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# In the equation x^2+bx+c=0, b and c are constants, and x is

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Joined: 21 Mar 2013
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GMAT Date: 03-20-2014
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Kudos [?]: 127 [2] , given: 56

In the equation x^2+bx+c=0, b and c are constants, and x is [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2014, 21:26
2
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7
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Difficulty:

75% (hard)

Question Stats:

42% (02:07) correct 58% (00:53) wrong based on 152 sessions

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In the equation $$x^2+bx+c=0$$, b and c are constants, and x is a variable. If m and k are the roots of $$x^2+bx+c=0$$, then m−k=?

(1) c=−10
(2) b=3
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Re: In the equation x^2+bx+c=0, b and c are constants, and x is [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2014, 00:07
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Expert's post
idinuv wrote:
In the equation $$x^2+bx+c=0$$, b and c are constants, and x is a variable. If m and k are the roots of $$x^2+bx+c=0$$, then m−k=?

(1) c=−10
(2) b=3

Even when we combine the statements we get $$x^2+3x-10=0$$ --> $$(x+5)(x-2)=0$$ --> $$x=-5$$ or $$x=2$$ --> m and k are -5 and 2, but we don't know which one is which --> m-k is either -5-2=-7 or 2-(-5) = 7.

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Re: In the equation x^2+bx+c=0, b and c are constants, and x is [#permalink]

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31 Dec 2015, 19:32
tough one..solved it by plugging numbers:
1. suppose k=-2 and m=5. km=-10. now m-k = 5+2=7.
suppose k=5 and m=-2 -> km=-10. now m-k = -2-5=-7.

A is insufficient, and we can cross out A and D.

2. b=3.
m+k=3. now, this alone doesn't tell us much.
m=2 and k=1 and m-k=1 or m=1 and k=2, and thus m-k=-1.
statement 2 alone is not sufficient.

we are left with C and E.

1+2
mk=-10
m+k=3
m=-2 and k=5, mk=-10 and m+k=3 -> m-k = -2-5=-7.
or
m=5 and k=-2, mk=-10, and m+k=3. -> m-k=5+2=7.

2 outcomes, thus both statements are insufficient, and the answer is E.
Re: In the equation x^2+bx+c=0, b and c are constants, and x is   [#permalink] 31 Dec 2015, 19:32
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