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    Preparation for Probability in GMAT

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    If you are preparing for GMAT then by now you would have understood the importance of scoring high in the quant section of GMAT part especially for it is slightly a notch higher in its difficulty. For non-engineer students, it is truly a feeling of worry when it comes to solving the GMAT’s Quant. But today let us disclose something really relieving and that is – if you have practiced maths real hard during your +2s then you might actually be one of the top scorers in the quant section. This is a fact which nobody tells you and that comprises the majority of the facts. GMAT’s quant section is filled with numerous topics of quants but those are majorly high school-based. But this is not the end of the worry, there are many students who unknowingly make certain mistakes which cost them a lot of numbers. Let us talk and discuss those parts of GMAT today.

    If you are somebody who becomes instantly nervous at the first sight of the GMAT quant section paper then these rules are going to help you out.

    The first and the most simplistic rule that one needs to know before even starting off with probability is – when the situation portrays ‘AND’ then you should multiply and when the situation demands ‘OR’ you should add.

    Disjoint in GMAT Probability

    We can term two events are disjoint or disarticulated if both of them are unlike each other or are dissimilar. In simpler terms, two events are termed dissimilar when the probability of both of them occurring at the same time doesn’t happen. For instance, if we place a dice it is impossible to get both a 3 and a 5 at the same time – this is an example of a disjoint event. In the same way, when we are placing a card, we cannot find a lot of numbers therein. Let us take another instance: if we have been dividing groups of students based on their standards then we cannot club a level 10 student with that of level 12 – that is disjoint.

    To solve this part of the GMAT quant section, we need to implement the ‘OR’ formula or simply add them up.

    Probability Complements the Figures of Preferred Result Divided by the Figures of Expected Outcomes

    Does this heading of the GMAT quant section frighten you because you are unable to understand what it all means? Not to worry because the explanation will be easy to understand. To understand this we have to first fathom what does the term probability means? Probability is the process of discovering how likely something is going to occur.

    Let’s take an example, for instance, there is a coin that is to be flipped whose probability of getting head is to be discovered. We have to divide the number of desired outcomes (which in this case is 1: head), by the number of possible outcomes (in this case: 2: heads + tails). So, the probability will be ½.

    Though, it has to be borne in mind that this is simply the understanding of probability and no sum is going to be as simple as this one in the quant section of GMAT. At the same time, it really is vital to have a firm understanding of the topic of probability. The first thing which is to be done before starting with a probability problem is – find the desired outcomes of the given scene and also the possible outcomes of the given scene.

    Probability of Two Distinct Events Occurring is the Outcome of the Two Particular Probabilities

    This is the second rule to be abided while finding a solution to anyone of the sums of probability. If problems like these appear, one can find the probability of two individual properties occurring in those particular events. Not getting it? Well, let us explain it.

    A distinct event refers to two different events happening. For instance, if we take the same scene of the coin flipping, this time just twice. We can take two events happening but differently and there is no connection between them, without them affecting each other. To find the probability of these distinct events, let us find out the individual probabilities first.

    By now we already are aware of the digits that an individual coin flip makes: ½.

    Now, let to find the probability of flipping a coin twice and getting two heads, the answer will be ½ x ½.

    Probability of Receiving One or Two Outcome is the Addition of Two Probabilities 

    When you are looking out for one or two outcomes then you are on the lookout for one singular event to occur. So, if you are finding the probability of flipping a coin and discovering getting heads or tails then you will find the sum of two probabilities.

    We know by now that the probability of flipping a coin and getting heads is ½, and the same is with getting tails – ½. Therefore, the probability of flipping a coin and receiving heads or tails is ½+1/2 or 1.

    Probability of something not occurring is 1 subtracted the probability that it will occur

    Coming to the final rule among many in the quant section of GMAT that one needs to keep in mind is – if you are trying to perceive the probability of something not happening then one needs to first find out the probability of it to happen. Though it may sound tricky but is actually not.

    We will go back to our old example of flipping the coin. If you are trying to come up with the probability of not getting heads after flipping the coin, you need to first discover the probability of flipping the coin and retrieving the results of finding heads and that is ½ (as we have already discovered from the above solutions).

    Afterward, subtract the thing with 1. So the probability of flipping a coin and not receiving head is 1-1/2. And what is 1-1/2, it is ½ obviously! Isn’t it becoming clear now? Yes, we know that you are heading in the right direction. From the ½, we already realized that it is the same number that we received after flipping the coin and receiving tails. Or in a simpler way, flipping a coin and not getting a result that is not heads.

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