To answer questions that involve negative fractions and exponents, you have to know the following rules:**1) Fraction with one in the numerator always obeys the following rule**

1/High Number < 1/Low Number

What confuses test takers is the definition of High Number and Low Number when it comes to negative denominator**2) For negative numbers, remember this one rule**

-5 < -3

- (Higher Positive Number) < - (Lower Positive Number)**3) When it comes to negative fraction, the rule reverses**

-(1/High Number) > - (1/Low Number)**4) Even power of negative fraction is positive and odd power of negative fraction is negative **

(-(a/b)) ^n is positive if n is even and negative is n is odd

Q) If a = -1/4 & b = -1/3, which of the following is true?

a) a^2 < b^3

b) a^3 > b^2

c) a^4 > b^6

d) a^3 < b^3

e) a^2 < b^4

Solution

Once you know the four rules, it becomes easier to eliminate answer choices. The question asks us to find the cube and square of two negative fractions a and b

a=-1/4 b=-1/3**According to Rule 3 **

a > b

If you look at the answer choices, a is represented as a^2 a^3 and a^4

And b is represented as b^2 b^3 b^4 , b^5 and b^6

Arrange the signs of the fraction, before solving it

a^2 = +

a^3 = -

a^4 = +

b^2 = +

b^3 = -

b^4 = +

b^5 = -

b^6 = +

Now eliminate answer choice based on signs

+ > -

Eliminate A, B and D**Answer Choices remaining C and D**

c) a^4 > b^6

e) a^2 < b^4

Let us look at answer Choice D as both are relatively smaller powers

Solving e)

1/16 < 1/81

This is false. Hence, answer **choice C is the Correct Answer**. By **adopting process of elimination techniques**, you can avoid lengthy calculations.

Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide

After reading F1GMAT’s Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide, you will:

1. Complete GMAT RC Questions in less than 1 minute and 50 seconds

2. Read Faster

3. Take Notes Effectively

4. Collect and Interpret Facts

5. Speed up Summary Creation

6. Remember Information

7. Question the Author

8. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Title question

9. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Main Idea Question

**(2019 Edition) (100+ New Questions)**

Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning

After you read F1GMAT’s Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning Guide, you will learn:

How to overcome flawed thinking in GMAT Critical Reasoning?

**(2019 Edition) (25+ New Questions)**