GMAT Probability Rule #1
GMAT Probability Rule #2
GMAT Probability Rule #3
GMAT Probability Rule #4
A bag contains six blue marbles and six red marbles. If Teresa randomly chooses a marble from the bag, what is the probability that the marble is blue?
The probability of an event occurring is expressed as a number
between 0 and 1. A probability of 0 means the event can never
happen. A probability of 1 means the event is certain to happen.
You may see probability express on the GMAT in terms of a percent, a
decimal, or a fraction. For instance, the probability of a fair coin
landing on tails can be expressed as
Sometimes you may see notation similar to that below:
P(A) = 1/2
This means that the probability of an event A is 1/2.
3. The probability of event A AND event B occurring is the probability of event A times the probability of event B given that event A has already occurred.
4. The probability of event A OR event B occurring is the probability of event
A occurring plus the probability of event B occurring minus the probability
of both events occurring.
The probability of an event A occurring is the number of outcomes that
result in A divided by the total number of possible outcomes.
Probability of even number = [2, 4, 6]/[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Probability of even number = 3/6
Probability of even number = \u00bd
In other words, we can say with 100% certainty that an event will either occur or not
occur. For instance, the probability of a fair, six-sided die rolling a 4 is 1/6. The
probability of the die not landing on 4 is (1 - 1/6) or 5/6. 1/6 + 5/6 = 1.
This concept can be very helpful on the GMAT. Sometimes it is easier to determine
the probability of an event not occurring than determining the probability of an event
occurring. Once your know the probability of an event not occurring, you can
subtract the probability from 1 to find the probability of an event occurring.
Probability of 1st die coming up 6: 1/6
Probability of 2nd die coming up 6: 1/6
Probability of both die coming up 6: (1/6) * (1/6)
Probability of both die coming up 6: 1/36
This problem is a dependent probability. Two events are said to be dependent
events if the outcome of one event affects the outcome of the other event. The
probability of drawing the second marble depends on the outcome of the first
marble. If the first marble is red, there is no possibility of drawing two blue marbles.
Thus, the probability of drawing a second blue marble is calculated after the first blue
marble has been drawn.
marbles remaining in the bag.
Probability of drawing blue on second draw (given that first was blue): 2/5
Probability of drawing two blue: (3/6) * (2/5)
The probability of event A OR event B occurring is the probability of event A occurring plus the probability of event B occurring minus the probability of both events occurring.
Probability of 2: 1/6
Probability of 4: 1/6
Probability of a 2 or 4: 1/6 + 1/6
Probability of a 2 or 4: 2/6
Probability of a 2 or 4: 1/3
In the previous problem, the events were mutually exclusive. Mutually exclusive means that the events cannot occur together. There is no way to roll a 2 and a 4 at the same time. The events in the following problem are NOT mutually exclusive.
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