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A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations.

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A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations.  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 16 May 2017, 06:53
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A
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Difficulty:

  55% (hard)

Question Stats:

45% (01:27) correct 55% (01:16) wrong based on 44 sessions

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A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations. If she uses 4 different colors, and marks each file with 1, 2, or 3 of the colors, how many different color combinations can she generate?

(A) 4
(B) 12
(C) 14
(D) 15
(E) 24

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Originally posted by Kritesh on 16 May 2017, 06:48.
Last edited by Bunuel on 16 May 2017, 06:53, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations.  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 06:55
Kritesh wrote:
A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations. If she uses 4 different colors, and marks each file with 1, 2, or 3 of the colors, how many different color combinations can she generate?

(A) 4
(B) 12
(C) 14
(D) 15
(E) 24


If she marks by only one color then total possible combinations = 4C1 = 4

If she marks by only two colors then total possible combinations = 4C2 = 6

If she marks by only three colors then total possible combinations = 4C3 = 4

Total possible combinations = 4+6+4 = 14

Answer: Option C
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Re: A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations.  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 07:39
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Top Contributor
Kritesh wrote:
A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations. If she uses 4 different colors, and marks each file with 1, 2, or 3 of the colors, how many different color combinations can she generate?

(A) 4
(B) 12
(C) 14
(D) 15
(E) 24


What's the source of this question?
I ask because it doesn't specify whether the order of the colors matters.
For example, is the color combination RED-BLUE-YELLOW different from BLUE-YELLOW-RED?
Based on the official answer, it seems that the above combinations are the same, but how do we know this?

ASIDE: es, I know that some people will feel that the word "combination" in the question basically tells us that order does not matter. However, I'll argue that using the word "combination" does not necessarily imply that order does not matter....... unless we want to then conclude that it doesn't matter which order we enter the code numbers a combination lock :-D

Cheers,
Brent
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A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations.  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2019, 17:19
GMATPrepNow wrote:
What's the source of this question?
I ask because it doesn't specify whether the order of the colors matters.
For example, is the color combination RED-BLUE-YELLOW different from BLUE-YELLOW-RED?
Based on the official answer, it seems that the above combinations are the same, but how do we know this?

ASIDE: es, I know that some people will feel that the word "combination" in the question basically tells us that order does not matter. However, I'll argue that using the word "combination" does not necessarily imply that order does not matter....... unless we want to then conclude that it doesn't matter which order we enter the code numbers a combination lock :-D

Cheers,
Brent


Source is GMAT Hacks, going through it now (a lower quality, poor man's version of MGMAT, imo... although more concise in its explanations). Would an actual GMAT problem always state that colors are not ordered or something, rather just use the word combined or arranged?
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Re: A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations.  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 07:14
Top Contributor
energetics wrote:
GMATPrepNow wrote:
What's the source of this question?
I ask because it doesn't specify whether the order of the colors matters.
For example, is the color combination RED-BLUE-YELLOW different from BLUE-YELLOW-RED?
Based on the official answer, it seems that the above combinations are the same, but how do we know this?

ASIDE: es, I know that some people will feel that the word "combination" in the question basically tells us that order does not matter. However, I'll argue that using the word "combination" does not necessarily imply that order does not matter....... unless we want to then conclude that it doesn't matter which order we enter the code numbers a combination lock :-D

Cheers,
Brent


Source is GMAT Hacks, going through it now (a lower quality, poor man's version of MGMAT, imo... although more concise in its explanations). Would an actual GMAT problem always state that colors are not ordered or something, rather just use the word combined or arranged?


The test-makers don't have one particular way to let test-takers know whether order matters. Sometimes the context of the question let's you know. Other times, there is clear wording (and sometimes even an example) that indicates whether order matters.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the test-makers take every precaution to minimize/eliminate any ambiguity.

Cheers,
Brent
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Re: A secretary differentiates files by a variety of color combinations.   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2019, 07:14
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