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Aptitude - Permutation and Combination

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Overview

  • Important Formulas

Exercise

"Nothing is impossible to a willing heart."
- (Proverb)
  1. Factorial Notation:

    Let n be a positive integer. Then, factorial n, denoted n! is defined as:

    n! = n(n - 1)(n - 2) ... 3.2.1.

    Examples:

    1. We define 0! = 1.

    2. 4! = (4 x 3 x 2 x 1) = 24.

    3. 5! = (5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1) = 120.

  2. Permutations:

    The different arrangements of a given number of things by taking some or all at a time, are called permutations.

    Examples:

    1. All permutations (or arrangements) made with the letters a, b, c by taking two at a time are (ab, ba, ac, ca, bc, cb).

    2. All permutations made with the letters a, b, c taking all at a time are:
      ( abc, acb, bac, bca, cab, cba)

  3. Number of Permutations:

    Number of all permutations of n things, taken r at a time, is given by:

    nPr = n(n - 1)(n - 2) ... (n - r + 1) = n!
    (n - r)!

    Examples:

    1. 6P2 = (6 x 5) = 30.

    2. 7P3 = (7 x 6 x 5) = 210.

    3. Cor. number of all permutations of n things, taken all at a time = n!.

  4. An Important Result:

    If there are n subjects of which p1 are alike of one kind; p2 are alike of another kind; p3 are alike of third kind and so on and pr are alike of rth kind,
    such that (p1 + p2 + ... pr) = n.

    Then, number of permutations of these n objects is = n!
    (p1!).(p2)!.....(pr!)

  5. Combinations:

    Each of the different groups or selections which can be formed by taking some or all of a number of objects is called a combination.

    Examples:

    1. Suppose we want to select two out of three boys A, B, C. Then, possible selections are AB, BC and CA.

      Note: AB and BA represent the same selection.

    2. All the combinations formed by a, b, c taking ab, bc, ca.

    3. The only combination that can be formed of three letters a, b, c taken all at a time is abc.

    4. Various groups of 2 out of four persons A, B, C, D are:

      AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD.

    5. Note that ab ba are two different permutations but they represent the same combination.

  6. Number of Combinations:

    The number of all combinations of n things, taken r at a time is:

    nCr = n! = n(n - 1)(n - 2) ... to r factors .
    (r!)(n - r)! r!

    Note:

    1. nCn = 1 and nC0 = 1.

    2. nCr = nC(n - r)

    Examples:

    i.   11C4 = (11 x 10 x 9 x 8) = 330.
    (4 x 3 x 2 x 1)

    ii.   16C13 = 16C(16 - 13) = 16C3 = 16 x 15 x 14 = 16 x 15 x 14 = 560.
    3! 3 x 2 x 1



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