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Senior Manager  Joined: 07 Feb 2008
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If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of $$\frac{1}{x}$$, $$2x$$, and $$x^2$$?

I. $$x^2 < 2x < \frac{1}{x}$$

II. $$x^2 < \frac{1}{x} < 2x$$

III. $$2x < x^2 < \frac{1}{x}$$

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

Originally posted by Vavali on 03 Oct 2008, 14:37.
Last edited by Bunuel on 18 Jun 2017, 02:09, edited 5 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering of 1/x, 2x and x^2 ?

I. $$x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}$$

II. $$x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x$$

III. $$2x<x^2<\frac{1}{x}$$

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

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)

Second condition: $$x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x$$

The question is which of the following COULD be the correct ordering not MUST be.

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

Hope it's clear.
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If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of $$\frac{1}{x}$$, $$2x$$, and $$x^2$$?

I. $$x^2 < 2x < \frac{1}{x}$$

II. $$x^2 < \frac{1}{x} < 2x$$

III. $$2x < x^2 < \frac{1}{x}$$

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

Algebraic approach is given in my solution. Here is number picking:

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.

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

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Copied from an other forum. Thought it might help someone. This is a great explanation...

--------------------------------------------------

Each one of these gives you two inequalities. You know that x is positive, so you don't need to worry about the sign changing direction.

(1) x^2<2x<1/x

This means that x^2<2x so divide by x to get x<2. The second one tells you that 2x<1/x which simplifies to x < 1/sqrt(2). These can obviously both be satisfied at the same time, so (1) works.

(2) x^2<1/x<2x

This means that x^2<1/x which gives x^3<1, or x<1. The second half gives you 1/x<2x or 1<2(x^2) or x>1/sqrt(2). So any number that satisfies 1/sqrt(2)<x<1 will work.

(3) 2x<x^2<1/x. The first part gives 2x<x^2 or x>2. The second half gives x^2<1/x or x^3<1 or x<1. Since the regions x>2 and x<1 do not overlap, (3) can not be satisfied.

The Answer choice is (4), 1 and 2 only.
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Manager  Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 89
Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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Vavali wrote:
If x is positive, which of the following could be 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
(e) I, II and III

could be correct ordering

So if we can find any example that satisfy the inequation, that statement will be correct

(I) x = 0.1 => 0.01 < 0.2 < 10
(II) x= 1/2 => 1/4 < 1/2 < 1

(III)
2x < x^2 <=> x ( 2 -x) < 0, x > 0 then x > 2

with x > 2 ==> x^2 < 1/x <=> x^3 < 1 <=> x < 1

So (III) can't happen

The answer is D
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Posts: 133
Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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Bunuel wrote:
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 $$0<x<1$$.

Great explanation Bunuel, but for curiosity purpose, as I understand $$2x^2-1$$ should be negative for this equation $$\frac{2x^2-1}{x}<0$$ to be true. However if I algebraically find the values for which $$2x^2-1$$ is negative, then on plugging those values in $$x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x$$ I do not find that the equation satisfies. Instead it is the value for which $$2x^2-1$$ is positive, that I find the end quation satifies .... why is that ?
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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devashish wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
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 $$0<x<1$$.

Great explanation Bunuel, but for curiosity purpose, as I understand $$2x^2-1$$ should be negative for this equation $$\frac{2x^2-1}{x}<0$$ to be true. However if I algebraically find the values for which $$2x^2-1$$ is negative, then on plugging those values in $$x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x$$ I do not find that the equation satisfies. Instead it is the value for which $$2x^2-1$$ is positive, that I find the end quation satifies .... why is that ?

You are mixing I and II. If you find the values of $$x$$ from the range $$0<x<1$$ for which $$2x^2-1$$ is negative then $$x^2<2x<\frac{1}{x}$$ will hold true (not $$x^2<\frac{1}{x}<2x$$).

Below is number plugging method:

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.

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If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering  [#permalink]

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If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering of 1/x,2x and x^2 ?

I. $$x^2 < 2x < \frac{1}{x}$$

II. $$x^2 < \frac{1}{x} < 2x$$

III. $$2x < x^2 < \frac{1}{x}$$

(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)

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.

Hope it's clear.
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering  [#permalink]

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Bunuel wrote:
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)

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.

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

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butterfly wrote:
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)
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering  [#permalink]

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vitamingmat wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
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)

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.

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.

Also: how is III correct for x=3?

Hope it helps.
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering  [#permalink]

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Bunuel wrote:
[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
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Posts: 58396
Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering  [#permalink]

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sameerdrana wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
[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.
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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Vavali wrote:
If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of $$\frac{1}{x}$$, $$2x$$, and $$x^2$$?

(I) $$x^2 < 2x < \frac{1}{x}$$
(II) $$x^2 < \frac{1}{x} < 2x$$
(III) $$2x < x^2 < \frac{1}{x}$$

(a) none
(b) I only
(c) III only
(d) I and II
(e) I, II and III

Let's look at this question logically. There will be some key takeaways here so don't focus on the question and the (long) solution. Focus on the logic.

First of all, we are just dealing with positives so life is simpler.
To compare two terms e.g. $$x^2$$ and $$2x$$, we should focus on the points where they are equal. $$x^2 = 2x$$ holds when $$x = 2$$.
When $$x < 2, x^2 < 2x$$
When $$x > 2, x^2 > 2x$$

Similarly $$1/x = x^2$$ when $$x = 1$$
When $$x < 1, 1/x > x^2$$.
When $$x > 1, 1/x < x^2$$

Going on, $$1/x = 2x$$ when $$x = 1/\sqrt{2}$$
When $$x < 1/\sqrt{2}, 1/x > 2x$$
When $$x > 1/\sqrt{2}, 1/x < 2x$$

So now you know that:
If $$x < 1/\sqrt{2}$$,
$$1/x > 2x, 1/x > x^2$$ and $$x^2 < 2x$$
So $$x^2 < 2x < 1/x$$ is possible.

If $$1/\sqrt{2} < x < 1$$
$$1/x < 2x, 1/x > x^2$$
So $$x^2 < 1/x < 2x$$ is possible.

If $$1 < x < 2$$
$$1/x < 2x, 1/x < x^2, x^2 < 2x$$
So $$1/x < x^2 < 2x$$ is possible.

If $$x > 2$$
$$1/x < 2x, 1/x < x^2, x^2 > 2x$$
So $$1/x < 2x < x^2$$ is possible.

For no positive values of x is the third relation possible.

*Edited
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If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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Hi Bunnel,

Could you please provide a reasoning to the below text... how did you find the range...Pls help

I am not sure how the OA is D
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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imhimanshu wrote:
Hi Bunnel,

Could you please provide a reasoning to the below text... how did you find the range...Pls help

The reasoning is that in these ranges x (2x), 1/x and x^2 are ordered differently:

For $$x>2$$ --> $$x^2$$ has the largest value. Since no option offers this we know that $$x$$ cannot be more that 2;
For $$1<x<2$$ --> $$2x$$ has the largest value, then comes $$x^2$$. Since no option offers this we know that $$x$$ cannot be from this range either;

So, we are left with last range: $$0<x<1$$. In this case $$x^2$$ has the least value. Options, I and II offer this, so we should concentrate on them and test the values of x from 0 to 1.

Hope it's clear.
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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7
Please, refer to the attached drawing, in which the three graphs $$y=1/x,$$ $$y=2x,$$ and $$y=x^2$$ are depicted for $$x>0$$.
The exact values for A, B, and C can be worked out, but they are not important to establish the order of the three algebraic expressions.

So, the correct orderings are:
If $$x$$ between 0 and A: $$x^2<2x<1/x$$
If $$x$$ between A and B: $$x^2<1/x<2x$$
If $$x$$ between B and C: $$1/x<x^2<2x$$
If $$x$$ greater than C: $$1/x<2x<x^2$$

We can see that only the first two of the above options are listed as answers (I and II).

Attachments 3Graphs.jpg [ 15.15 KiB | Viewed 61651 times ]

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GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40 Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be the correct ordering  [#permalink]

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Bunuel wrote:
Basically we should determine relationship between , and in three areas: 0------1------2-------.

Buneul,

Could you please explain as to how you came to pick these ranges ? The rest of it is perfectly fine.

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

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dataman wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
Basically we should determine relationship between , and in three areas: 0------1------2-------.

Buneul,

Could you please explain as to how you came to pick these ranges ? The rest of it is perfectly fine.

Thanks
d

For each range the ordering of 1/x, 2x and x^2 is different.

If $$0<x<1$$, the least value is x^2;

If $$1<x<2$$, the greatest value is 2x ($$\frac{1}{x}<x^2<2x$$) --> no option has such ordering;

If $$2<x$$, the greatest value is x^2 ($$\frac{1}{x}<2x<x^2$$) no option has such ordering.

So, we should consider $$0<x<1$$ range (where x^2 is the smallest) and find whether x^2<2x<1/x and x^2<1/x<2x could be true.
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Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of  [#permalink]

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Hello Bunuel,
Can you show us graphical approach to this question.
I was able to draw the graph for all three equations and intersection points, however, I was not able to negate the third ordering. Would you please help me out.

Thanks
imhimanshu
P.S - How can I post graphs here. Re: If x is positive, which of the following could be correct ordering of   [#permalink] 02 Oct 2013, 09:40

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