The given GMAT sample question is a data sufficiency question in Algebra and requires finding whether a unique solution to the system of equations in two variables is possible. A 600 to 650 level GMAT sample question in system of equations - GMAT DS.
This data sufficiency problem consists of a question and two statements, labeled (1) and (2), in which certain data are given. You have to decide whether the data given in the statements are sufficient for answering the question. Using the data given in the statements, plus your knowledge of mathematics and everyday facts (such as the number of days in a leap year or the meaning of the word counterclockwise), you must indicate whether -
All numbers used are real numbers.
A figure accompanying a data sufficiency question will conform to the information given in the question but will not necessarily conform to the additional information given in statements (1) and (2)
Lines shown as straight can be assumed to be straight and lines that appear jagged can also be assumed to be straight
You may assume that the positions of points, angles, regions, etc. exist in the order shown and that angle measures are greater than zero.
All figures lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated.
In data sufficiency problems that ask for the value of a quantity, the data given in the statement are sufficient only when it is possible to determine exactly one numerical value for the quantity.
Question 5: Is y = 3?
What kind of an answer will this GMAT DS question fetch?
The question is an "Is" question. Answer to an "is" questions is either YES or NO.
When is the data sufficient?
The data is sufficient if we are able to get a DEFINITE YES or a DEFINITE NO from the information given in the statements.
Do we have any additional information about 'y' from the question stem?
There is no additional data available about 'y' in the question stem.
If product of the two terms (y - 3) and (x - 4) is 0, then at least one of the two terms equals 0.
(y - 3) = 0 or (x - 4) = 0 or both (y - 3) and (x - 4) equal 0.
i.e., either y = 3 or x = 4 or that both y = 3 and x = 4.
If x = 4, y could take any value. The value of 'y' could be 3 or it could be some other value and the product will still be a 0.
Example: x = 4 and y = 5. The equation holds good. y ≠ 3.
Counter example: x = 4 and y = 3. The equation holds good. y = 3
We CANNOT determine whether 'y' is 3 from this statement.
Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient.
Eliminate choices A and D. Choices narrow down to B, C or E.
The statement provides no information about y.
Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient.
Eliminate choice B. Choices narrow down to C or E.
When x = 4, (y - 3)(x - 4) will be 0 irrespective of the value that y takes.
Can 'y' be 3? Yes 'y' can be 3.
Is y = 3? Not necessary.It can take values other than 3 and the data in the two statements will still hold good.
Eliminate choice C.
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