GMAT Math : DSQ: Simplifying algebraic expressions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Math

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

Evaluate the expression 

1) 

2) 

Possible Answers:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is not sufficient.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is not sufficient.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is not sufficient.

Explanation:

Simplify the expression:

Therefore, we only need to know  - If we know , we calculate that  

The answer is that Statement 2 alone is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 is not.

Example Question #2 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

Evaluate: 

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: 

Possible Answers:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Therefore, you only need to know the value of  to evaluate this; knowing the value of  is neither necessary nor helpful.

Example Question #3 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

Evaluate the expression for positive :

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: 

Possible Answers:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Cancel the  from both halves:

As can be seen by the simplification, it turns out that only the value of , which is given only in Statement 2, affects the value of the expression.

Example Question #4 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

What is the value of ?

(1)

(2)

Possible Answers:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but the other statement alone is not sufficient

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but the other statement alone is not sufficient

EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are not sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

(1) Add  to both sides to make . Then divide through by 7 to get 

. This statement is sufficient.

 

(2) Divide both sides by 13. The equation becomes . This statement is sufficient.

Example Question #5 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

Is ?

 

 

 

Possible Answers:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are not sufficient to answer the question.

EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but the other statement alone is not sufficient.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but the other statement alone is not sufficient.

Correct answer:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but the other statement alone is not sufficient.

Explanation:

(1) Since 5 must be added to  to make it equal to , it follows that . This statement is sufficient.

(2) Multiply both sides by 6 to obtain . Thus, whether  or

 depends on the value selected for  and . For instance,  implies

,  (such that ) but  implies

(such that ). Therefore, this statement is insufficient. 

Example Question #6 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

True or false?

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: 

Possible Answers:

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Simplify each expression.

 

 

The inequality, therefore, is equivalent to

,

the truth or falsity of which depends only on the value of 

 

Example Question #7 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

True or false?

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: 

Possible Answers:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Simplify both expressions algebraically.

Using similar algebra, you can simplify the other expression:

The question, assuming the variables have nonzero values, is equivalent to asking whether  is true. Since we need to know the values of both variables to answer this, both statements are necessary and sufficient.

Example Question #8 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

The figure below shows a trinomial with its exponents replaced by shapes:

Each shape replaces a whole number.

Is this a simplified expression?

Statement 1: The sum of the three exponents is 10.

Statement 2: The circle and the triangle are replacing different numbers.

Possible Answers:

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

Correct answer:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

Explanation:

Assume both statements are true.

 and  each fits the conditions of both statements. However, the first polynomial, having no like terms - three different exponents - is a simplified expression; the second, having like terms - both with exponent 4 - is not.

Example Question #9 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

The figure below shows a binomial with its coefficients and exponents replaced by shapes:

Each shape replaces a whole number.

Is this a simplified expression?

Statement 1: The square and the circle are replacing the same integer.

Statement 2: The diamond and the triangle are replacing different integers.

Possible Answers:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

Explanation:

Both statements together are insufficient. 

 and  each match the conditions of both statements. However, the former is the sum of like terms - the exponents are the same - and can be simplified; the latter is the sum of unlike terms - the exponents are different - and cannot.

Example Question #10 : Dsq: Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

Stephanie was challenged by her teacher to create a monomial of degree 5 by filling in the square and the circle in the figure below.

Did Stephanie succeed?

Statement 1: Stephanie wrote a 5 in the square.

Statement 2: Stephanie wrote a 7 in the circle.

Possible Answers:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

The degree of a monomial with one variable is the exponent of that variable. Therefore, only the number Stephanie wrote in the circle is relevant. Statement 1 is unhelpful; Statement 2 alone proves that Stephanie was unsuccessful.

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