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GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 59750
GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2013, 05:10
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GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value

We have gone through the GMAT Prep Tests and OG 13 and analyzed all of the questions to spot the most common patterns. This discussion is dedicated to the types of absolute value problems that could appear on the test.

The idea behind this project is to find as many common question patterns as possible for 3 reasons:
1. Get a higher score - make sure you know how to answer every pattern and you don't miss one of these in your practice
2. Save Time - you don't need to solve hundreds of questions; you just need to solve a few questions from each pattern and if you answered them correctly, you can move on
3. Peace of Mind - know that you have covered all known question patterns

Background
• Most GMAT absolute value problems are encountered in data sufficiency section.
• Both number plugging method and algebra are suitable to solve absolute value questions.
• Usually you get 2-3 questions on absolute values on the test (based on GMAT Prep CATs)

Typical questions:
NOTE:
• The questions below are from OG13 and GMAT Prep. There are 6 questions on absolute value in OG13.
• The question patterns are listed from most common to least common.

Pattern #1: Absolute Value and Inequalities.

OG13 Practice Questions, question 159
If x is an integer, is x|x|<2^x ?
(1) x < 0
(2) x = -10

Discussed HERE

Is |x-y|>|x|-|y| ?
(1) y < x
(2) xy < 0

Discussed HERE

Is x> 1?
(1) (x+1) (|x| - 1) > 0
(2) |x| < 5

Discussed HERE

Is |x| > |y|?
(1) x^2 > y^2
(2) x > y

Discussed HERE

If x≠0, is |x| < 1 ?
(1) x^2 < 1
(2) |x| < 1/x

Discussed HERE

Pattern #2: Absolute Value and Algebra.

OG13 Practice Questions, question 1
What is the value of |x| ?
(1) x = - |x|
(2) x^2 = 4

Discussed HERE

If $$x\neq{0}$$, then $$\frac{\sqrt{x^2}}{x}=$$
A. -1
B. 0
C. 1
D. x
E. $$\frac{|x|}{x}$$

Discussed HERE

If x<0, then $$\sqrt{-x|x|}$$ is:
A. -x
B. -1
C. 1
D. x
E. $$\sqrt{x}$$

Discussed HERE

Is $$\sqrt{(x-3)^2}=3-x$$?
(1) $$x\neq{3}$$
(2) $$-x|x| >0$$

Discussed HERE

Pattern #3: Must ot Could be true questions with Absolute Value.

OG13 Practice Questions, question 14
If $$|y-\frac{1}{2}| < \frac{11}{2}$$, which of the following could be a value of y?
(A) -11
(B) -11/2
(C) 11/2
(D) 11
(E) 22

Discussed HERE

If |x| > 3, which of the following must be true?

I. x > 3
II. X^2 > 9
III. |x-1|>2

A. I only
B. II only
C. I and II only
D. II and III only
E. I, II, and III

Discussed HERE

Pattern #4: Absolute Value and Distance.

OG13 Practice Questions, question 24

Of the five coordinates associated with points A, B, C, D, and E on the number line above, which has the greatest absolute value?
(A) A
(B) B
(C) C
(D) D
(E) E

Discussed HERE

OG13 Practice Questions, question 143

Which of the following inequalities is an algebraic expression for the shaded part of the number line above?
(A) |x| <= 3
(B) |x| <= 5
(C) |x - 2| <= 3
(D) |x - 1| <= 4
(E) |x +1| <= 4

Discussed HERE

If s and t are two different numbers on the number line, is s + t = 0 ?
(1) Distance between s and 0 is the same as distance between t and 0
(2) 0 is between s and t

Discussed HERE

Pattern #5: Min/Max and Absolute Value.

OG13 Practice Questions, question 51
If y is an integer, then the least possible value of |23 - 5y| is
(A) 1
(B) 2
(C) 3
(D) 4
(E) 5

Discussed HERE

Theory on absolute value is HERE.
All OG13 questions with solutions are HERE.
PS absolute value questions are HERE.
DS absolute value questions are HERE.
700+ absolute value questions HERE.

_________________
Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 59750
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2013, 02:24
2
mayabbi wrote:
Hi there,

can I just ask you - are there any other threads for GMAT Patterns beside Arithmetic, Absolute value and Reminders? I found them extremely helpful, but cannot find any other topic covered. Thank you for your answer

We are working on other patterns. Will publish in a while.
_________________
Director
Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 685
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2013, 06:35
Great Thread! Haven't noticed this one before...
Intern
Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 4
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2013, 06:53
Hi there,

can I just ask you - are there any other threads for GMAT Patterns beside Arithmetic, Absolute value and Reminders? I found them extremely helpful, but cannot find any other topic covered. Thank you for your answer
Intern
Joined: 12 Jun 2015
Posts: 37
Schools: Sloan '19
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2016, 23:50
Bunuel wrote:
mayabbi wrote:
Hi there,

can I just ask you - are there any other threads for GMAT Patterns beside Arithmetic, Absolute value and Reminders? I found them extremely helpful, but cannot find any other topic covered. Thank you for your answer

We are working on other patterns. Will publish in a while.

hey Bunuel ,

Many thanks for this wonderful post and can't thank enough for your "tips , approach and concepts" discussed in each question.
My sincere request , please add the link in your signature....may be under new section called "Concept and Practice" as you are currently having "Resources" and "Collection of Questions".

Are there any other threads for GMAT Patterns?

thanks and regards
Intern
Joined: 24 Sep 2016
Posts: 33
Location: United States (CT)
GPA: 3.81
WE: Analyst (Venture Capital)
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2017, 01:39
Dont worry the GMAT wont give easy ones like this..... or WOULD THEY
Intern
Joined: 26 Jan 2018
Posts: 6
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 11:20
Bunuel wrote:
mayabbi wrote:
Hi there,

can I just ask you - are there any other threads for GMAT Patterns beside Arithmetic, Absolute value and Reminders? I found them extremely helpful, but cannot find any other topic covered. Thank you for your answer

We are working on other patterns. Will publish in a while.

Hi Bunuel,

Where can I find all other patterns that have been identified by you or others (if any you are aware of)?

Thanks in advance for our help.

Regards.
Intern
Joined: 18 Jul 2018
Posts: 19
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2019, 22:08
Very helpful. Are there common "strategy patterns" or "solution patterns" to glean from these question patterns?
Re: GMAT Question Patterns: Absolute Value   [#permalink] 26 Aug 2019, 22:08
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