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Re: Twelve runners enter a race to compete for first, second, an
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12 Jan 2018, 15:28
Expert Reply
Explanation
In this case, order matters, so you simply need to multiply the number of possible runners for each spot. That should look like this: \(12 \times 11 \times 10 = 1,320\).
ASIDE: I'm somewhat surprised that this official practice question is somewhat ambiguous. It suggests that the " winners" are the runners who finish first second or third.
Take the task of listing possible winners and break it into stages.
Stage 1: Select a runner to be first Since there are 12 runners to choose from, we can complete stage 1 in 12 ways
Stage 2: Select a runner to be second Since we already chose a first place runner in stage 1, there are 11 runners REMAINING to choose from. So we can complete stage 2 in 11 ways
Stage 3: Select a runner to be 3rd There are now 10 runners remaining, so we can complete stage 3 in 10 ways
By the Fundamental Counting Principle (FCP), we can complete all 3 stages (list the arrangements of winners) in (12)(11)(10) ways (= 1320 ways)
Answer: 1320
Note: the FCP can be used to solve the MAJORITY of counting questions on the GRE. So, be sure to learn it.
Twelve runners enter a race to compete for first, second, an
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18 Jan 2024, 07:06
1
This is a problem of selecting \(3\) runners out \(12\) runners, where the ordering matters, to ensure that every possible ordering of prizes among the three is ensured.