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Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Trial & Practice Exam BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Practice Test & Review How would you score if you took the GMAT Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Magoosh Study with Magoosh GMAT prep Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Veritas GMAT Class Experience Lesson 1 Live Free Available with Beat the GMAT members only code ## For consecutive integers x, y, and z, where x > y > z, tagged by: Brent@GMATPrepNow This topic has 6 expert replies and 2 member replies hazelnut01 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Joined 19 Nov 2016 Posted: 161 messages Followed by: 4 members Thanked: 2 times #### For consecutive integers x, y, and z, where x > y > z, Sat May 20, 2017 5:43 pm Elapsed Time: 00:00 • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME]) For consecutive integers x, y, and z, where x > y > z, which of the following CANNOT be the value of ( x^2 - y^2 ) ( y^2 - z^2)? (A) 63 (B) 99 (C) 195 (D) 276 (E) 323 Source : Veritas Prep OA=D Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums! GMATinsight Legendary Member Joined 10 May 2014 Posted: 998 messages Followed by: 21 members Thanked: 203 times Sat May 20, 2017 7:14 pm ziyuenlau wrote: For consecutive integers x, y, and z, where x > y > z, which of the following CANNOT be the value of ( x^2 - y^2 ) ( y^2 - z^2)? (A) 63 (B) 99 (C) 195 (D) 276 (E) 323 Source : Veritas Prep OA=D The difference/sum of two consecutive number must be odd because two consecutive numbers involve one even and one odd so their sum and difference is always odd Also product of odd numbers will always be odd Hence Option D is not possible due to being and even number Answer: Option D _________________ Prosper!!! Bhoopendra Singh & Sushma Jha "GMATinsight" Contact Us Testimonials To register for One-on-One FREE ONLINE DEMO Class Call/e-mail e-mail: info@GMATinsight.com Mobile: +91-9999687183 / +91-9891333772 Get in touch for SKYPE-Based Interactive Private Tutoring One-On-One Classes fee - US$40 per hour &
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Brent@GMATPrepNow GMAT Instructor
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Sun May 21, 2017 4:57 am
ziyuenlau wrote:
For consecutive integers x, y, and z, where x > y > z, which of the following CANNOT be the value of (x² - y²)(y² - z²)?

(A) 63

(B) 99

(C) 195

(D) 276

(E) 323

The keyword here is CONSECUTIVE INTEGERS.
Notice that consecutive integers alternate ODD, EVEN, ODD, EVEN, ODD, EVEN, ....

Also notice that we can factor the given expression as follows:
(x² - y²)(y² - z²) = (x + y)(x - y)(y + z)(y - z)

Since x and y are consecutive integers, one must be ODD and one must be EVEN
This means that (x + y) is ODD and (x - y) is ODD

Likewise, y and z are consecutive integers, one must be ODD and one must be EVEN
This means that (y + z)is ODD and (y - z) is ODD

So, (x² - y²)(y² - z²) = (x + y)(x - y)(y + z)(y - z)
= (ODD)(ODD)(ODD)(ODD)
= ODD

So, the expression must evaluate to be odd.

Answer: D (since 276 is EVEN)

Cheers,
Brent

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Sun May 21, 2017 10:08 am
Hi ziyuenlau,

GMAT questions are almost always built around patterns - even if you don't realize that the pattern is there, you can probably do a bit of 'brute force' work and define the pattern. By extension, if you know the pattern, then you should be able to use that knowledge to your advantage to either answer the question immediately (or do another step or two of work to get the answer).

Here, we're given some specific facts to work with:
1) X, Y and Z are CONSECUTIVE integers
2) X > Y > Z

We're asked for what CANNOT be the value of (X^2 - Y^2)(Y^2 - Z^2).

Let's TEST VALUES and see if a pattern emerges...

IF... X = 3, Y = 2, Z = 1....
(9 - 4)(4 - 1) = (5)(3) = 15

So "15" is a possible answer. Also note that we ended up multiplying two ODD numbers together... Let's try another TEST....

IF... X = 4, Y = 3, Z = 2....
(16 - 9)(9 - 4) = (7)(5) = 35

So "35" is a possible answer. Notice that we again ended up multiplying two ODD numbers together... That looks like a pattern. If the end result is just going to be an ODD number every time, then there's clearly an answer that CANNOT be the value...

If you're not convinced yet, then try another example (and feel free to try as many as you like - as the numbers increase, you'll eventually hit all 4 of the possible answers, at which point you'll know which answer is NOT possible.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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ceilidh.erickson GMAT Instructor
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Sun May 21, 2017 3:26 pm
You can always represent consecutive integers algebraically, because they have a known relationship:
If x, y, and z are consecutive integers where x > y > z, then:
y = z + 1
x = z + 2

So you could rephrase: (x² - y²)(y² - z²)
((z + 2)² - (z + 1)²)((z + 1)² - z²)
((z² + 4z + 4) - (z² + 2z + 1))((z² + 2z + 1) - z²)
(2z + 3)(2z + 1)
4z² + 8z + 3

4z² and 8z will always be even, so 4z² + 8z + 3 will always be odd.

That said, it would be easier to just think in terms of EVEN and ODD from the beginning, as other posters have pointed out.

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hoppycat Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:51 am
I tried eliminating by finding values that worked.
I gave up after 3 minutes. Any pointers for going that way?

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Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:29 am
Hi hoppycat,

Before we can discuss how you might speed up on these types of questions, it would help to know what you actually did for those 3 minutes. What was your first TEST case? What other examples did you try? How much of your work did you write down (and how much did you do 'in your head?')? Did you recognize that the end calculation was ALWAYS an ODD number?

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Jay@ManhattanReview GMAT Instructor
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Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:12 am
hazelnut01 wrote:
For consecutive integers x, y, and z, where x > y > z, which of the following CANNOT be the value of ( x^2 - y^2 ) ( y^2 - z^2)?

(A) 63

(B) 99

(C) 195

(D) 276

(E) 323

Source : Veritas Prep
OA=D
Very good solutions by experts. One more from my side.

We know that x, y and are consecutive integers such that x > y > z.

By looking at the expression (x^2 - y^2)*(y^2 - z^2), we see that the expression can have many possible values. Secondly, if you scan the options, you find that only one option is even, which is option D. So let's think in that direction.

If z is odd, then y is even and x is odd.

=> (x^2 - y^2)*(y^2 - z^2) = (Odd^2 - Even^2)*(Even^2 - Odd^2)

=> (Odd - Even)*(Even - Odd) = Odd*Odd = Odd

If z is even, then y is odd and x is even.

=> (x^2 - y^2)*(y^2 - z^2) = (Even^2 - Odd^2)*(Odd^2 - Even^2)

=> (Even - Odd)*(Odd - Even) = Odd*Odd = Odd

Thus, in each case, the resultant value is ODD, or option D, 276 is not a possible value.

Hope this helps!

-Jay
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Jay@ManhattanReview GMAT Instructor
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Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:15 am
hazelnut01 wrote:
For consecutive integers x, y, and z, where x > y > z, which of the following CANNOT be the value of ( x^2 - y^2 ) ( y^2 - z^2)?

(A) 63

(B) 99

(C) 195

(D) 276

(E) 323

Source : Veritas Prep
OA=D
Very good solutions by experts. One more from my side.

We know that x, y and are consecutive integers such that x > y > z.

By looking at the expression (x^2 - y^2)*(y^2 - z^2), we see that the expression can have many possible values. Secondly, if you scan the options, you find that only one option is even, which is option D. So let's think in that direction.

If z is odd, then y is even and x is odd.

=> (x^2 - y^2)*(y^2 - z^2) = (Odd^2 - Even^2)*(Even^2 - Odd^2)

=> (Odd - Even)*(Even - Odd) = Odd*Odd = Odd

If z is even, then y is odd and x is even.

=> (x^2 - y^2)*(y^2 - z^2) = (Even^2 - Odd^2)*(Odd^2 - Even^2)

=> (Even - Odd)*(Odd - Even) = Odd*Odd = Odd

Thus, in each case, the resultant value is ODD, or option D, 276 is not a possible value.

Hope this helps!

-Jay
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