GMAT Question of the Day: Daily via email | Daily via Instagram New to GMAT Club? Watch this Video

 It is currently 23 Jan 2020, 21:58 ### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

#### Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.  # Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Manager  Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 63
Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

6
2
27
We are starting this thread to show how we can solve complex divisibility problems and inequalities using the basic properties of a number line.

1: Consecutive numbers and divisibility by 2, 4 and 8:

Attachment: no. line 1.png [ 27.38 KiB | Viewed 10133 times ]

Few facts to note:
1. On a number line, odd and even numbers alternate. For example: 1 is odd, 2 is even. So, for any two consecutive number one will be odd and the other even.
2. Between two consecutive even numbers, one will be divisible by 4 and the other will only be divisible by 2 and not by 4.
For example:
2 and 4 -> 2 is not divisible by 4 but 4 is.
4 and 6 -> 4 is divisible by 4 but 6 is not.

Let's consider a product of any three consecutive numbers n(n+1)(n+2)

Case 1: n is odd:

n(n+1)(n+2) -> odd * even * odd

Takeaway: The product of three consecutive numbers n(n+1)(n+2) is definitely divisible by 2 if n is odd.

Case 2: n is even:

n(n+1)(n+2) -> even * odd * even
n and n+2 are two consecutive even numbers. As we know between two consecutive even numbers, one is divisible by 4 and other is only divisible by 2 and not 4. Hence, n(n+2) will be divisible by 2, 4 and 2*4 =8

Takeaway: The product of three consecutive numbers n(n+1)(n+2) is definitely divisible by 2, 4 and 8 if n is even.

In this case we can also say the last two digits of the product are divisible by 4 (a number is only divisible by 4 if its last two digits are) and the last three digits of the product are divisible by 8 (a number is only divisible by 8 if its last three digits are)

Originally posted by PrepTap on 28 Apr 2015, 07:56.
Last edited by PrepTap on 06 May 2015, 23:56, edited 2 times in total.
Manager  Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 63
Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

5
5
2: Consecutive numbers and divisibility by 3 and 6:

On a number line every nth number is divisible by n (n, 2n, 3n….)

Attachment: No. line muliples of 3.png [ 36.12 KiB | Viewed 10049 times ]

E.g.: Every 3rd number is divisible by 3 (3, 6, 9…)
Every 4th number is divisible by 4 (4, 8, 12..)

As every third number is divisible by 3, any number n on the number line:
-> Is either, divisible by 3 (it is of the form 3k)
-> Or, leaves a remainder 1 when divided by 3 (it is of the form 3k + 1) - in this case n+2 will be divisible by 3
-> Or, leaves a remainder 2 when divided by 3 (it is of the form 3k+2) - in this case n+1 will be divisible by 3

Hence, the product of three consecutive numbers n(n+1)(n+2) will always be divisible by 3.
As discussed in the previous post, the product of three consecutive numbers is always divisible by 2. So, the product of three consecutive numbers will always be divisible by 2*3 = 6 as well.

Takeaway: a product of three consecutive numbers is always divisible by 3 and 6.

We can also say that the sum of the digits of the product is divisible by 3 (a number is only divisible by 3 if the sum of its digits is divisible by 3)

Now, let’s consider the product of three numbers of the form:
(n +/- 3k)(n +1 +/- 3l)(n + 2 +/- 3m), where k, l and m are integers.

As you can see, a multiple of three is added to the individual numbers in the product of consecutive integers n(n+1)(n+2).

For example: 4 * 8 * 6
It is of the form (4) * (5 + 3) * (6) - > 3 is added to the middle number in the product of consecutive numbers 4*5*6
(4) * (5 + 3) * (6) = 4 * 5 * 6 + 4 * 3 * 6
This is clearly divisible by 3

(n +/- 3k)(n +1 +/- 3l)(n + 2 +/- 3m) = n(n+1)(n+2) + terms divisible by 3

As the product of three consecutive numbers is always divisible by 3, the above product is divisible by 3.

Takeaway: the product of three numbers of the form (n +/- 3k)(n +1 +/- 3l)(n + 2 +/- 3m) is always divisible by 3.

You can use this property for solving OG 13 PS Question 87

If n is an integer greater than 6, which of the following must be divisible by 3 ?
(A) n(n+1)(n-4)
(B) n(n+2)(n-1)
(C) n(n+3)(n-5)
(D) n(n+4)(n-2)
(E) n(n+5)(n-6)

Option (A) - n(n+1)(n-4) = n(n+1) (n+2 - 6) (as n>6, this product will be positive)
As you can see this product is of the form n(n+1)(n+2 - 3*2)
It is divisible by 3.

Originally posted by PrepTap on 29 Apr 2015, 00:58.
Last edited by PrepTap on 06 May 2015, 23:57, edited 1 time in total.
##### General Discussion
Manager  Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 63
Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

1
5
3. Solving Inequalities using number line:

What does a>b mean:
It means "a" is always on the right side of "b" on the number line.
Attachment: Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 5.12.43 pm.png [ 29.78 KiB | Viewed 9977 times ]

Also, "b" is always on the left side of "a" on the number line.
Attachment: Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 5.15.47 pm.png [ 31.18 KiB | Viewed 9991 times ]

Now, lets consider this inequality:
4a > 5b
⇨ a > 5b/4
⇨ a > b + b/4
We can say that a will always be on right side of (b + b/4)
Hence, when "b" is positive:
-> "a" will also be positive and a > b
Attachment: Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 5.26.31 pm.png [ 17.04 KiB | Viewed 9973 times ]

But, when "b" is negative:
-> a will always be on the right side of (b + b/4) and so it can fall between (b + b/4) and b.
Attachment: Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.56.56 pm.png [ 18.78 KiB | Viewed 9978 times ]

Thus, it is not necessary that a > b.
For values of "a" satisfying the inequality 5b/4 < a < b (where b is negative), 4a > 5b but a is not greater than b.

Takeaway: For an inequality ka > lb, where k and l are positive integers and k<l, we can infer that a > b only when b is positive.

With this concept in mind take a look at the question:
is-n-m-where-n-and-m-are-real-numbers-196938.html

Originally posted by PrepTap on 30 Apr 2015, 05:11.
Last edited by PrepTap on 06 May 2015, 23:58, edited 1 time in total.
Manager  Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 63
Re: Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

3
1
2
4. Absolute Values and the Number Line

On a number line, $$|x-a|$$ denotes the distance between x and a irrespective of the signs of x and a.

Case 1: x and a are positive

Let's say x = 1 and a = 3
Attachment: x and a positive.png [ 15.09 KiB | Viewed 9876 times ]

|x-a| = |1 - 3| = |-2| = 2

The distance remains the same when the values of x and a are swapped.
Attachment: x and a positive 2.png [ 14.91 KiB | Viewed 9883 times ]

Case 2: x and a are negative

Let's say x = -1 and a = -3
Attachment: x and a negative.png [ 13.67 KiB | Viewed 9872 times ]

|x-a| = |-1 + 3| = |2| = 2

The distance remains the same when the values of x and a are swapped.

Case 3: x and a have opposite signs

|x - a| won't change as long as the distance between x and a is the same.

Attachment: x negative a positive.png [ 10.85 KiB | Viewed 9893 times ]

Takeaway: To calculate |x - a|, find out the distance between x and a on the number line, irrespective of the signs of x and a.

Now let's take a look at an inequality involving absolute values using the number line.

|x - a| > |x - b| > |x - c|

All this inequality is saying that the distance between x and a is greater than the distance between x and b, which in turn is greater than the distance between x and c.
This is true whether x, a, b and c are positive, negative or zero.

Therefore, all the arrangements illustrated below are possible where the distances satisfy the inequality above.

x c b a
Attachment: x c b a.png [ 25.34 KiB | Viewed 9884 times ]

a b c x
Attachment: a b c x.png [ 26.28 KiB | Viewed 9887 times ]

c x b a
Attachment: c x b a.png [ 25.62 KiB | Viewed 9875 times ]

a b x c
Attachment: a b x c.png [ 23.94 KiB | Viewed 9885 times ]

b x c a
Attachment: b x c a.png [ 25.16 KiB | Viewed 9879 times ]

a c x b
Attachment: a c x b.png [ 26.47 KiB | Viewed 9887 times ]

It doesn't matter whether a, b, and c are to the left or to the right of x as long as the inequality regarding distances is maintained.
In the arrangement of a, b, c and x, the farthest point from x (namely a) will always be at one of the edges and never in the middle. Think about it and you'll see why this is so.
Also, if b and c are on the same side of x, c will always lie between x and b, i.e. these two arrangements -> c b x a and a x b c are not valid.

Takeaway: An inequality like |x - a| > |x - b| > |x - c| doesn't mean a > b > c or a < b < c. It only means either a < b, c or a > b, c. The relationship between b and c can't be established unless more information is provided.

Non-Human User Joined: 09 Sep 2013
Posts: 14002
Re: Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

Hello from the GMAT Club BumpBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
_________________ Re: Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2019, 21:45
Display posts from previous: Sort by

# Solving Complex Problems Using Number Line  