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# Strategy for Picking Numbers on "Number property"

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Intern
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General Discussion
Intern
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great tips !! simple and perfect
CIO
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Paul's tips are fantastic, and I agree with them.

My approach to plugging in numbers is a little different all together. i think plugging in numbers needs to be part of an overall approach - one of the tools of many to understand a problem.

There are lots of reasons to plug in numbers that should be avoided. If you're trying to avoid learning about positive/negative numbers, or what happens when the numerator is smaller than the denominator, or how evens and odds work, or what to do when 2000 is a factor of 4x, then you're plugging in for the wrong reasons.

You've got to understand those nuances for this test. The more you can think globally about a problem, the less you've got to plug in a number.

Now, in my book, once you do undersatnd those things and their relationships, that's when you can plug in - not to solve the problem, but to make it more tangable in the short run to better understand what's happening.

So if they say x is a multiple of y, don't just plug in two numbers that work. Tell yourself what a multiple is, and figure out what one thing has to do with another. Then choose some numbers that work so you can see what really happens. For example - 24 is a multiple of 6 - tells you that 24/6 is an integer. So x/y must be an integer. Now you've got information and you can take that through the problem. If you're just looking at 24 and 6, that may not be relevant for the problem at hand.

I hope this helps - it's a little disjointed, but it's what I feel is the best approach.
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Thanks,
Anirban
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thanks paul that was real helpful
Manager
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Good approach and explaination guys.
Manager
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Yup
Ian that's a very good approach
Senior Manager
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Great tips srinivas. Thanks
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Excellent tips srinivas. I think your note is a must read for everyone, they are simple, and easy. Thanks much for your notes.

regards
Sreeni
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That's brillant! Thanks! This is such a great site.
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great stuff srinivasa
Intern
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excellent tips srinivas.. thanks a lot
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In the past, for picking numbers, the following numbers have worked GREAT for me:

-1, -0.5, 0, 0.5, 1

This covers some traps that Srinivas pointed in his post above (square of most numbers are greater than the number itself, unless when the number lies between 0 and 1).

If the question says positive integers, I always try 1, 2, 3. The reason is, again as Srinivas pointed, 2 is a special case (even prime), 3 is an odd prime, and 1 is ALWAYS special!
Intern
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I loved the post by Srini, very comprehensive.

Today I came across a DS which had to do with inequalities. I'd like to add a tip here: When solving for integer inequalities,e.g. a > b, followed by additions/ subtractions etc, it helps to have four sets of negative and positive numbers to give you all angles of the situation.
e.g. 3 and 5, 3 and -5, -3 and 5 and -3 and -5.

My tuppence worth!
MG
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This is apparently an area that catches us unawares.
The tips by Paul and Srinivas lay the foundation for tackling questions of this particular area.
Intern
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Initially I was making the mistake of plugging only positive intergers. But was not reaching the solution. Now, I make sure that I plug in -ve no's also. Thanks for this post.
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GMAT 1: 680 Q44 V38