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# M02-21

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 47923

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25 Oct 2017, 00:10
Terabyte wrote:
What do you guys think about the variable approach from Math Revolution? I think that in some cases it is better to use this approach, but in most cases - not. And if you are aiming for, at least, Q50, variable approach should not be your friend

In short: not a fan of that approach at all.
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Joined: 31 Oct 2016
Posts: 109

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25 Oct 2017, 00:18
Bunuel wrote:
Terabyte wrote:
What do you guys think about the variable approach from Math Revolution? I think that in some cases it is better to use this approach, but in most cases - not. And if you are aiming for, at least, Q50, variable approach should not be your friend

In short: not a fan of that approach at all.

Agree with you. I attached one file that I prepared comparing answers from GMAT Official Guide and answers from Math Revolution courses. From first 23 only 52% has correct answers. So, for how long they will cheat GMAT-takers? Waste of money and time
>> !!!

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Intern
Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 39

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11 Feb 2018, 05:03
Hi Bunuel,

I got the correct answer but I'd like clarity on statement 2:

(x-1)^2 = 16
I square rooted both sides to get:
x-1 = 4...then eventually x=5

The crux of my question is this...I got x=4 because the question stated that x is a positive integer.

If the question did not state that x was a positive integer, I would've gone with two solutions: x-1=4 and x-1=-4...giving x=5 and x=(-3) respectively.

Would that have been the correct approach if the question did not specify that x was a positive integer? I'm slightly confused because I think I remember you saying that in gmat land...they only take the positive of a root...so whether or not the question specified x= a positive integer...I still would've had to have taken the positive root?
Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 47923

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11 Feb 2018, 07:44
1
ttaiwo wrote:
Hi Bunuel,

I got the correct answer but I'd like clarity on statement 2:

(x-1)^2 = 16
I square rooted both sides to get:
x-1 = 4...then eventually x=5

The crux of my question is this...I got x=4 because the question stated that x is a positive integer.

If the question did not state that x was a positive integer, I would've gone with two solutions: x-1=4 and x-1=-4...giving x=5 and x=(-3) respectively.

Would that have been the correct approach if the question did not specify that x was a positive integer? I'm slightly confused because I think I remember you saying that in gmat land...they only take the positive of a root...so whether or not the question specified x= a positive integer...I still would've had to have taken the positive root?

(x-1)^2 = 16

x - 1 = 4 or x - 1 = -4

x = 5 or x = -3

When the GMAT provides the square root sign for an even root, such as a square root, fourth root, etc. then the only accepted answer is the positive root. That is:

$$\sqrt{9} = 3$$, NOT +3 or -3;
$$\sqrt[4]{16} = 2$$, NOT +2 or -2;

Notice that in contrast, the equation $$x^2 = 9$$ has TWO solutions, +3 and -3. Because $$x^2 = 9$$ means that $$x =-\sqrt{9}=-3$$ or $$x=\sqrt{9}=3$$.
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Intern
Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 39

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11 Feb 2018, 09:38
Bunuel wrote:
ttaiwo wrote:
Hi Bunuel,

I got the correct answer but I'd like clarity on statement 2:

(x-1)^2 = 16
I square rooted both sides to get:
x-1 = 4...then eventually x=5

The crux of my question is this...I got x=4 because the question stated that x is a positive integer.

If the question did not state that x was a positive integer, I would've gone with two solutions: x-1=4 and x-1=-4...giving x=5 and x=(-3) respectively.

Would that have been the correct approach if the question did not specify that x was a positive integer? I'm slightly confused because I think I remember you saying that in gmat land...they only take the positive of a root...so whether or not the question specified x= a positive integer...I still would've had to have taken the positive root?

(x-1)^2 = 16

x - 1 = 4 or x - 1 = -4

x = 5 or x = -3

When the GMAT provides the square root sign for an even root, such as a square root, fourth root, etc. then the only accepted answer is the positive root. That is:

$$\sqrt{9} = 3$$, NOT +3 or -3;
$$\sqrt[4]{16} = 2$$, NOT +2 or -2;

Notice that in contrast, the equation $$x^2 = 9$$ has TWO solutions, +3 and -3. Because $$x^2 = 9$$ means that $$x =-\sqrt{9}=-3$$ or $$x=\sqrt{9}=3$$.

Thanks that's much clearer now.
Intern
Joined: 20 Mar 2018
Posts: 1

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31 Mar 2018, 07:56
I think this is a high-quality question and I agree with explanation.
Re M02-21 &nbs [#permalink] 31 Mar 2018, 07:56

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# M02-21

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