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If a, b are integers and |a-b|=8

This topic has 2 expert replies and 0 member replies

If a, b are integers and |a-b|=8

Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:28 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    If a, b are integers and |a-b|=8, which of the following is the smallest possible value of ab?

    A) -16
    B) 0
    C) 16
    D) 7
    E) 40

    The OA is B.

    If we set a=4 and b=-4, then |a-b|=|4+4|=8. And ab=-16. Why is B the correct option?

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    Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:16 pm
    Vincen wrote:
    If a, b are integers and |a-b|=8, which of the following is the smallest possible value of ab?

    A) -16
    B) 0
    C) 16
    D) 7
    E) 40

    The OA is B.

    If we set a=4 and b=-4, then |a-b|=|4+4|=8. And ab=-16. Why is B the correct option?
    Hi Vincen,

    Your answer is correct.

    ab is minimum if a = 4 and b = -4 OR a = -4 and b = 4. Option B (0) is correct if it were given that a and b are non-negative integers.

    The correct answer: A

    Hope this helps!

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    GMAT/MBA Expert

    Post Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:14 pm
    You're correct, -16 is the minimum. (Proving that is a bit more complicated, but with these answer choices we don't really need the proof.)

    Either the OA is a typo or the stem itself is missing some qualifier.

    Thanked by: Vincen
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