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Unique vs All - inclusive wording on quant questions - GMAT standard?

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Joined: 06 Sep 2018
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Unique vs All - inclusive wording on quant questions - GMAT standard?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2018, 02:09
Good morning! I worry sometimes that semantics could confuse me and that I might get wrong questions just due to not understanding the question.

For instance:

What is the sum of the prime factors of 18? Is the answer 5 or 8?
What is the sum of the unique prime factors of 18? This doesn't leave room for ambiguity so I know answer is 5.
What is the sum of all solutions of: x^2+6x+9=|x+3|? This gives you two equations one with -3,-2 as roots and one with -3,-4 as roots. Given it says "all solutions", couldn't one argue that you need to add up all 4 numbers? I think for this one I agree that the "solutions" of that equation are -3,-4,-2 so hence answer is -9... but that "all" confuses me a bit.

Is there any GMAT standard that ensures there's never ambiguity?

Thank you!
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Re: Unique vs All - inclusive wording on quant questions - GMAT standard?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2018, 05:32
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gmat800live wrote:
Good morning! I worry sometimes that semantics could confuse me and that I might get wrong questions just due to not understanding the question.

For instance:

What is the sum of the prime factors of 18? Is the answer 5 or 8?
What is the sum of the unique prime factors of 18? This doesn't leave room for ambiguity so I know answer is 5.
What is the sum of all solutions of: x^2+6x+9=|x+3|? This gives you two equations one with -3,-2 as roots and one with -3,-4 as roots. Given it says "all solutions", couldn't one argue that you need to add up all 4 numbers? I think for this one I agree that the "solutions" of that equation are -3,-4,-2 so hence answer is -9... but that "all" confuses me a bit.

Is there any GMAT standard that ensures there's never ambiguity?

Thank you!


GMAT Doesn't leave any ambiguity n interpretation of questions

So it will always mention sum of all distinct prime factors when it expects the answer 5 and will always mentioned "sum of all prime factors distinct or similar" if it expects answer 8

x^2+6x+9=|x+3|
In this question, there is No ambiguity even in current state of language.
-3,-2 as roots and one with -3,-4 but if considered 'all roots' will means all possible values of x that satisfy the given equation then we only get, -2, -3 and -4

I hope this helps... :)
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Re: Unique vs All - inclusive wording on quant questions - GMAT standard?   [#permalink] 19 Oct 2018, 05:32
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