Source: Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed. Section 5; #2 (p. 75)


In a decimal number, a bar over

In a decimal number, a bar over one or more consecutive digits means that the pattern of digits under the bar repeats without end. For example, 0.387 = 0.387387387 . . . Quantity A = 0.717 Quantity B = 0.71 Quantity A is greater., Quantity B is greater., The two quantities are equal., The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

3 Explanations


Darnell Billups

this question seems to be a common one in the GRE materials. If I see a "bar question" I always just line them up on top of each other and then just repeat each number correctly comparing the first number in the decimal that is higher than the other.

Oct 24, 2016 • Comment

Sam Kinsman, Magoosh Tutor

Yes, that's a good approach! Thanks for sharing :)

Oct 26, 2016 • Reply


Sarah Ikram

why are we checking the fourth place ?

Apr 22, 2015 • Comment

Jonathan , Magoosh Tutor

Hi Sarah. The numbers look exactly the same until we get to the fourth (ten-thousandth) place. That's the first place where the numbers look different.

When we have a bar, we repeat the entire part under the bar after the last digit show. So

.71 (bar over 71) = .717171717171....and so on: the 71 repeats. We have a 1 for the fourth digit.

.717 (bar over 717) = .717717717717....and so on: the 717 repeats. We have a 7 for the fourth digit. So this quantity is greater.

Hope that helps!

Apr 28, 2015 • Reply


Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 27, 2012 • Comment

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