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Prime Factorization

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Prime Factorization [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2011, 03:51
My question regarding Prime Factorization is that, how important is it. And what is the best possible way to find prime factors, and where is it required, ive been doing the MGMAT Book 1, Number properties and have found out about the prime factor box and the factorization column. The prime factor box is useful when ?
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Re: Prime Factorization [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2011, 05:00
Prime Factorization is very important for evaluating questions which involve divisibility, factors, multiples, squares, square roots etc.

You should spend some time and familiarize yourself with the process :)
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Re: Prime Factorization [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 15:54
As Entwistle has mentioned, prime factorization is very important. GMAT tests quite a bunch of Questions in the Ps as well as DS part. The MGMAT book uses this method to help find prime factors. As simple as that :-) . In addition, prime factors are usful to check for divisibilty, factors etc.

If you don't understand the Prime Factor box, you should try finding your own way to locate prime factors of a number!
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Re: Prime Factorization [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 18:43
Expert's post
scbguy wrote:
My question regarding Prime Factorization is that, how important is it. And what is the best possible way to find prime factors, and where is it required, ive been doing the MGMAT Book 1, Number properties and have found out about the prime factor box and the factorization column. The prime factor box is useful when ?


As to the best possible way, everyone has his/her own.. But let me share a quick one - Break down the number into smaller and smaller parts till you reach the prime factors e.g.
450 (the first number that came to mind) = 45*10 (always easy when numbers end in 0s) \(= 5*9 * 2*5 = 2*3^2*5^2\)

126 = 6*21 (it struck me first... you can do 2*63 if that strikes you first) =\(2*3 * 3*7 = 2*3^2*7\)

So just split the number into small parts... whatever comes to mind first... you will quickly reach the prime factors...
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Status: -=Given to Fly=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 835
Location: India
Concentration: Leadership, Strategy
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GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V37
GMAT 2: 710 Q48 V40
GMAT 3: 750 Q51 V40
GPA: 3.5
WE: Education (Education)
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Re: Prime Factorization [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 19:36
Instead of using the Prime box, I just write all the prime factors like this (because I think drawing a box takes too much time):

420 = /7x6x10/ = /7x3x2x5x2/ <<< Done!
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Re: Prime Factorization [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 21:26
Thank you All, many thanks. It is much easier that way.
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Re: Prime Factorization [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2011, 06:54
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
scbguy wrote:
My question regarding Prime Factorization is that, how important is it. And what is the best possible way to find prime factors, and where is it required, ive been doing the MGMAT Book 1, Number properties and have found out about the prime factor box and the factorization column. The prime factor box is useful when ?


As to the best possible way, everyone has his/her own.. But let me share a quick one - Break down the number into smaller and smaller parts till you reach the prime factors e.g.
450 (the first number that came to mind) = 45*10 (always easy when numbers end in 0s) \(= 5*9 * 2*5 = 2*3^2*5^2\)

126 = 6*21 (it struck me first... you can do 2*63 if that strikes you first) =\(2*3 * 3*7 = 2*3^2*7\)

So just split the number into small parts... whatever comes to mind first... you will quickly reach the prime factors...


Thank you karishma its really a great technique.
Re: Prime Factorization   [#permalink] 15 Mar 2011, 06:54
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