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Delta Course - Probablity - Statistics - Counting (Not for GMAT)

# Delta Course - Probablity - Statistics - Counting (Not for GMAT)

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03/18/2014

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Probability Overview
In this section we will cover:

Expressing probabilities
GMAT Probability Rule #1
GMAT Probability Rule #2
GMAT Probability Rule #3
GMAT Probability Rule #4

Probability
You may encounter questions on the GMAT that ask the probability of an event
occuring. For instance:
\u2022
Sara rolls two fair, six-sided dice. What is the probability she will roll two 6s?
\u2022
Roland flip two fair coins. What is the probability that neither of the coins will
land on tails?
\u2022

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?

All of these problems are probability problems.Probability is a measure of the
likelihood of an event occurring.
Expressing Probability

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

Fraction1/2
Decimal.5
Percent50%

Sometimes you may see notation similar to that below:
P(A) = \u00bd
This means that the probability of an event A is 1/2.

Probability Rules
There are four probability rules you need to memorize in order to master GMAT
probability questions:
1. The probability of an event A occurring is the number of outcomes that
result in A divided by the total number of possible outcomes.
2. The probability of an event occurring plus the probability of the event not
occurring equals 1.
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.

Rule #1
Basic Probability
The probability of an event A occurring is the number of outcomes that
result in A divided by the total number of possible outcomes.
Example: Raphael tosses a fair coin. What is the probability the coin will
Example: Tom rolls a fair die. What is the probability that the die will roll an
even number?

Probability of even number = [2, 4, 6]/[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Probability of even number = 3/6
Probability of even number = \u00bd

Rule #2
Complementary Events
The probability of an event occurring plus the probability of the event not
occurring equals 1.

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.

Rule #3
Conditional Probability
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.