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Set S consists of the following unique integers: -2, 17, 3, n, 2, 15, -3, and -27; which of the following could be the median of set S? A) 1 B) 9 C) 14 D) 17 E) It Cannot Be Determined

Set S consists of the following unique integers: -2, 17, 3, n, 2, 15, -3, and -27; which of the following could be the median of set S? A) 1 B) 9 C) 14 D) 17 E) It Cannot Be Determined

IMHO E

median = center value once numbers are arranged in increasing or decreasing order

rearrange numbers:

-27, -3, -2, 2, 3, 15, 17 + n somewhere ==> total of 8 numbers ==> median would be average of TWO central values

taking 2 cases: (1) if n is after 17 then median = avg(2, 3) = 2.5 (2) if n is before -27 then median = avg(-2, 2) = 0

I think there is something missing in the statement otherwise it shld be E

Nope the question is absolutely fine. It is just a trap to overlook one critical word COULD BE.

Set S consists of the following unique integers: -2, 17, 3, n, 2, 15, -3, and -27; which of the following COULD BE the median of set S?

When could be is asked, need to check for the possibilities. This can best be solved by the Process of Elimination method.

When the numbers are arranged in the order, we have

-27, -3, -2, 2, 3, 15, 17 and n. In total there are 8 terms. Median will be the avg of the two middle terms. One of the middle terms is 2. The other could be based on what the value of n is.

case 1 - N could be greater than 2 in which case median will avg(2 and 3) that is 2.5(There can't be any other integers between 2 and 3). So B, C and D are out of the race. case 2 - N could be between -2 and 2. If n > -2 and < 2 ie -1,0,1 then n will occur betwee -2 and 2 and will be the other term for median calucation. In these cases, median can be 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 1 is one of the ans choices. Hence it is the ans. case 3 - N could be less than -2 in which case median will be avg(-2,2) that is 0.

GMAT is all about trapping us. How well can we escape the trap and find the solution is what that proves our score.

I think there is something missing in the statement otherwise it shld be E

Nope the question is absolutely fine. It is just a trap to overlook one critical word COULD BE.

Set S consists of the following unique integers: -2, 17, 3, n, 2, 15, -3, and -27; which of the following COULD BE the median of set S?

When could be is asked, need to check for the possibilities. This can best be solved by the Process of Elimination method.

When the numbers are arranged in the order, we have

-27, -3, -2, 2, 3, 15, 17 and n. In total there are 8 terms. Median will be the avg of the two middle terms. One of the middle terms is 2. The other could be based on what the value of n is.

case 1 - N could be greater than 2 in which case median will avg(2 and 3) that is 2.5(There can't be any other integers between 2 and 3). So B, C and D are out of the race. case 2 - N could be between -2 and 2. If n > -2 and < 2 ie -1,0,1 then n will occur betwee -2 and 2 and will be the other term for median calucation. In these cases, median can be 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 1 is one of the ans choices. Hence it is the ans. case 3 - N could be less than -2 in which case median will be avg(-2,2) that is 0.

GMAT is all about trapping us. How well can we escape the trap and find the solution is what that proves our score.

Hey thats exactly how I did...Sorry for not posting the detailed steps...I backsolved the problem...one thing what i found regarding problem solving is, you have very very less chances of choosing cannot be determined...

ritula wrote:

Well said mrsmarthi

mrsmarthi wrote:

ritula wrote:

I think there is something missing in the statement otherwise it shld be E

Nope the question is absolutely fine. It is just a trap to overlook one critical word COULD BE.

Set S consists of the following unique integers: -2, 17, 3, n, 2, 15, -3, and -27; which of the following COULD BE the median of set S?

When could be is asked, need to check for the possibilities. This can best be solved by the Process of Elimination method.

When the numbers are arranged in the order, we have

-27, -3, -2, 2, 3, 15, 17 and n. In total there are 8 terms. Median will be the avg of the two middle terms. One of the middle terms is 2. The other could be based on what the value of n is.

case 1 - N could be greater than 2 in which case median will avg(2 and 3) that is 2.5(There can't be any other integers between 2 and 3). So B, C and D are out of the race. case 2 - N could be between -2 and 2. If n > -2 and < 2 ie -1,0,1 then n will occur betwee -2 and 2 and will be the other term for median calucation. In these cases, median can be 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 1 is one of the ans choices. Hence it is the ans. case 3 - N could be less than -2 in which case median will be avg(-2,2) that is 0.

GMAT is all about trapping us. How well can we escape the trap and find the solution is what that proves our score.