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Exponents and roots problems are very common on the GMAT. So, it's extremely important to know how to manipulate them, how to factor out, take roots, multiply, divide, etc. Below are 11 problems to test your skills. Please post your thought process/solutions along with the answers.

I'll post OA's with detailed solutions tomorrow. Good luck.

1. What is the value of \(\sqrt{25+10\sqrt{6}}+\sqrt{25-10\sqrt{6}}\)? A. \(2\sqrt{5}\) B. \(\sqrt{55}\) C. \(2\sqrt{15}\) D. 50 E. 60

5. If \(x=23^2*25^4*27^6*29^8\) and is a multiple of \(26^n\), where \(n\) is a non-negative integer, then what is the value of \(n^{26}-26^n\)? A. -26 B. -25 C. -1 D. 0 E. 1

7. If \(x=\sqrt{10}+\sqrt[3]{9}+\sqrt[4]{8}+\sqrt[5]{7}+\sqrt[6]{6}+\sqrt[7]{5}+\sqrt[8]{4}+\sqrt[9]{3}+\sqrt[10]{2}\), then which of the following must be true: A. x<6 B. 6<x<8 C. 8<x<10 D. 10<x<12 E. x>12

8. If \(x\) is a positive number and equals to \(\sqrt{6+{\sqrt{6+\sqrt{6+\sqrt{6+...}}}}}\), where the given expression extends to an infinite number of roots, then what is the value of x? A. \(\sqrt{6}\) B. 3 C. \(1+\sqrt{6}\) D. \(2\sqrt{3}\) E. 6

9. If \(x\) is a positive integer then the value of \(\frac{22^{22x}-22^{2x}}{11^{11x}-11^x}\) is closest to which of the following? A. \(2^{11x}\) B. \(11^{11x}\) C. \(22^{11x}\) D. \(2^{22x}*11^{11x}\) E. \(2^{22x}*11^{22x}\)

10. Given that \(5x=125-3y+z\) and \(\sqrt{5x}-5-\sqrt{z-3y}=0\), then what is the value of \(\sqrt{\frac{45(z-3y)}{x}}\)? A. 5 B. 10 C. 15 D. 20 E. Can not be determined

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 08:28

Edit: [edit]

[/edit]

Bunuel wrote:

4. What is the value of \(5+4*5+4*5^2+4*5^3+4*5^4+4*5^5\)? A. 5^6 B. 5^7 C. 5^8 D. 5^9 E. 5^10

This question can be solved in several ways:

Traditional approach: \(5+4*5+4*5^2+4*5^3+4*5^4+4*5^5=5+4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5)\) Note that we have the sum of geometric progression in brackets with first term equal to 5 and common ratio also equal to 5. The sum of the first \(n\) terms of geometric progression is given by: \(sum=\frac{b*(r^{n}-1)}{r-1}\), where \(b\) is the first term, \(n\) # of terms and \(r\) is a common ratio \(\neq{1}\).

So in our case: \(5+4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5)=5+4(\frac{5(5^5-1)}{5-1})=5^6\).

30 sec approach based on answer choices: We have the sum of 6 terms. Now, if all terms were equal to the largest term 4*5^5 we would have: \(sum=6*(4*5^5)=24*5^5\approx{5^2*5^5}\approx{5^7}\), so the actual sum must be less than 5^7, thus the answer must be A: 5^6.

Answer: A.

Thanks for the explanation. The part where you take 5+4 out of the full equation is still unclear to me - 5+4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5). Could you please break it down into multiple steps?
_________________

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

4. What is the value of \(5+4*5+4*5^2+4*5^3+4*5^4+4*5^5\)? A. 5^6 B. 5^7 C. 5^8 D. 5^9 E. 5^10

This question can be solved in several ways:

Traditional approach: \(5+4*5+4*5^2+4*5^3+4*5^4+4*5^5=5+4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5)\) Note that we have the sum of geometric progression in brackets with first term equal to 5 and common ratio also equal to 5. The sum of the first \(n\) terms of geometric progression is given by: \(sum=\frac{b*(r^{n}-1)}{r-1}\), where \(b\) is the first term, \(n\) # of terms and \(r\) is a common ratio \(\neq{1}\).

So in our case: \(5+4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5)=5+4(\frac{5(5^5-1)}{5-1})=5^6\).

30 sec approach based on answer choices: We have the sum of 6 terms. Now, if all terms were equal to the largest term 4*5^5 we would have: \(sum=6*(4*5^5)=24*5^5\approx{5^2*5^5}\approx{5^7}\), so the actual sum must be less than 5^7, thus the answer must be A: 5^6.

Answer: A.

Thanks for the explanation. The part where you take 5+4 out of the full equation is still unclear to me - 5+4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5). Could you please break it down into multiple steps?

4 is factored out from 4*5+4*5^2+4*5^3+4*5^4+4*5^5, not 5+4 from the whole expression: \(4*5+4*5^2+4*5^3+4*5^4+4*5^5=4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5)\).

So, \(5+(4*5+4*5^2+4*5^3+4*5^4+4*5^5)=5+4(5+5^2+5^3+5^4+5^5)\).

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2013, 11:05

Bunuel wrote:

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Answer B.

Hi Bunuel, I think the answer here has to be 8 instead of 2.

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Answer B.

Hi Bunuel, I think the answer here has to be 8 instead of 2.

No, the answer is correct.

Please when making such posts elaborate your doubts.
_________________

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2013, 08:07

Hi, Need some clarification for the below question. When 1-3= -2 . So should the value be mod?

Thanks for your response

Bunuel wrote:

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2013, 23:07

ashivapu wrote:

Bunuel wrote:

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Answer B.

Hi Bunuel, I think the answer here has to be 8 instead of 2.

Hii Bunel I am clear till the second last line i.e 11-13=-2.. But couldn't conclude (17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}[/m] is 2...Could you please explain
_________________

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Answer B.

Hi Bunuel, I think the answer here has to be 8 instead of 2.

Hii Bunel I am clear till the second last line i.e 11-13=-2.. But couldn't conclude (17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}[/m] is 2...Could you please explain

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2013, 03:44

Bunuel wrote:

ashivapu wrote:

Bunuel wrote:

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Answer B.

Hi Bunuel, I think the answer here has to be 8 instead of 2.

No, the answer is correct.

Please when making such posts elaborate your doubts.

Sorry my bad...

I had missed this part: notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of (17^3)^4-1973^{3^2} is 2.

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2013, 18:51

Bunuel wrote:

10. Given that \(5x=125-3y+z\) and \(\sqrt{5x}-5-\sqrt{z-3y}=0\), then what is the value of \(\sqrt{\frac{45(z-3y)}{x}}\)? A. 5 B. 10 C. 15 D. 20 E. Can not be determined

Rearranging both expressions we'll get: \(5x-(z-3y)=125\) and \(\sqrt{5x}-\sqrt{z-3y}=5\). Denote \(\sqrt{5x}\) as \(a\) and \(\sqrt{z-3y}\) as \(b\).

So we have that \(a^2-b^2=125\) and \(a-b=5\). Now, \(a^2-b^2=(a-b)(a+b)=125\) and as \(a-b=5\) then \((a-b)(a+b)=5*(a+b)=125\) --> \(a+b=25\). Thus we get two equations with two unknowns: \(a+b=25\) and \(a-b=5\) --> solving for \(a\) --> \(a=15=\sqrt{5x}\) --> \(x=45\). Solving for \(b\) -->\(b=10=\sqrt{z-3y}\)

Assuming that x is positive and given \(5x=125-3y+z\), set the two equations equal to each other \(125 - 3y + z = z-3y + 25 + 10\sqrt{z-3y}\) \(100 = 10\sqrt{z-3y}\) \(100 = z-3y\)

\(5x = 125-3y+z\) \(5x = 125 + 100\) \(x = 45\)

Thus by substitution: \(= \sqrt{\frac{45(z-3y)}{x}}\)

\(= \sqrt{\frac{45(100)}{45}}\)

\(= \sqrt{100}\)

\(= 10\)

However, notice that I had to assume that |5x| = 5x Why is this permissible in this problem?

10. Given that \(5x=125-3y+z\) and \(\sqrt{5x}-5-\sqrt{z-3y}=0\), then what is the value of \(\sqrt{\frac{45(z-3y)}{x}}\)? A. 5 B. 10 C. 15 D. 20 E. Can not be determined

Rearranging both expressions we'll get: \(5x-(z-3y)=125\) and \(\sqrt{5x}-\sqrt{z-3y}=5\). Denote \(\sqrt{5x}\) as \(a\) and \(\sqrt{z-3y}\) as \(b\).

So we have that \(a^2-b^2=125\) and \(a-b=5\). Now, \(a^2-b^2=(a-b)(a+b)=125\) and as \(a-b=5\) then \((a-b)(a+b)=5*(a+b)=125\) --> \(a+b=25\). Thus we get two equations with two unknowns: \(a+b=25\) and \(a-b=5\) --> solving for \(a\) --> \(a=15=\sqrt{5x}\) --> \(x=45\). Solving for \(b\) -->\(b=10=\sqrt{z-3y}\)

Assuming that x is positive and given \(5x=125-3y+z\), set the two equations equal to each other \(125 - 3y + z = z-3y + 25 + 10\sqrt{z-3y}\) \(100 = 10\sqrt{z-3y}\) \(100 = z-3y\)

\(5x = 125-3y+z\) \(5x = 125 + 100\) \(x = 45\)

Thus by substitution: \(= \sqrt{\frac{45(z-3y)}{x}}\)

\(= \sqrt{\frac{45(100)}{45}}\)

\(= \sqrt{100}\)

\(= 10\)

However, notice that I had to assume that |5x| = 5x Why is this permissible in this problem?

Even roots from negative numbers are undefined for the GMAT. We have \(\sqrt{5x}\) in one of the expressions, which means that x is non-negative, thus |5x|=5x.

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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23 May 2014, 23:46

Bunuel wrote:

9. If \(x\) is a positive integer then the value of \(\frac{22^{22x}-22^{2x}}{11^{11x}-11^x}\) is closest to which of the following? A. \(2^{11x}\) B. \(11^{11x}\) C. \(22^{11x}\) D. \(2^{22x}*11^{11x}\) E. \(2^{22x}*11^{22x}\)

Note that we need approximate value of the given expression. Now, \(22^{22x}\) is much larger number than \(22^{2x}\). Hence \(22^{22x}-22^{2x}\) will be very close to \(22^{22x}\) itself, basically \(22^{2x}\) is negligible in this case. The same way \(11^{11x}-11^x\) will be very close to \(11^{11x}\) itself.

You can check this algebraically as well: \(\frac{22^{22x}-22^{2x}}{11^{11x}-11^x}=\frac{22^{2x}(22^{20x}-1)}{11^x(11^{10x}-1)}\). Again, -1, both in denominator and nominator is negligible value and we'll get the same expression as above: \(\frac{22^{2x}(22^{20x}-1)}{11^x(11^{10x}-1)}\approx{\frac{22^{2x}*22^{20x}}{11^x*11^{10x}}}=\frac{22^{22x}}{11^{11x}}=2^{22x}*11^{11x}\)

Answer: D.

Hello, I don't understand how the division at the end became a multiplication. Could someone help please?

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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24 May 2014, 00:13

1

This post received KUDOS

usre123 wrote:

Bunuel wrote:

9. If \(x\) is a positive integer then the value of \(\frac{22^{22x}-22^{2x}}{11^{11x}-11^x}\) is closest to which of the following? A. \(2^{11x}\) B. \(11^{11x}\) C. \(22^{11x}\) D. \(2^{22x}*11^{11x}\) E. \(2^{22x}*11^{22x}\)

Note that we need approximate value of the given expression. Now, \(22^{22x}\) is much larger number than \(22^{2x}\). Hence \(22^{22x}-22^{2x}\) will be very close to \(22^{22x}\) itself, basically \(22^{2x}\) is negligible in this case. The same way \(11^{11x}-11^x\) will be very close to \(11^{11x}\) itself.

You can check this algebraically as well: \(\frac{22^{22x}-22^{2x}}{11^{11x}-11^x}=\frac{22^{2x}(22^{20x}-1)}{11^x(11^{10x}-1)}\). Again, -1, both in denominator and nominator is negligible value and we'll get the same expression as above: \(\frac{22^{2x}(22^{20x}-1)}{11^x(11^{10x}-1)}\approx{\frac{22^{2x}*22^{20x}}{11^x*11^{10x}}}=\frac{22^{22x}}{11^{11x}}=2^{22x}*11^{11x}\)

Answer: D.

Hello, I don't understand how the division at the end became a multiplication. Could someone help please?

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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24 May 2014, 05:36

Bunuel wrote:

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Answer B.

Hello...I just dont get it....if its 1-3, wont you borrow from the tens and it will be 11-3..which makes it 8? I'm sorry I dont get it

Re: NEW!!! Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions [#permalink]

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24 May 2014, 05:38

gmatacequants wrote:

usre123 wrote:

Bunuel wrote:

9. If \(x\) is a positive integer then the value of \(\frac{22^{22x}-22^{2x}}{11^{11x}-11^x}\) is closest to which of the following? A. \(2^{11x}\) B. \(11^{11x}\) C. \(22^{11x}\) D. \(2^{22x}*11^{11x}\) E. \(2^{22x}*11^{22x}\)

Note that we need approximate value of the given expression. Now, \(22^{22x}\) is much larger number than \(22^{2x}\). Hence \(22^{22x}-22^{2x}\) will be very close to \(22^{22x}\) itself, basically \(22^{2x}\) is negligible in this case. The same way \(11^{11x}-11^x\) will be very close to \(11^{11x}\) itself.

You can check this algebraically as well: \(\frac{22^{22x}-22^{2x}}{11^{11x}-11^x}=\frac{22^{2x}(22^{20x}-1)}{11^x(11^{10x}-1)}\). Again, -1, both in denominator and nominator is negligible value and we'll get the same expression as above: \(\frac{22^{2x}(22^{20x}-1)}{11^x(11^{10x}-1)}\approx{\frac{22^{2x}*22^{20x}}{11^x*11^{10x}}}=\frac{22^{22x}}{11^{11x}}=2^{22x}*11^{11x}\)

Answer: D.

Hello, I don't understand how the division at the end became a multiplication. Could someone help please?

2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)? A. 0 B. 2 C. 4 D. 6 E. 8

Must know for the GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).

II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus: \(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).

So: \((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);

\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).

Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).

III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:

1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7) 2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3) 4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1) 5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!) ...

1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3) 2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9) 3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7) 4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1) 5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!) ...

Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).

So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.

Answer B.

Hello...I just dont get it....if its 1-3, wont you borrow from the tens and it will be 11-3..which makes it 8? I'm sorry I dont get it