• Combinations Vs Permutations: What’s the Difference on GMAT Math?




    So what’s the difference between these two nebulous concepts that generally appear on the most difficult of GMAT quant questions?

    Is there something related to order? For one of them, order matters–but for the other, order does not matter.

    What exactly is “order”? Can you give me some examples of when a question is worded as a combination and that same question tweaked so it’s a permutation question?

    Oh, isn’t there a formula related to these? Do I have to memorize them? What’s the difference between the two formulas?

    Will it be enough to memorize this formula? If there’s something else I need to know regarding combinations and permutations as they relate to GMAT math, what is it?

    All of these questions are answered in the GMAT Pill Problem Solving Pill. Watch the video above to learn a little bit about the difference between these two rigorous concepts on GMAT math.

    And what if you have this same math problem but you are told that “married couples MUST stick together.”

    How would you answer this question?

    Well, you got it! We have a GMATPill video explanation for that as well. Check it out!

    More GMAT Math Videos

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    3 responses to “Combinations Vs Permutations: What’s the Difference on GMAT Math?”


    Leave a reply


    1. Arthur

      Wow–you made it amazingly simple! It was very helpful for you to show the same question but worded a little differently. First without any assumptions–then with the assumption that married couples have to stick together.

      Thanks for making this—I think I have a better understanding of this now.

    2. GMATPill

      Absolutely! Always glad to be of help!

    3. Ash

      This explanation is so simple. I always found Permutation and Combination sums very difficult to understand.

      Thank you GMATPill!