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800 Permutation-Combination-Probality Lession (Not for GMAT)

# 800 Permutation-Combination-Probality Lession (Not for GMAT)

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11/08/2012

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Chapter 1:
Introduction to
Permutations

Print out chapter
Permutation questions are about taking a group of objects and totaling how many ways we can arrange them in
specific ways. Here is an example that we will explain later.
In how many ways can a pet shop line up 3 cats and 3 dogs in 6 cages if the cats must be in the
second, fourth, and sixth cages?
I. The Basics: Three Steps to Permutation Clarity

1. Figure out how many places there are to fill.
2. Figure out how many objects potentially can go into each place.

Example
How many outcomes are there when two identical dice are rolled?
Following the steps:
1. Figure out how many places there are to fill
Because there are two dice, there are two places to fill:
__ __
2. Figure out how many objects potentially can go into each place
Because each die has 6 different potential outcomes, we will fill the spaces accordingly:
_6_ _6
_
_6_ \u00d7 _6_ = 36
Example 2

In Country X, three digit area codes are to be given to each town. The first digit will be any number from 2-9, inclusive, the second digit can only be either 0 or 1, and the third digit can be any number from 0-9, inclusive. How many different area codes can be issued in Country X?

Following the steps:
1. Figure out how many places there are to fill
Because there are three digits, there are three places to fill: __ __ __
2. Figure out how many objects potentially can go into each place

The question states that the first digit can be any number from 2-9, inclusive. There are
therefore 8 potential options. The second digit can be only 0 or 1, therefore, there are 2 potential
options. The third digit can be any number from 0-9, inclusive, and there are 10 such numbers.
The diagram looks like this:

_8_ _2_ _10_.
_8_ \u00d7 _2
_ \u00d7 _10_ = 160
II. Permutations Without Replacement

Sometimes the number of possibilities decreases instead of remaining the same. With dice, you may role dice as
many times as you want, but there will always be 6 possibilities. But sometimes the number of possibilities
change in a question.

A student wants to assign 7 different books to 3 spaces, how many different possible possibilities are there?
Would you calculate _7_ \u00d7 _7_ \u00d7 _7_= 343 like above?
How could you if ever time you select a book, the number of possibilities decreases?
Use Logic
Logic tells us that there are 7 choices for the first book. Then 6 choices for the second book and then 5 choices
for the third book. Possibilities decrease as items are selected.
To calculate the total possibilities for the three spaces we multiply 7 \u00d7 6 \u00d7 5 = 210
Permutations Without Replacement Formula
There is a more specific formula for this that essentially does the same thing as the logic above.

If want to fit 7 books into 3 spaces, and want to know the possible permutations, you would assign 7 ton (since it is the objects which you are choosing from), and assign 3 tor (since it is the number of spaces thatn can fit into Therefore the formula would read:

In this formula,n stands for the distinct objects which you are choosing from, r stands for the number of spaces which those r objects can fit into, andP stands for Permutation, and is not an arithmetic part of the equation. The exclamation point(!) after each letter represents thefactorial of that number.

Factorial(!) means multiplying a number by every positive integer below it down to 1.
5! = 5 \u00d7 4 \u00d7 3 \u00d7 2 \u00d7 1 = 120
3! = 3 \u00d7 2 \u00d7 1 = 6
that would be written out as:
We can cancel out 4 \u00d7 3 \u00d7 2 \u00d7 1 in both the numerator and denominator, so we are left with 7 \u00d7 6 \u00d7 5 which
equals 210.
800score Tip:

It is your choice as a student whether to rely on either the
formula or use logic. 800score provides both approaches,
but we suggest logic. The GMAT isn't interested in your
perfect memorization of the permutation formula, the GMAT
wants you to have a good intuitive sense of how
permutations work.

III. Replacement or Non-Replacement
The GMAT will test your ability to distinguish problems with or without replacement. So you should be very good
at identifying which one it is.

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