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Permutations and Combinations for CAT 2011: How to distribute a box of chocolates

by Guest Writer on 22 September 2011 in MBA test prep, Permutations & Combinations, Quantitative Aptitude Contributed By: Ravi Handa 39 comments

(Photo: Cody and Maureen) As an astute man Mr Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The Permutations & Combinations that life presents us daily is baffling and probably it is because of that inherent fear of choices and cases that we get intimidated by such questions in the CAT. I understand that P & C is one of the most dreaded topics but I hope that once you understand the fundas given below, your fear will reduce.

Funda 1: De-arrangement If ‘n’ distinct items are arranged in a row, then the number of ways they can be rearranged such that none of them occupies its original position is, n! * ((1/0!) – (1/1!) + (1/2!) – (1/3!) + … ((-1)n/n!)) Note: De-arrangement of 1 object is not possible. Dearr(2) = 1; Dearr(3) = 2; Dearr(4) =12 – 4 + 1 = 9; Dearr(5) = 60 – 20 + 5 – 1 = 44

Example, A person has eight letters and eight addressed envelopes corresponding to those letters. In how many ways can he put the letters in the envelopes such that exactly 5 of them get delivered correctly? Solution, At first, select the five letters that get delivered correctly. That can be done in 8C5 ways. Now, the other three must get delivered to the wrong address. That can be done in Dearr(3) = 2 ways. So, total ways is 2 x 8C5 = 2 x 56 = 112 ways.

Funda 2: Partitioning ‘n’ identical items in ‘r’ distinct groups ‘n’ distinct objects in ‘r’ distinct groups No restrictions: No group empty: No restrictions:
n+r-1C r-1 n-1C r-1

rn

Arrangement in a group is important: (n + r -1)! / (r-1)!

Note: Other than standard distribution / partitioning problems, these ideas can be used to solve questions in which number of solutions are asked. Example, How many solutions are there to the equation a + b + c = 100; given that a) a, b and c are whole numbers. b) a, b and c are natural numbers. Solution, Case a) is identical to a case in which 100 identical chocolates are being distributed in three kids a, b and c. It is possible that one kid gets all the chocolates. In this case, we will use the formula for distributing ‘n’ identical items in ‘r’ distinct groups where n = 100 and r = 3. So, it can be done in 102C2 ways. Case b) is identical to one in which 100 identical chocolates are being distributed in three kids a, b and c. Every kid must get at least one chocolate. In this case, we will use the formula for distributing ‘n’ identical items in ‘r’ distinct groups where no group is empty and n = 100 and r = 3. So, it can be done in 99C2 ways. Example, In how many ways can you distribute 5 rings in a) 4 boxes b) 4 fingers Solution, First of all we need to identify the difference between distributing in boxes and distributing in 4 fingers. The distinction is that in case of fingers, unlike boxes, the order in which rings are placed matters.

In Case a; Ring 1 can go in any of the four boxes, so it has four choices. Ring 2 can also go in any of the four boxes, so it has four choices. Similarly for Ring 3, Ring 4 and Ring 5; there are 4 choices each. So, the total number of ways of distribution is = 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 45. This is essentially how the formula rn is derived.

In Case b) Ring 1 can go in any of the four fingers, so it has 4 choices. Ring 2 can go in any of the four fingers but it has five choices. There is a finger, say F3, which contains the ring R1. Now, on F3, R2 has two choices – it can go above R1 or below R1. So, the total number of choices for R2 is 5. Ring 3 can go in any of the four fingers but it now has 6 choices. Ring 4 can go in any of the four fingers but it will now have 7 choices. Ring 5 can go in any of the four fingers but it will now have 8 choices. So, the total number of way of distribution of rings is = 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8 = 8! / 3! This is essentially how the formula (n + r -1)! / (r-1)! is derived.

Funda 3 Number of ways of arranging ‘n’ items, out of which ‘p’ are alike, ‘q’ are alike and ‘r’ are alike given that p + q + r = n OR Number of ways of distributing ‘n’ distinct items, in groups of size ‘p’, ‘q’ and ‘r’ given that p + q + r = n Is equal to, n! / (p! * q! * r!) I hope that this would help you solve problems in the exam. May be the chocolate you end up getting is a Bournville. Maybe you would have earned it.

. Hence. Hence. Then. How long would he take to swim the course with the river flow? Solution Let us say Speed of Rishi Kapoor in still water is ‘RK’ and Speed of the river is ‘R’. then 84. .) Solution As you can see that the speeds are in HP. Example 1 Arun. in still water and with the river flow are. Let us say that the time taken to row down with the stream is ‘t’.If the distance covered is constant (d1 = d2 = d3 … = dn) in each part of the journey. the time taken by ‘a’ & ‘b’ to meet (i. SpeedAvg = (s1 + s2 + s3 … +sn)/n • Funda 2: Using Progressions (Arithmetic & Harmonic) In many questions. 40 and 60 km per hour respectively. t = √(ta * tb) Note: The same formulae will be valid if two bodies ‘a’ & ‘b’ start at different times from two points P & Q towards each other. After meeting. . but Zeba Bhaktiyar made me look beyond reason. I remember arguing with my friends that if he could float that long – he could swim back to India as well. Barun starts two hours after Arun. Barun and Kiranmala start from the same place and travel in the same direction at speeds of 30. SpeedAvg = n / (1/s1 + 1/s2 + 1/s3 … + 1/sn) .If the various speeds which are mentioned are in AP. Time difference between Arun and Barun is 2 hours. RK and RK + R. As you can see. Now you can guess what inspires the CAT question setters. so we can say that the times taken will be in AP. the corresponding times taken will be in HP. RK – R. mat. MAT-hematics: A suggested test-taking strategy for September MAT 2011 by Guest Writer on 01 September 2011 in Management Aptitude Test. then the corresponding times taken will be in AP. had Rishi Kapoor floating from India to Pakistan in a river without drowning. Example 2 Rishi Kapoor can swim a certain course against the river flow in 84 minutes. So. An important portion of the plot. ‘a’ takes ta time to reach its destination (Q) and ‘b’ takes tb time to reach its destination (P). Time Speed Distance Contributed By: Ravi Handa 61 comments (Photo credit: Michael Gallacher) I guess my first fascination with problems of Time. Quantitative Aptitude. then the average speed is the Harmonic Mean of the values. We know that if distance is constant.e. but there are a few special cases which might help in solving questions. In this post we will discuss some of the ideas that have helped me solve TSD problems without forming too many equations. to reach point R from P & Q respectively) is given by. Here is a song from the film. After meeting at R. But this information can also be used to deduce the following two facts.If the time taken is constant (t1 = t2 = t3 … = tn) in each part of the journey then the average speed is Arithmetic Mean of the values. they take the same amount of time (‘t’) to reach their respective destinations (Q & P). speed and time are inversely proportional to each other. MBA test prep. then the corresponding times taken will be in HP. My friends nullified the argument by saying. Rishi Kapoor’s speeds against the river flow. They meet at a point R in between after travelling for ta and tb time respectively. t + 9 = (2 * 84 * t) / (84 + t) → t2 + 93t + 756 = 168t → t2 – 75t + 756 = 0 → t = 63 or 12 Funda 3: Special Case Let us say that two bodies ‘a’ & ‘b’ start at the same time from two points P & Q towards each other and meet at a point R in between.If the various speeds which are mentioned are in HP. Quantitative Aptitude Contributed By: Ravi Handa 11 comments . you will come across a situation when a person is going from point A to point B at various speeds and taking various times. he can swim the same course with the river flow in 9 minutes less than he can swim in still water. Sa / Sb = √(tb / ta) Also. Kiranbala started 4 hours after Arun. Hence. they are in AP. so the time difference between Barun and Kiranbala will also be 2 hours. Let us use these ideas to solve couple of quant questions. Speed and Distance began when I first watch a film called Henna. I hope that these ideas will help you reduce the number of equations that you form while solving TSD problems if not completely eliminate them. if you can call it that. Funda 1: Average Speed We know that the average speed during a journey is given by (Total Distance Covered) / (Total Time Taken). If Barun and Kiranmala overtake Arun at the same instant. how many hours after Arun did Kiranmala start? [from CAT 2006] (Some useless information: Arun Barun Kiranmala is a 1968 Bangladeshi film.Solving Time-Speed-Distance problems without using equations by Guest Writer on 08 September 2011 in MBA test prep. t+9 and t are in HP. Speed River > Speed Rishi Kapoor I know that the reference is a little dated for most readers.

But. we are left with 19 → 19 * 20 = 380 → 1952 = 38025 Funda 2: Calculating Percentages Often a lot of calculations can be minimized if you convert percentages into corresponding fractions and vice versa. In the series questions. If you are one of those who are taking the Management Aptitude Test (MAT) this Sunday (September 4. 43 2. Best of Luck. This makes the MAT exam a bit predictable. we are left with 6. You must be aware that the MAT is a 150 minute long test with 200 questions split across five sections. Relations.66 % I hope that this post helps you do well in MAT this Sunday. this is what you can expect from a MAT exam.33 % 25 % 20 % 16. The good part about the MAT exam (or the bad part. I think that most MBA aspirants can wrap up the ‘Indian & Global Environment’ section in 15 minutes. Pie Charts. Fraction 1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5 1/6 1/7 1/8 %age 50 % 33. Funda 1: Calculating Squares For natural numbers 41 to 59: If the distance of the number from 50 is ‘x’. which tests application of knowledge. The time spent on these questions is equal to the amount of time spent on reading the question and browsing the options. I would strongly recommend that you got hold of a few papers from previous years and became accustomed to the format. then the square will be [Product of x and x+1]25. more often than not. Section Total number Suggested of questions Time (Minutes) 40 40 40 40 40 200 30 40 35 30 15 150 1. etc. Tables. 2011). etc.The D-day for some MBA aspirants comes earlier than usual. Sentence Correction.28 % 12. economics.14 % 6. awards.33 % 7. Here is a table that will help you get started. Intelligence & Critical Reasoning: Questions in this section are typically from the standard formats of Linear Arrangements. 195 2 → Remove 5 from the number. 65 2 → Remove 5 from the number. Language Comprehension/English Usage: 4/5 paragraphs with 4/5 questions each (total 20). Typically.66 % 14. There are questions on Permutation & Combination and Probability as well but they are on the difficult side. Some of the questions based on Line Graphs can be calculation intensive in nature so it is advised that you pick your sets carefully. Language Comprehension and English Usage 2. This section also has typically 5-6 questions on series (Number & Alphabet both). etc. it is raw and tests a student on basic knowledge itself. the last two digits will be x2 and the first two digits will be 25+x.5 % Fraction 1/9 1/10 1/11 1/12 1/13 1/14 1/15 %age 11. or as friends in college would say – PAPER PHOR DENA!! .) and at least 5 on Data Sufficiency. Given below are a couple of last minute tips which might help. If you do not know who the RBI governor is – there is no way you can calculate or figure out or guess it (it is Dr D Subbarao). Distance from 50 is 4 → First two digits 25 + 4 = 29 → Last two digits 42 = 16 → 542 = 2916 Example 2. if you cannot see the connection/link in the first 30 seconds. For natural numbers ending in 5: If we remove the last digit ‘5’ from our number and are left with x. Questions on Fill In The Blanks. Percentages. the number of questions is the same in each section but the recommended time varies. You should stick to the 15minute window scheduled for this section. Indian & Global Environment: This section has questions on current affairs. Data Analysis & Sufficiency: Out of the 40 questions typically you can expect around 25 based on Data Interpretation (ie based on Line Graphs. Mathematical Skills: This section is typically very heavy on Arithmetic (Time Speed Distance. Here is a recommended scheme of splitting the time between the five sections. Data Analysis & Sufficiency 4. read on. The reason is that in the ‘Indian & Global Environment’ section the questions are based on General Knowledge. An equal split of time for the five sections would imply that each section gets 30 minutes of your time. 54 2. sports. This gives you extra 15 minutes which you can split between the Mathematical Skills and Data Analysis & Sufficiency sections.69 % 7.09 % 8. There are questions on Geometry as well but they are concentrated on Mensuration with a little bit of Trigonometry thrown in. business. It is very easy to make a mistake in these questions so I would recommend staying away from guesses.11 % 10 % 9. I recommend that you move on to the next question. I will recommend not spending too much time on any of these questions. Para jumbles and Identification of the Correct Sentence are asked to test English Usage. etc. Work. Example 1. Indian & Global Environment TOTAL As you can see for yourself. → 6 * 7 = 42 → 652 = 4225 Example 4.). → First two digits 25 – 7 = 18 → Last two digits (-7)2 = 49 → 432 = 1849 Example 3. You should be comfortable with speedy calculations for making the most of your time in the MAT. Once again. Intelligence & Critical Reasoning 5. All of these questions are of the either you know it or you don’t variety. it is not going to be worth your time. Distance from 50 is -7. depending on which side of the fence you are on) is that unlike the CAT. Mathematical Skills 3. It is easier said than done because you always get a feeling that you can crack them.

N is divisible by 9 → Also. Hence the same test works for 9. Example 2. Funda 3: Osculator/seed number method For checking divisibility by ‘p’. MBA test prep. Funda 1 For checking divisibility by ‘p’. which is of the format of 10n – 1. sum of blocks of size ‘n’ needs to be checked (blocks should be considered from the least significant digit. Dividing — rather divisibility rules to be specific — can come in really handy at times in solving problems based on Number Systems. Hence the same test works for 3. N is divisible by 99 → Also. Hence the same test works for 7.) Example 1. derived from the Latin phrase ‘Divide et impera’. N is divisible by all factors of 999. Funda 2 For checking divisibility by ‘p’.Divide & Conquer: 3 simple rules to find out divisibility of numbers by Guest Writer on 25 August 2011 in Arithmetic. N is divisible by all factors of 9. 37 and others. 13 and others. then the number is divisible by p. Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 till you get to a number which you can easily check that whether or not it is divisible by p. then the number is divisible by 2n or 5n and vice versa. Quantitative Aptitude Contributed By: Ravi Handa 46 comments The concept of ‘divide and conquer’. (-m in case of 10m+1 and +m in case of 10m – 1) Step 2: Remove the last digit and multiply it with the seed number. For rules about a few other types of numbers. the order in which + and – signs are used is of no importance. then the number is divisible by p. Step 1: Figure out an equation such that p ∗ n = 10m ± 1 If we have this equation. Check if a number (N = abcdefgh) is divisible by 11 → 11 is 101 + 1 → Alternating sum of digits is done 1 at a time = a – b + c – d + e – f + g – h = X → If X is divisible by 11. Since we are using it to just check the divisibility. Check if a number (N = abcdefgh) is divisible by 99 → 99 is 102 – 1 → Sum of digits is done 2 at a time = ab + cd + ef + gh = X → If X is divisible by 99. (Alternating Sum: Sum of a given set of numbers with alternating + and – signs. If the sum is divisible by p. or the right side). If the alternating sum is divisible by p. N is divisible by 11 Example 2. or the right side). Divisibility rules. N is divisible by 1001 → Also. Example 1. was put into use effectively by everyone from Caesar to Napoleon to the British in India. . 11. The standard rules which nearly all of us are very comfortable with are the ones for 2n and 5n — all that one needs to do is look at the last ‘n’ digits of the number. If the last ‘n’ digits of a number are divisible by 2n or 5n. 11 and others. Check if a number (N = abcdefgh) is divisible by 999 → 999 is 103 – 1 → Sum of digits is done 3 at a time = ab + cde + fgh = X → If X is divisible by 999. the osculator/seed number for ‘p’ will be -+m. Check if a number (N = abcdefgh) is divisible by 1001 → 1001 is 103 + 1 → Sum of digits is done 3 at a time = ab – cde + fgh = X → If X is divisible by 1001. N is divisible by 101 Example 3. Check if a number (N = abcdefgh) is divisible by 9 → 9 is 101 – 1 → Sum of digits is done 1 at a time = a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h = X → If X is divisible by 9. Check if a number (N = abcdefgh) is divisible by 101 → 101 is 102 + 1 → Alternating sum of digits is done 2 at a time = ab – cd + ef – gh = X → If X is divisible by 101. Hence the same test works for 27. N is divisible by 999 → Also. I suggest that you read on. Even Muammar Gaddafi tried using it but as the latest news events show us — he wasn’t very effective at gaining from it. Example 3. which is of the format of 10n + 1. alternating sum of blocks of size ‘n’ needs to be checked (blocks should be considered from the least significant digit. N is divisible by all factors of 1001. N is divisible by all factors of 99. Step 3: Add the product with the number that is left after removing the last digit.

MBA test prep. Quantitative Aptitude . Eg 2a: Second last digit of 1372482 → Second last digit of 72482 → Second last digit of 72480 x 722 → Second last digit of (7210) 48 x (**84) → Second last digit of 2448 x (**84) → Second last digit of 76 x 84 → Second last digit of 6384 = 8 Eg 2b: Second last digit of 48307 = (483) 102 x 48 = (****92) 102 x 48 → Second last digit of 92100 x 922 x 48 = 76 x (**64) x 48 → Second last digit of (****72) = 7 Eg 2c: Second last digit of 15484 = Second last digit of (54) 84 → Second last digit of (545) 16 x 544 = (***24) 16 x (542) 2 → Second last digit of 76 x (2916) 2 → Second last digit of 76 x 56 → Second last digit of 4256 = 5 I hope that after reading this post you will be at ease in figuring out the second last digit in such type of questions. We reduce the number in such a way that the last two digits of the base become 76. “You Don’t Win Silver — You Lose Gold. We need to remember the following ideas: • • • Now **2 raised to power 10 will always end in 24. b. It did happen in CAT 2008. All the other questions can be divided in two broad categories. In few cases. MBA test prep. you should try and see if a pattern exists. In a way. p. Figuring out the second last digit is often tougher than figuring out the last digit in the particular type of Quantitative Ability questions I am going to write about. Finding the second last digit.” Nike’s use of this slogan drew harsh criticism from many former Olympic Silver medalists. it did undermine the importance of the second position but in Math things are often very different. Percentages. Last digit of (Second last digit of base) X (Last digit of power) Let us look at few examples. We first convert the number in such a way that the last digit of the base becomes 1. second last digit will be 2 or 7 (which can be easily figured out by observing the cyclicity). Winning Silver: Figuring out the second last digit in Quantitative Aptitude by Guest Writer on 18 August 2011 in Arithmetic. Those will be the easier cases. How conceptual clarity in a handful of subjects can end your Math-phobia by Guest Writer on 05 August 2011 in Conceptual clarity. Quantitative Aptitude Contributed By: Ravi Handa 49 comments Nike caused controversy with its advertising campaign during the 1996 Olympics by using the slogan. Read on if you wish to do the same for the not-so-easy cases. Check whether 131537 is divisible by 19 or not. 24 raised to an even power will always end in 76 and to an odd power will always end in 24. The second last digit of the number will then simply be. Eg 1a: Second last digit of 3791768 = Last digit of 9×8 = 2 Eg 1b: Second last digit of 1739768 = Second last digit of 39768 = Second last digit of Second Last digit of 1521384 = Last digit of 2 × 4 = 8 Eg 1c: Second last digit of 9317768 = Second last digit of 17768 = Second last digit of (174) 192 = Second last digit of (…21) 192 = Last digit of 2 x 2 = 4 Concept 2: What to do when the last digit is even? The second last digit always depends on the last two digits of the number so anything before that can be easily neglected. you will be able to do it by forming a cycle and observing the pattern. 76 raised to any power will always end in 76. → 19∗1 = 10∗2 – 1 (Seed number is +2) → 131537 →13153+7∗2=13167→1316+7∗2=1330→133+0∗2=133 → 133 is divisible by 19 → 131537 is divisible by 19 I hope that these divisibility rules will enable you to divide and conquer few of the Number Systems problems that you encounter during your preparation. The question becomes really simple if the last digit in abcpqr is 0 or 5 because if it 0. q and r are digits and c is not 0 or 5.Example. It is unlikely but definitely not impossible that in CAT you get a straightforward question that asks you to find out the second last digit of a number (abcpqr). c. a) Last digit is odd b) Last digit is even I recommend that before using any of the concepts given below. Concept 1: What to do when the last digit is odd? The second last digit always depends on the last two digits of the number so anything before that can be easily neglected. I also hope that you will not mind winning silver medals either. Let us consider our number is abcpqr where a. the second last digit will be 0 and if it is 5. we can use these to find out the second last digit.

40% of 10 = 10% of 10 + 10% of 10 + 10% of 10 + 10% of 10 = 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4 = 4 x (10% of 10) = 4 x 1 = 4 = (50% of 10) – (10% of 10) = 5 – 1 = 4 It may be easier to understand the concept of percentages pictorially. this might increase the proportion of tough questions in the paper and smart selection of questions alone might not save the day. what will be A’s population in 2013 per 1. To solve the tough questions. A’s income in 2011 is Rs 20.000 and increases the amount by 10% twice successively. one main concept binds the group together. work. ‘A’ buys an item for Rs 20. discounts. the makers of CAT want to see how good you are at breaking down a large problem into smaller ones in order to arrive at the answer. If it increases by 10% next month.000 per month. Q1 Set Inco 1 me Set Inco 2 me Q2 Item price Item price Q3 Populati on Populati on Value 20. binomial applications. If it increases by 10% next month. 40% of 10 = 10% of 10 + 10% of 10 + 10% of 10 + 10% of 10 = 4 x (10% of 10) = (50% of 10) – (10% of 10) How to find the 10% of anything? Simply move the decimal point one place to the left.000 per 1. speed and distance. Let’s see what the connection is among percentages.000 acre. and indexing. But there is an even more intuitive and better method. what will be the next month’s salary? Q2. The basic question remains the same — “What happens if we add an eleventh piece to the pizza?” Let’s pump up the complexity of the above three questions a bit in ‘Set 2′. So 10% of 10 becomes 1. the main concept that binds all the group members together is percentages. For Group III. area. loss. ‘A’ buys an item for Rs 20. what will be the next month salary? If the salary further increases by same percentage point in the subsequent month. Q1. The income in first question corresponds to the price of the item in the second and population in the third. maxima & minima.000 per 1. Town A’s 2011 population is 20. what will be A’s population in 2012. proportion. 40% would then be equivalent to four pieces of the pizza (Part I in the diagram). Q1. the importance of QA has only increased in the newly announced format of CAT 2011. volume or weight. To top it. If the population increases by 10%. If you improved your skills at calculating percentages. Group II: Questions related to algebra. what is the selling price of the item? Q3.000 acres considering similar increase year on year? The three questions now deal with ‘an increase over an increase’. Example: What is 40% of 10? The straight way of finding it is to use the percentage formula. a tough quant problem usually does not contain a single concept in a complex form as much as it does many concepts entwined together. mark up.0 = 1. As per a previous analysis on PaGaLGuY. functions.000 22. For example in Group I. inequalities.000 acre. markup and indexing questions would automatically increase. In each of the above groups.000 (after increase of 10%) Percentage change 10% 10% (over an increase) Increased value 22. price. And hence. profit. time. gradually it will cease to matter to you whether the question is about income. The importance of conceptual clarity Consider the following categorization of important sub-topics in QA into groups on the basis of how frequently they appear together in questions. This is how the CAT examiners have been confusing test-takers by mixing up terminology from multiple subjects to see if you can identify the main concept and crack the question faster. partnership. In throwing such questions into the question paper. This is easy to do. profit and loss. If the population increases by 10%. you would need to improve upon conceptual clarity. In the CAT. per 1. quadratic equations. Which means that solving Group I problems requires you to understand the percentages concept and build your skills at calculating percentages faster.000 and sells it for a 10% profit.200 Now with practice if you learn to identify that the core of all such questions is ‘percentage increases’ over a base value. Increasing this pizza by 10% would then mean adding an eleventh piece of 10% size to the circle (Part II). compound interest & simple interest. In Group II. discounts. Imagine a 10-part pizza. what is the selling price of the item? Q3. what will be the final salary amount? Q2. linear equations.000 acres? All three of the Set 1 questions are essentially the same. . Town A’s 2011 population is 20. Group I: Questions related to percentages. profit & loss and compound & simple interest in the following ‘Set 1′ questions. Group III: Questions related to ratio. Quantitative Aptitude (QA) is the section that many absolutely dread.000 per month. 2-D co-ordinate system. conceptual clarity in ratios and proportions will do the trick. A’s income in 2011 is Rs 20. number.Contributed By: Shubhanshu Bansal 27 comments Let’s face it.000 24. your efficiency at solving compound and simple interest. building conceptual clarity in algebra will make solving questions related to the rest of the group items easier.

always try and find out which number (or prime number) will become the limiting factor. In most cases you can just look at a number and say that which one of its prime factors will be the limiting factor. MBA test prep. 7! = 5040. we need to find out the power of 3 in 134! → [134/3] = 44 → [44/3] = 14 → [14/3] = 4 → [4/3] = 1 → Power of 3 in 134! = 44 + 14 + 4 + 1 = 63 Example: What is the highest power of 9 that divides 134! ? As 9 is not a prime number. you can! If the speed of the cash register discourages you. 5! = 120. Highest power of 18 and 36 will also be 31. For example. 3! = 6. 10 is not a prime number and its prime factors are . 4! = 24. the highest power of 10 that divides n!. For instance. Initially. 1! = 1. Highest power of 9 that divides 134! is 31. 6! = 720. you can try calculating to the nearest whole number approximation and gradually move towards precision. It is probably because Factorials are simple looking creatures. 3 is the bigger prime. Use that to calculate your answer. Eventually a comfort zone will emerge and you will start building your own little tricks and shortcuts. Some of the factorials that might speed up your calculation are: 0! = 1. I will cover P&C and Probability in a later article but in today’s post I would like to discuss some fundas related to factorials. when buying fruits and vegetables at supermarkets.000g or 1 kg. so its power will be the limiting factor. Note: To find out the highest power of a composite number. as many quant problems have taught us. In reality. This is actually an extension of Funda 1. which as a matter of fact form the basis of a large number of P&C and Probability problems. This will help you get comfortable with percentages. The above method can be used for doing the same.Make Math practice fun Those who are not from engineering and science backgrounds often complain about the lack of comfort with maths. Select a few items from the printed receipt and perform the calculations in your head on your way back home. then you may need to find it out for two of the prime factors. start with the receipt instead. 9 is actually 32. observe as the cashier puts an item on the weight machine and then types in a code that displays the final price of that item. If it is not obvious. Funda 1: Rightmost non-zero digit of n! or R(n!) R(n!) = Last Digit of [ 2a x R(a!) x R(b!) ] where n = 5a + b Example: What is the rightmost non-zero digit of 37! ? → R (37!) = Last Digit of [ 27 x R (7!) x R (2!) ] → R (37!) = Last Digit of [ 8 x 4 x 2 ] = 4 Example: What is the rightmost non-zero digit of 134! ? → R (134!) = Last Digit of [ 226 x R (26!) x R (4!) ] → R (134!) = Last Digit of [ 4 x R (26!) x 4 ] We need to find out R (26!) = Last Digit of [ 25 x R (5!) x R (1!) ] = Last digit of [ 2 x 2 x 1 ] = 4 → R (134!) = Last Digit of [ 4 x 4 x 4 ] = 4 Funda 2: Power of a prime ‘p’ in a factorial (n!) The biggest power of a prime ‘p’ that divides n! (or in other words. that most students prefer attempting questions based on them rather than on Permutation & Combination or Probability. Example: What is the highest power of 7 that divides 1342! → [1342 / 7] = 191 → [191 / 7] = 27 → [27 / 7] = 3 → Power of 7 = 191 + 27 + 3 = 221 Example: What is the highest power of 6 that divides 134! ? As 6 is not a prime number. Math can be made an integral part of your life. we will divide it into its prime factors. the power of prime ‘p’ in n!) is given by the sum of quotients obtained by successive division of ‘n’ by p. The number of 3s available is 63. Funda 3: Number of ending zeroes in a factorial (n!) Number of zeroes is given by the sum of the quotients obtained by successive division of ‘n’ by 5. All the best! I’ve got the Power: Working with Factorials for CAT 2011 quant by Guest Writer on 13 September 2011 in Factorials. we will divide it into its prime factors. can you calculate the price in your head during the few seconds that the attendant types in the code? With practice. 2! = 2. so the number of 9s available will be [63/2] = 31. Number of ending zeroes is nothing else but the number of times n! is divisible by 10 or in other words. Quantitative Aptitude Contributed By: Ravi Handa 67 comments We all know what factorials (n!) are. Knowing the kilogram price of that item. Hence. as 800 g is 80% of 1. 800 g of Rs 130 per kg apples would cost 80% of 130. They look friendly and helpful but looks can be deceiving. Highest power of 27 will be [63/3] = 21.

‘5’ becomes the limiting factor and leads to the above-mentioned idea. Example: What is the number of ending zeroes in 134! ? → [134/5] = 26 → [26/5] = 5 → [5/5] = 1 → Number of ending zeroes = 26 + 5 + 1 = 32 I hope that this gets you started with factorials and you might start singing this song.2 and 5. .