selim wrote:

What is the value of \(38^2 + 39^2 + 40^2 + 41^2 + 42^2\) ?

A. 7950

B. 7990

C. 8010

D. 8050

E. 8070

I love this question (and all of the replicas

)!!

First notice that 38² + 39² + 40² + 41² + 42² = (40 - 2)² + (40 - 1)² + 40² + (40 + 1)² + (40 + 2)²

Now notice that (40 - 2)² + (40 - 1)² + 40² + (40 + 1)² + (40 + 2)² has the form (x - 2)² + (x - 1)² + x² + (x + 1)² + (x + 2)²

So, let's expand and simplify (x - 2)² + (x - 1)² + x² + (x + 1)² + (x + 2)² and see what we get.

(x - 2)² + (x - 1)² + x² + (x + 1)² + (x + 2)² = [x² - 4x + 4] + [x² - 2x + 1] + [x²] + [x² + 2x + 1] + [x² + 4x + 4]

[lots of canceling to do here...]= 5x² + 10

So, if (x - 2)² + (x - 1)² + x² + (x + 1)² + (x + 2)² simplifies to become 5x² + 10...

...then (40 - 2)² + (40 - 1)² + 40² + (40 + 1)² + (40 + 2)² must simplify to become 5(40²) + 10

5(40²) + 10 = 5(1600) + 10

= 8000 + 10

= 8010

Answer: C

Cheers,

Brent

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Brent Hanneson – Founder of gmatprepnow.com