• NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    Hundreds of Questions Highly Detailed Reporting Expert Explanations TAKE A FREE GMAT QUIZ
  • 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    VERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMS
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote
    REDEEM NOW

Is x < 0?

This topic has 3 expert replies and 0 member replies

GMAT/MBA Expert

Is x < 0?

Post

Timer

00:00

Your Answer

A

B

C

D

E

Global Stats

Difficult



[GMAT math practice question]

Is x < 0?

1) x^3 + 1 < 0
2) x^3 + x + 1 < 0

_________________

Math Revolution
Finish GMAT Quant Section with 10 minutes to spare.
The one-and-only World’s First Variable Approach for DS and IVY Approach for PS with ease, speed and accuracy.
Only $149 for 3 month Online Course
Free Resources-30 day online access & Diagnostic Test
Unlimited Access to over 120 free video lessons-try it yourself
Email to : info@mathrevolution.com

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post
Max@Math Revolution wrote:
[GMAT math practice question]

Is x < 0?

1) x³ + 1 < 0
2) x³ + x + 1 < 0
Target question: Is x < 0?

Two important rules:
ODD exponents preserve the sign of the base.
So, (NEGATIVE)^(ODD integer) = NEGATIVE
and (POSITIVE)^(ODD integer) = POSITIVE

An EVEN exponent always yields a positive result (unless the base = 0)
So, (NEGATIVE)^(EVEN integer) = POSITIVE
and (POSITIVE)^(EVEN integer) = POSITIVE

Statement 1: x³ + 1 < 0
Subtract 1 from both sides to get: x³ < -1
If x³ is less than -1, then x³ is NEGATIVE
Since an odd power (like 3) preserves the sign of the base, we know that x is NEGATIVE
The answer to the target question is YES, it is true that x < 0
Since we can answer the target question with certainty, statement 1 is SUFFICIENT

Statement 2: x³ + x + 1 < 0
Subtract 1 from both sides to get: x³ + x < -1
Let's see what happens when x is POSITIVE, and when x is NEGATIVE

If x is POSITIVE, we get: POSITIVE³ + POSITIVE < -1
Use the above rule to simplify: POSITIVE + POSITIVE < -1
This is IMPOSSIBLE, so it CANNOT be the case that x is positive

If x is NEGATIVE, we get: NEGATIVE³ + NEGATIVE< -1
Use the above rule to simplify: NEGATIVE + NEGATIVE < -1
PERFECT!
The answer to the target question is YES, it is true that x < 0
Since we can answer the target question with certainty, statement 2 is SUFFICIENT

Answer: D

Cheers,
Brent

_________________
Brent Hanneson – Creator of GMATPrepNow.com
Use my video course along with Beat The GMAT's free 60-Day Study Guide

Sign up for free Question of the Day emails
And check out all of these free resources

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
GMAT Prep Now's comprehensive video course can be used in conjunction with Beat The GMAT’s FREE 60-Day Study Guide and reach your target score in 2 months!

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post
Max@Math Revolution wrote:
[GMAT math practice question]

Is x < 0?

1) x^3 + 1 < 0
2) x^3 + x + 1 < 0
Statement 1:
x³ < -1
The cube of x will be negative only if x itself is negative.
Thus, x < 0.
SUFFICIENT.

Statement 2:
x³ + x < -1
x(x² + 1) < -1
Since the square of a value cannot be negative, x² ≥ 0, with the result that the factor in blue must be POSITIVE.
Implication:
For the left side to yield a negative product, the factor in red must be NEGATIVE.
Thus, x < 0.
SUFFICIENT.

The correct answer is D.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
Private Tutor for the GMAT and GRE
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.

Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.
Student Review #1
Student Review #2
Student Review #3

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.

GMAT/MBA Expert

Legendary Member
Joined
24 Jul 2015
Posted:
2401 messages
Followed by:
32 members
Upvotes:
19
GMAT Score:
Most Active Expert
Post
=>

Forget conventional ways of solving math questions. For DS problems, the VA (Variable Approach) method is the quickest and easiest way to find the answer without actually solving the problem. Remember that equal numbers of variables and independent equations ensure a solution.

Since we have 1 variable (x) and 0 equations, D is most likely to be the answer. So, we should consider each condition on its own first.

Condition 1)
x^3 + 1 < 0
=> (x+1)(x^2-x+1) < 0
=> x + 1 < 0 since x^2-x+1 > 0
=> x < -1 < 0
Thus, condition 1) is sufficient, and the answer is ‘yes’.

Condition 2)
x^3 + x + 1 < 0
=> x^3 + x < -1
=> x(x^2 + 1) < -1
=> x < -1/(x^2 + 1) since x^2 + 1 > 0
=> x < -1/(x^2 + 1) < 0 since x^2 + 1 > 0
Thus, condition 2) is sufficient, and the answer is ‘yes’.

Therefore, D is the answer.
Answer: D

_________________

Math Revolution
Finish GMAT Quant Section with 10 minutes to spare.
The one-and-only World’s First Variable Approach for DS and IVY Approach for PS with ease, speed and accuracy.
Only $149 for 3 month Online Course
Free Resources-30 day online access & Diagnostic Test
Unlimited Access to over 120 free video lessons-try it yourself
Email to : info@mathrevolution.com

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • The Princeton Review
    FREE GMAT Exam
    Know how you'd score today for $0

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    The Princeton Review
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors

Top First Responders*

1 Ian Stewart 50 first replies
2 Brent@GMATPrepNow 37 first replies
3 Jay@ManhattanReview 33 first replies
4 GMATGuruNY 29 first replies
5 ceilidh.erickson 14 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

Most Active Experts

1 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

209 posts
2 image description Max@Math Revolution

Math Revolution

92 posts
3 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

79 posts
4 image description Ian Stewart

GMATiX Teacher

57 posts
5 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

49 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts