# GMAT – looking beyond the books – part I

is not just about books. To prepare right, you must learn to look beyond the bookish concepts. In this series of short articles, I am going to talk about some interesting concepts which GMAT PrepScoreChase GMAT covers comprehensively in their courses but most books miss.

**What is the difference between √x and (x)^1/2 ?**

This is a very critical concept. There is a very crucial difference

**√x : ****√** sign (the radical sign) is called the “Principal root” and always results in a non-negative number.

**(x)^1/2:** The x to the power of 1/2 is the result of the equation, y^2 = x. In this case the result could be “positive or negative or zero”.

So here is the conclusion

**√x **: Always non-negative

**(x)^1/2**: Can be positive or negative or zero

As in ScoreChase GMAT Workshops, we don’t believe a concept is complete without working on an example. Here is a question that will help you understand this topic a little bit better:

**Q. For a negative integer x, what is the value of x * √(x^2) ?**

A) x^2

B) -x^2

C) x

D) -x

E) -1

Once you have found an answer. **Please highlight the text below to see the solution**

________________________

Since x is negative, -x will be positive

Since √(x^2) yields positive result and x is negative, the result will be -x

So, x*√(x^2) = x * -x = -x^2

(B)

________________________

Simple enough!

Stay tuned for more beyond the book concepts !

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a creative way to write the answer….good.