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If sequence S has 120 terms, what is the

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jjjinapinch Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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If sequence S has 120 terms, what is the

Post Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:25 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    If sequence S has 120 terms, what is the 105th term of S?

    (1) The first term of S is -8.
    (2) Each term of S after the first term is 10 more than the preceding term.

    Official Guide question
    Answer: C

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    Post Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:48 am
    jjjinapinch wrote:
    If sequence S has 120 terms, what is the 105th term of S?

    (1) The first term of S is -8.
    (2) Each term of S after the first term is 10 more than the preceding term.

    Official Guide question
    Answer: C
    Target question: What is the 105th term of S?

    Given: Sequence S has 120 terms

    Statement 1: The first term of S is -8.
    We have no information about the nature of the sequence.
    So, knowing the value of term 1 won't help is determine the value of term 105
    Since we cannot answer the target question with certainty, statement 1 is NOT SUFFICIENT

    Statement 2: Each term of S after the first term is 10 more than the preceding term.
    This statement provides information about the nature of the sequence, but we don't know the first term.
    For example, the 105th term of the sequence {10, 20, 30, 40, ....} will be different from the 105th term of the sequence {3310, 3320, 3330, 3340, ....}
    Since we cannot answer the target question with certainty, statement 2 is NOT SUFFICIENT

    Statements 1 and 2 combined
    Statement 1 tells us that term 1 = -8
    Statement 2 tells us that every term (after term 1) is 10 more than the preceding term
    So, the sequence is as follows: -8, 2, 12, 22, 32, 42, 52, 62, .....
    At this point we COULD determine the value of the 105th term of the sequence . For example, we could keep listing every term until we get to the 105th term. However, we don't need to do that, since our sole objective is to determine whether we have sufficient information to answer the target question (which we DO)
    Since we can answer the target question with certainty, the combined statements are SUFFICIENT

    Answer: C

    Cheers,
    Brent

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    Post Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:15 pm
    jjjinapinch wrote:
    If sequence S has 120 terms, what is the 105th term of S?

    (1) The first term of S is -8.
    (2) Each term of S after the first term is 10 more than the preceding term.

    Official Guide question
    Answer: C
    This is a typical sequence question.

    In a sequence question, if you know the first term and the order by which the subsequent terms are lined up, you can get the value of any term. In a nut shell, you must know the pattern.

    Statement 1: The first term of S is -8.

    We do not know the order by which the subsequent terms are lined up. Insufficient.

    Statement 2: Each term of S after the first term is 10 more than the preceding term.

    Though we know the order by which the subsequent terms are lined up, we do not know the first term. Insufficient.

    Statement 1 & 2:

    We know both the things.

    From (1), we have the first term = -8

    and from (2), we have the pattern or the order of terms.

    Thus, the sequence would be: { -8, 2, 12, 22, 32, ....}

    By this way, we are sure to get the value of the 105th term. There is no need to calculate till we are sure that we get it. Sufficient.

    The correct answer: C

    Hope this helps!

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    Post Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:31 pm
    Hi jjjinapinch,

    This question is another great example of a 'concept' question - if you understand the concept(s) involved, then you can get to the correct answer without doing much (if any) math.

    We're told that a sequence has 120 terms. We're asked for the 105th term in the sequence.

    1) The first term of S is -8.

    While this Fact tells us the 1st term in the sequence, it does NOT tell us how the sequence progresses. The sequence might increase, decrease or 'oscillate', so there's no way to determine the 105th term.
    Fact 1 is INSUFFICIENT.

    2) Each term of S after the first term is 10 more than the preceding term.

    Fact 2 tells us how the sequence progresses (each term is 10 greater than the term that precedes it), BUT we don't know any of the individual terms, so there's no way to determine the exact value of any of them.
    Fact 2 is INSUFFICIENT.

    Combined, we know:
    -The first term is -8
    -Each term is 10 greater than the one that precedes it.

    Thus, we could figure out the 105th term (either algebraically or y just "adding 10s" until we get to that term). Either way, we CAN determine the value of the 105th term.
    Combined, SUFFICIENT.

    Final Answer: C

    GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
    Rich

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