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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.