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Summary of Convergence Tests for Series

(by Beatriz Navarro-Lameda and Nikita Nikolaev)

When to Use Conclusions


Test
1
X 1
X a
Geometric arn arn = if |r| < 1; diverges if |r| 1.
Series 1 r
n=0 n=0

Necessary
All series If lim an 6= 0, then the series diverges.
Condition n!1
Test
an = f (n) 1
X Z 1
fZ is continuous, positive and decreasing. an and f (x) dx
Integral 1 1
n=1
Test f (x) dx is easy to compute. both converge or both diverge.
1
1
X 1
p-series Converges for p > 1; diverges for p 1.
np
n=1
1
X 1
X
If bn converges, then an converges.
n=1 n=1
Comparison 0 a n bn 1 1
X X
Test If an diverges, then bn diverges
n=1 n=1
1
X 1
X
Limit Com- an an and bn
an , bn > 0 and lim = L (0 < L < 1)
parison n!1 bn n=1 n=1
Test both converge or both diverge.
If bn > 0, 8n
1
{bn } is decreasing
X
Alternating ( 1)n bn , bn > 0 lim bn = 0
n!1
Series Test n=1 1
X
Then ( 1)n bn is convergent.
n=1
1
X 1
X
Series with some positive terms and some
Absolute If |an | converges, then an converges
negative terms (including alternating
Conver- n=1 n=1
series) (absolutely).
gence
an+1
For lim = L (including L = 1),
n!1 an
X1

Any series (especially those involving If L < 1, then an converges


Ratio Test exponentials and/or factorials) n=1
X1
If L > 1, then an diverges
n=1
If L = 1, then we can draw no conclusion.