 are special numbers, they give different results sometimes so I have to try those as well. Let's start:

0- Since x is positive, I don't need to try it.

1/2 - I get 2, 1 and 1/4. I get the order \(x^2\) < 2x < \(\frac{1}{x}\)

1 - I get 1, 2, 1 Now, what you need to notice here is that 2x > \(\frac{1}{x}\) whereas in our above result we got \(\frac{1}{x}\) > 2x. This means there must be some value between 0 and 1 where \(\frac{1}{x}\) = 2x. Anyway, that doesn't bother me but what I have to do now is take a number very close to 1 but still less than it. I take 15/16 (random choice). I get 16/15, 15/8 and \((\frac{15}{16})^2\). The first two numbers are greater than 1 and the last one is less than 1. I get the order \(x^2 < \frac{1}{x} < 2x\)

Now I need to try 3/2. I get 2/3, 3 and 9/4. So the order is \(\frac{1}{x} < 2x < x^2\)

I try 3 - I get 1/3, 6, 9 For these numbers, \(x^2\) will be greatest but none of the options have it as the greatest term.

Only I. and II. match hence answer is (D)
_________________

If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering of 1/x,2x and x^2 ? I. x^2<2x<1/x II. x^2<1/x<2x III. 2x<x^2<1/x

(A) None (B) I only (C) III only (D) I and II only (E) I II and III

ALGEBRAIC APPROACH:

First note that we are asked "which of the following COULD be the correct ordering" not MUST be. Basically we should determine relationship between \(x\), \(\frac{1}{x}\) and \(x^2\) in three areas: 0------1------2-------.

\(x>2\)

\(1<x<2\)

\(0<x<1\)

When \(x>2\) --> \(x^2\) is the greatest and no option is offering this, so we know that x<2. If \(1<x<2\) --> \(2x\) is greatest then comes \(x^2\) and no option is offering this.

So, we are left with \(0<x<1\): In this case \(x^2\) is least value, so we are left with:

I. \(x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}\) --> can \(2x<\frac{1}{x}\)? Can \(\frac{2x^2-1}{x}<0\), the expression \(2x^2-1\) can be negative or positive for \(0<x<1\). (You can check it either algebraically or by picking numbers)

II. \(x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x\) --> can \(\frac{1}{x}<2x\)? The same here \(\frac{2x^2-1}{x}>0\), the expression \(2x^2-1\) can be negative or positive for \(0<x<1\). (You can check it either algebraically or by picking numbers)

Answer: D.

NUMBER PLUGGING APPROACH:

I. \(x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}\) --> \(x=\frac{1}{2}\) --> \(x^2=\frac{1}{4}\), \(2x=1\), \(\frac{1}{x}=2\) --> \(\frac{1}{4}<1<2\). Hence this COULD be the correct ordering.

II. \(x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x\) --> \(x=0.9\) --> \(x^2=0.81\), \(\frac{1}{x}=1.11\), \(2x=1.8\) --> \(0.81<1.11<1.8\). Hence this COULD be the correct ordering.

III. \(2x<x^2<\frac{1}{x}\) --> \(x^2\) to be more than \(2x\), \(x\) must be more than 2 (for positive \(x-es\)). But if \(x>2\), then \(\frac{1}{x}\) is the least value from these three and can not be more than \(2x\) and \(x^2\). So III can not be true.

Thus I and II could be correct ordering and III can not.

Answer: D.

Hope it's clear.

Hi Bunuel,

I have doubt !!!

Lets submit the values in the equations...lets take x= 3

then

I. x^2<2x<1/x ===> 9<6<1/3 which is not true II. x^2<1/x<2x ===> 9<1/3<6 which is not true again III. 2x<x^2<1/x ===> 6< 9> 1/3 which is true....

so, i believe only III is the ans

First of all we are asked "which of the following COULD be the correct ordering" not MUST be.

"MUST BE TRUE" questions: These questions ask which of the following MUST be true, or which of the following is ALWAYS true no matter what set of numbers you choose. Generally for such kind of questions if you can prove that a statement is NOT true for one particular set of numbers, it will mean that this statement is not always true and hence not a correct answer.

As for "COULD BE TRUE" questions: The questions asking which of the following COULD be true are different: if you can prove that a statement is true for one particular set of numbers, it will mean that this statement could be true and hence is a correct answer.

Thanks Bunuel! I did exactly what you did, splitting the numbers. I then picked 1/2 and 1/16 and got the wrong answer. I guess sometimes picking the "easy" numbers is not the best strategy.

If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering of 1/x,2x and x^2 ? I. x^2<2x<1/x II. x^2<1/x<2x III. 2x<x^2<1/x

(A) None (B) I only (C) III only (D) I and II only (E) I II and III

ALGEBRAIC APPROACH:

First note that we are asked "which of the following COULD be the correct ordering" not MUST be. Basically we should determine relationship between \(x\), \(\frac{1}{x}\) and \(x^2\) in three areas: 0------1------2-------.

\(x>2\)

\(1<x<2\)

\(0<x<1\)

When \(x>2\) --> \(x^2\) is the greatest and no option is offering this, so we know that x<2. If \(1<x<2\) --> \(2x\) is greatest then comes \(x^2\) and no option is offering this.

So, we are left with \(0<x<1\): In this case \(x^2\) is least value, so we are left with:

I. \(x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}\) --> can \(2x<\frac{1}{x}\)? Can \(\frac{2x^2-1}{x}<0\), the expression \(2x^2-1\) can be negative or positive for \(0<x<1\). (You can check it either algebraically or by picking numbers)

II. \(x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x\) --> can \(\frac{1}{x}<2x\)? The same here \(\frac{2x^2-1}{x}>0\), the expression \(2x^2-1\) can be negative or positive for \(0<x<1\). (You can check it either algebraically or by picking numbers)

Answer: D.

NUMBER PLUGGING APPROACH:

I. \(x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}\) --> \(x=\frac{1}{2}\) --> \(x^2=\frac{1}{4}\), \(2x=1\), \(\frac{1}{x}=2\) --> \(\frac{1}{4}<1<2\). Hence this COULD be the correct ordering.

II. \(x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x\) --> \(x=0.9\) --> \(x^2=0.81\), \(\frac{1}{x}=1.11\), \(2x=1.8\) --> \(0.81<1.11<1.8\). Hence this COULD be the correct ordering.

III. \(2x<x^2<\frac{1}{x}\) --> \(x^2\) to be more than \(2x\), \(x\) must be more than 2 (for positive \(x-es\)). But if \(x>2\), then \(\frac{1}{x}\) is the least value from these three and can not be more than \(2x\) and \(x^2\). So III can not be true.

Thus I and II could be correct ordering and III can not.

Answer: D.

Hope it's clear.

Hi Bunuel,

I have doubt !!!

Lets submit the values in the equations...lets take x= 3

then

I. x^2<2x<1/x ===> 9<6<1/3 which is not true II. x^2<1/x<2x ===> 9<1/3<6 which is not true again III. 2x<x^2<1/x ===> 6< 9> 1/3 which is true....

[b] Basically we should determine relationship between \(x\), \(\frac{1}{x}\) and \(x^2\) in three areas: 0------1------2-------.

Bunuel I have reasonably implemented the key values approach in all my inequalities problems but I couldn't understand how 0, 1, 2 can be inferred to be the keys in this problem. Can you elaborate why you chose 0 1 2 ?

[b] Basically we should determine relationship between \(x\), \(\frac{1}{x}\) and \(x^2\) in three areas: 0------1------2-------.

Bunuel I have reasonably implemented the key values approach in all my inequalities problems but I couldn't understand how 0, 1, 2 can be inferred to be the keys in this problem. Can you elaborate why you chose 0 1 2 ?

Regards, Sameer

We should check which of the 3 statements COULD be the correct ordering.

Now, the same way as x and x^2 have different ordering in the ranges 0<x<1 and x>1, 2x and x^2 have different ordering in the ranges 1<x<2 (1/x<x^2<2x) and x>2 (1/x<2x<x^2). Next, you can see that no option is offering such ordering thus if there is correct ordering listed then it must be for the x-es from the range 0<x<1. So, if we want to proceed by number plugging we know from which range to pick numbers. Also as in this range x^2 is the least value we can quickly discard option III and concentrate on I and II.
_________________

Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the [#permalink]

Show Tags

04 Feb 2013, 00:35

this can take a long time

use both methods, picking the number and solving unequality

for the third we can solve unequality, remember one thing make it easy, x is positive so we can multiple 2 sides of un equality with x and do not change the mark of unequality

gmat is simple but is enough to kill us when we are nervous on the test.

Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the [#permalink]

Show Tags

04 Feb 2013, 09:13

Took 3 minutes. Did it by plugging in. Finding algebraic method a little laborious.
_________________

I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed--Michael Jordan Kudos drives a person to better himself every single time. So Pls give it generously Wont give up till i hit a 700+

Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the [#permalink]

Show Tags

16 Nov 2014, 02:08

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.
_________________

Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the [#permalink]

Show Tags

22 Nov 2015, 18:57

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.
_________________

Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the [#permalink]

Show Tags

14 Aug 2016, 08:36

if i take value 9/10 it satisfies 2nd ordering but if i take 2/3 it doesnt satisfies 2nd ordering. why?
_________________

Push yourself again and again. Don't give an inch until the final buzzer sounds. -Larry Bird Success isn't something that just happens - success is learned, success is practiced and then it is shared. -Sparky Anderson -S

if i take value 9/10 it satisfies 2nd ordering but if i take 2/3 it doesnt satisfies 2nd ordering. why?

The question says "...could be the correct ordering of..." So if even 1 positive value of x satisfies the ordering, it is included. Since 9/10 satisfies the second ordering, it is included in the ordering.

A transition point here is 1/sqrt(2). That is why values less than 1/sqrt(2) (such as 2/3) behave differently from values more than 1/sqrt(2) (such as 9/10).

Happy New Year everyone! Before I get started on this post, and well, restarted on this blog in general, I wanted to mention something. For the past several months...

It’s quickly approaching two years since I last wrote anything on this blog. A lot has happened since then. When I last posted, I had just gotten back from...

Happy 2017! Here is another update, 7 months later. With this pace I might add only one more post before the end of the GSB! However, I promised that...