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The next set of medium/hard PS algebra questions. I'll post OA's with detailed explanations after some discussion. Please, post your solutions along with the answers.

1. If \(x=\sqrt[4]{x^3+6x^2}\), then the sum of all possible solutions for x is:

8. If m is a negative integer and m^3 + 380 = 381m , then what is the value of m?

A. -21 B. -20 C. -19 D. -1 E. None of the above

on re-arranging we get m^3 -381m = -380 => m(m^2 - 381)= 380 On checking the options and hit and trial, we get the values of m to be 1 and -20. But since m is negative so m = -20

1. If x=\sqrt[4]{x^3+6x^2}, then the sum of all possible solutions for x is:

A. -2 B. 0 C. 1 D. 3 E. 5

Solution: new-algebra-set-149349-60.html#p1200948

x^4=x^3 + 6x^2 x^4 - x^3 - 6x^2 = 0 ------------> x^2 (x^2 - x - 6) = 0 -----------> x^2 (x-3)(x+2) = 0 x=0 or 3 or -2. With x = -2 original equation does not hold true so possible values for X are 3 and 0 Hence their sum is 3 Choice D.

2. The equation x^2 + ax - b = 0 has equal roots, and one of the roots of the equation x^2 + ax + 15 = 0 is 3. What is the value of b?

A. -64 B. -16 C. -15 D. -1/16 E. -1/64

Solution: new-algebra-set-149349-60.html#p1200950

x^2 + ax - b = 0 that means a^2 - 4(-b) = 0 ------> a^2 + 4b = 0 -------------Equation I x^2 + ax + 15 has 3 as a root, so 9 + 3a + 15 = 0 -------> 3a + 24 = 0 --------> a = -8 We will put the value of a in equation I -----------> a^2 + 4b = 0 --------> 64 + 4b = 0 ------> b = -16 ----> Choice B is the answer.
_________________

5. If x^2 + 2x -15 = -m, where x is an integer from -10 and 10, inclusive, what is the probability that m is greater than zero?

A. 2/7 B. 1/3 C. 7/20 D. 2/5 E. 3/7

Solution: new-algebra-set-149349-60.html#p1200970

there are 21 possible values of x so does m has 21 possible values from x = -4 to x = 2, m gives negative value; Total 7 values so the probability m being negative is 7/21----> 1/3 ----> choice B

6. If mn does not equal to zero, and m^2n^2 + mn = 12, then m could be:

I. -4/n II. 2/n III. 3/n

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

Solution: new-algebra-set-149349-60.html#p1200973

m^2n^2 + mn = 12 ------> mn(mn+1) = 12 ----------> here mn and mn+1 are consecutive integers. So 12 is basically a product of 2 consecutive intergers those integers must be 3 and 4 or -3 and -4 so possible values for mn are mn = 3 and mn+1 = 4 --------> m = (3/n) mn = -4 and mn + 1 =-3 -------> m =-(4/n) Choice E
_________________

7. If x^4 = 29x^2 - 100, then which of the following is NOT a product of three possible values of x?

I. -50 II. 25 III. 50

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

Solution: new-algebra-set-149349-60.html#p1200975

x^4 - 29x^2 + 100 = 0 --------> let X^2 be y -------> y^2 - 29y + 100 = 0 ------> y^2 - 25y - 4y + 100 = 0 --------> (y-25)(y-4)=0 y=25 -----> x^2 = 25 -----> x= 5 or -5 y=4-------> x^2 = 4 ------> x = 2 or -2

Possible values of x are 5, -5, 2, and -2 Out of options 25 can never be a product of any 3 values of x, so Choice B is the answer

8. If m is a negative integer and m^3 + 380 = 381m , then what is the value of m?

A. -21 B. -20 C. -19 D. -1 E. None of the above

Solution: new-algebra-set-149349-60.html#p1200980

This was a bit complex one m^3 - 381m = - 380 ------> m(m^2 - 381) = - 380 Since -380 is the product of m(m^2 - 381), any one of either m or (m^2 - 381) must be negative. Since we are given that m is a negative integer, then m^2 - 381 must be positive So m^2 - 381 > 0 -------> m^2 > 381 ---------> |m| > 19.5 ----approx. so m > 19.5-------if m is positive and m < 19.5 ------ if m is negative We know that m is negative so m must equal to -20 : choice B
_________________

1. If \(x=\sqrt[4]{x^3+6x^2}\), then the sum of all possible solutions for x is:

A. -2 B. 0 C. 1 D. 3 E. 5

Take the given expression to the 4th power: \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\);

Re-arrange and factor out x^2: \(x^2(x^2-x-6)=0\);

Factorize: \(x^2(x-3)(x+2)=0\);

So, the roots are \(x=0\), \(x=3\) and \(x=-2\). But \(x\) cannot be negative as it equals to the even (4th) root of some expression (\(\sqrt{expression}\geq{0}\)), thus only two solution are valid \(x=0\) and \(x=3\).

The sum of all possible solutions for x is 0+3=3.

Answer: D.

Hi Bunuel,

Could you please explain why -2 is not a solution? Is it because x is a non-negative number? Because if I plug in the value of -2 to the equation \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\) I get \(-2=\sqrt[4]{16}\) which can be true isn't it, as \(\sqrt[4]{16}=|2|\)

Also could you explain why even root of an expression cannot be negative when we have an expression which is a square, because we know that \(\sqrt{{x^2}}=|x|\)?

1. If \(x=\sqrt[4]{x^3+6x^2}\), then the sum of all possible solutions for x is:

A. -2 B. 0 C. 1 D. 3 E. 5

Take the given expression to the 4th power: \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\);

Re-arrange and factor out x^2: \(x^2(x^2-x-6)=0\);

Factorize: \(x^2(x-3)(x+2)=0\);

So, the roots are \(x=0\), \(x=3\) and \(x=-2\). But \(x\) cannot be negative as it equals to the even (4th) root of some expression (\(\sqrt{expression}\geq{0}\)), thus only two solution are valid \(x=0\) and \(x=3\).

The sum of all possible solutions for x is 0+3=3.

Answer: D.

Hi Bunuel,

Could you please explain why -2 is not a solution? Is it because x is a non-negative number? Because if I plug in the value of -2 to the equation \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\) I get \(-2=\sqrt[4]{16}\) which can be true isn't it, as \(\sqrt[4]{16}=|2|\)

Also could you explain why even root of an expression cannot be negative when we have an expression which is a square, because we know that \(\sqrt{{x^2}}=|x|\)?

Thank you

Note the Important Difference.

On the GMAT if X^2 = 4 then x = +/- 2 or |x| = 2 However if x= sq.root(4) then x has to be positive i.e. 2 and it can not take negative value. when we plug -2 as the value of x in the equation we would get -2 = 4th root of 16 -----> -2 = 2 This is because fourth root of 16 is 2 and not -2

The rule is even root of a number can not be negative on the GMAT

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I thought that m is raised to the power 2n and the whole bracket raised to the power 2 ...that is what made me confused . Thanks a million , Bunuel
_________________

1. If \(x=\sqrt[4]{x^3+6x^2}\), then the sum of all possible solutions for x is:

A. -2 B. 0 C. 1 D. 3 E. 5

Take the given expression to the 4th power: \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\);

Re-arrange and factor out x^2: \(x^2(x^2-x-6)=0\);

Factorize: \(x^2(x-3)(x+2)=0\);

So, the roots are \(x=0\), \(x=3\) and \(x=-2\). But \(x\) cannot be negative as it equals to the even (4th) root of some expression (\(\sqrt{expression}\geq{0}\)), thus only two solution are valid \(x=0\) and \(x=3\).

The sum of all possible solutions for x is 0+3=3.

Answer: D.

Hi Bunuel,

Could you please explain why -2 is not a solution? Is it because x is a non-negative number? Because if I plug in the value of -2 to the equation \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\) I get \(-2=\sqrt[4]{16}\) which can be true isn't it, as \(\sqrt[4]{16}=|2|\)

Also could you explain why even root of an expression cannot be negative when we have an expression which is a square, because we know that \(\sqrt{{x^2}}=|x|\)?

Thank you

Note the Important Difference.

On the GMAT if X^2 = 4 then x = +/- 2 or |x| = 2 However if x= sq.root(4) then x has to be positive i.e. 2 and it can not take negative value. when we plug -2 as the value of x in the equation we would get -2 = 4th root of 16 -----> -2 = 2 This is because fourth root of 16 is 2 and not -2

The rule is even root of a number can not be negative on the GMAT

Regards,

Abhijit.

Hey Abhijit,

This is a very interesting point that you have made here. This statement that -2 is the fourth root of 16 is admissible under normal circumstances but is not in a GMAT question. Can you mention a source which would list out such peculiar rules for GMAT quants?

Thanks in advance

Anshuman
_________________

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.

For this you need to go thru some strategy books of GMAT Quant. In My Opinion, two important sources are, 1) Manhattan GMAT Quant strategy guides 4th or 5th Ed 2) GMAT Club Math Book - This is free and you can download it from this website free of cost (Check BB's profile) Furthermore you can check my signature. There i have attached my articles prepared on some peculiar topics. You may find them useful.

[ Take the given expression to the 4th power: \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\);

Re-arrange and factor out x^2: \(x^2(x^2-x-6)=0\);

Factorize: \(x^2(x-3)(x+2)=0\);

So, the roots are \(x=0\), \(x=3\) and \(x=-2\). But \(x\) cannot be negative as it equals to the even (4th) root of some expression (\(\sqrt{expression}\geq{0}\)), thus only two solution are valid \(x=0\) and \(x=3\).

The sum of all possible solutions for x is 0+3=3.

Answer: D.

Hi Bunuel, Request you to please let me know where I'm making a mistake.

Since \(x^3+6*x^2 >= 0\) Then, \(x^2(x+6)>=0\)

i.e \((x-0)^2(x-(-6))>=0\) This implies that\(x>=-6\) Hence, x=-2 is a valid root, and sum of all roots should be\(x=3+(-2) = 1\) Please let me know where I am going wrong.

[ Take the given expression to the 4th power: \(x^4=x^3+6x^2\);

Re-arrange and factor out x^2: \(x^2(x^2-x-6)=0\);

Factorize: \(x^2(x-3)(x+2)=0\);

So, the roots are \(x=0\), \(x=3\) and \(x=-2\). But \(x\) cannot be negative as it equals to the even (4th) root of some expression (\(\sqrt{expression}\geq{0}\)), thus only two solution are valid \(x=0\) and \(x=3\).

The sum of all possible solutions for x is 0+3=3.

Answer: D.

Hi Bunuel, Request you to please let me know where I'm making a mistake.

Since \(x^3+6*x^2 >= 0\) Then, \(x^2(x+6)>=0\)

i.e \((x-0)^2(x-(-6))>=0\) This implies that\(x>=-6\) Hence, x=-2 is a valid root, and sum of all roots should be\(x=3+(-2) = 1\) Please let me know where I am going wrong.

Thanks

Plug x=-2 into \(x=\sqrt[4]{x^3+6x^2}\). Does the equation hold true?
_________________

2. The equation x^2 + ax - b = 0 has equal roots, and one of the roots of the equation x^2 + ax + 15 = 0 is 3. What is the value of b?

A. -64 B. -16 C. -15 D. -1/16 E. -1/64

Solution:

x^2 + ax + 15 = 0 equation has one root as 3. only possible values of getting product of the roots 15 , having one root 3 is 5*3. x^2-5x-3x+15=0 take common values out => x(x-5)-3(x-5) =0 => x=5 and x=3(what was given) , from this we get a= -8.

x^2 -8x - b =0 => if roots are equal then b^2-4ac=0, 64+4b=0 from this b=-16

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