CAT 2020 Question Paper | Quants Slot 3

CAT Previous Year Paper | CAT Quants Questions | Question 23

This question is from Linear and Quadratic Equations. CAT Exam is known to test the fundamentals instead of high funda stuff. This question revolves around the idea of the discriminant. Questions like this have appeared many times in CAT Exam. Make sure you master this topic during your CAT Preparation. To explore 1000+ CAT Level Questions with detailed video and text solutions check out 2IIM CAT Question Bank.

Question 23 : Let m and n be positive integers, If x2 + mx + 2n = 0 and x2 + 2nx + m = 0 have real roots, then the smallest possible value of m + n is

  1. 8
  2. 6
  3. 5
  4. 7

🎉 Fabulous 3,500 off on XAT '22 crash course
Valid until 1st Dec


2IIM : Best Online CAT Coaching.


Video Explanation


Best CAT Coaching in Chennai


CAT Coaching in Chennai - CAT 2021
Online Batches Available Now!


Explanatory Answer

The roots of a Quadratic Equation of the form, ax2 + bx + c = 0
are given by x = \\frac{-b ± √[b^{2} - 4ac]}{2a})

In order for these roots to be real, the portion under the square root should not be negative.
In other words 'b2 - 4ac', determines wether the roots are real or imaginary.
Hence, rightly, it is called the Determinat(D).

If the Determinant, D is greater than or equal to 0, then the equation has real roots.
For D to be greater than or equal to 0, b2 ≥ 4ac.

We are told that x2 + mx + 2n = 0 and x2 + 2nx + m = 0 have real roots,
That means, m2 ≥ 4(2n) and (2n)2 ≥ 4m.

Instead of trying to solve through equations, the two inequalities m2 ≥ 8n and n2 ≥ m.
Let's try to solve inputting specific numbers.

If n = 1; m2 ≥ 8; m ≥ 3
If m ≥ 3 at n = 1, n2 ≥ m stands invalid.

If n = 2; m2 ≥ 16; m ≥ 4
If m ≥ 4 at n = 2, n2 ≥ m stands valid, if m = 4 and n = 2

Hence 4,2 is the smallest(and the only) pair that m,n can take.
So, the minimum sum of m and n is 4+2 = 6.


The question is "Let m and n be positive integers, If x2 + mx + 2n = 0 and x2 + 2nx + m = 0 have real roots, then the smallest possible value of m + n is"

Hence, the answer is, "6"

CAT Questions | CAT Quantitative Aptitude

CAT Questions | CAT DILR

CAT Questions | Verbal Ability for CAT


Where is 2IIM located?

2IIM Online CAT Coaching
A Fermat Education Initiative,
58/16, Indira Gandhi Street,
Kaveri Rangan Nagar, Saligramam, Chennai 600 093

How to reach 2IIM?

Phone: (91) 44 4505 8484
Mobile: (91) 99626 48484 / 94459 38484
WhatsApp: WhatsApp Now
Email: info@2iim.com