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Manager  Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 169
Location: Boston
If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b  [#permalink]

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Difficulty:   15% (low)

Question Stats: 81% (01:11) correct 19% (02:12) wrong based on 50 sessions

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If x is an integer, is $$9^x + 9^-^x = b$$?

(1) $$3^x + 3^-^x = \sqrt{b + 2}$$
(2) $$x > 0 = b$$

The OA is A. I couldn't piece together (1) (I understand it now with the book's explanation), but I had answered B for this one. Why is the answer not D? (2) should be sufficient, because it gives you b = 0, and $$9^x + 9^-^x$$ can't possibly be 0. So the answer would be NO and (2) should be sufficient.

PROPER VERSION OF THIS QUESTION IS HERE: https://gmatclub.com/forum/if-x-is-an-i ... 39874.html
Math Expert V
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 55271
Re: If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b  [#permalink]

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TehJay wrote:
If x is an integer, is $$9^x + 9^-^x = b$$?

(1) $$3^x + 3^-^x = \sqrt{b + 2}$$
(2) $$x > 0 = b$$

The OA is A. I couldn't piece together (1) (I understand it now with the book's explanation), but I had answered B for this one. Why is the answer not D? (2) should be sufficient, because it gives you b = 0, and $$9^x + 9^-^x$$ can't possibly be 0. So the answer would be NO and (2) should be sufficient.

Is $$9^x + 9^{-x} = b$$?

(1) $$3^x + 3^-^x = \sqrt{b + 2}$$ --> square both sides --> $$9^x+2*3^x*\frac{1}{3^x}+9^{-x}=b+2$$ --> $$9^x + 9^{-x} = b$$. So answer to the question is YES. Sufficient.

(2) $$x > 0 = b$$ --> question becomes: is $$9^x+9^{-x}=0$$? Answer to this question would be NO, as LHS is the sum of two positive values and thus can not equal to zero. So, sufficient.

There must be something wrong with this question. Technically answer would be D, as EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

But even though formal answer to the question is D (EACH statement ALONE is sufficient), this is not a realistic GMAT question, as: on the GMAT, two data sufficiency statements always provide TRUE information and these statements never contradict each other.

So we can not have answer YES from statement (1) and answer NO from statement (2), as in this case statements would contradict each other.

I guess there is a typo in statement (2) and it should just state $$x>0$$ instead of $$x>0=b$$ (I've never seen such a notation in official sources).

Hope it helps
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Re: If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b  [#permalink]

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I have seen this question before. Though I don't remember the exact statement (2) but I am sure there was no ambiguity and that the two statements led to the same answer

As bunuel said it was most likely x>0

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Re: If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b  [#permalink]

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TehJay wrote:
If x is an integer, is $$9^x + 9^-^x = b$$?

(1) $$3^x + 3^-^x = \sqrt{b + 2}$$
(2) $$x > 0 = b$$

In my copy of the OG, Statement 2 simply reads: "x > 0". There may have been a typo in one printing of the OG which has since been corrected; in any case, the second statement should not include the '= b' part.
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Re: If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b  [#permalink]

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If (2) just said x>0, then what can we answer about the question? What is b? How is the answer still D?

Bunuel wrote:
TehJay wrote:
If x is an integer, is $$9^x + 9^-^x = b$$?

(1) $$3^x + 3^-^x = \sqrt{b + 2}$$
(2) $$x > 0 = b$$

The OA is A. I couldn't piece together (1) (I understand it now with the book's explanation), but I had answered B for this one. Why is the answer not D? (2) should be sufficient, because it gives you b = 0, and $$9^x + 9^-^x$$ can't possibly be 0. So the answer would be NO and (2) should be sufficient.

Is $$9^x + 9^{-x} = b$$?

(1) $$3^x + 3^-^x = \sqrt{b + 2}$$ --> square both sides --> $$9^x+2*3^x*\frac{1}{3^x}+9^{-x}=b+2$$ --> $$9^x + 9^{-x} = b$$. So answer to the question is YES. Sufficient.

(2) $$x > 0 = b$$ --> question becomes: is $$9^x+9^{-x}=0$$? Answer to this question would be NO, as LHS is the sum of two positive values and thus can not equal to zero. So, sufficient.

There must be something wrong with this question. Technically answer would be D, as EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

But even though formal answer to the question is D (EACH statement ALONE is sufficient), this is not a realistic GMAT question, as: on the GMAT, two data sufficiency statements always provide TRUE information and these statements never contradict each other.

So we can not have answer YES from statement (1) and answer NO from statement (2), as in this case statements would contradict each other.

I guess there is a typo in statement (2) and it should just state $$x>0$$ instead of $$x>0=b$$ (I've never seen such a notation in official sources).

Hope it helps

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Math Expert V
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 55271
Re: If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b  [#permalink]

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mainhoon wrote:
If (2) just said x>0, then what can we answer about the question? What is b? How is the answer still D?

If (2) just says $$x>0$$ then answer is A, not D.
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Math Expert V
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 55271
Re: If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b  [#permalink]

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TehJay wrote:
If x is an integer, is $$9^x + 9^-^x = b$$?

(1) $$3^x + 3^-^x = \sqrt{b + 2}$$
(2) $$x > 0 = b$$

The OA is A. I couldn't piece together (1) (I understand it now with the book's explanation), but I had answered B for this one. Why is the answer not D? (2) should be sufficient, because it gives you b = 0, and $$9^x + 9^-^x$$ can't possibly be 0. So the answer would be NO and (2) should be sufficient.

PROPER VERSION OF THIS QUESTION IS HERE: https://gmatclub.com/forum/if-x-is-an-i ... 39874.html
_________________ Re: If x is an integer, is 9^x + 9^-^x = b ? (1) 3^x + 3^-^x = b   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2017, 05:21
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