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# how to read math questions in English?

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how to read math questions in English? [#permalink]  22 Oct 2009, 14:11
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Hi,

I have a problem reading such questions.

Does it mean for each one English major, there are 2 history majors and 3 math majors?
or is it for every one history major there are 2 english majors and for each math major, there are 3 english ones.

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Re: how to read math questions in English? [#permalink]  26 Oct 2009, 11:04
This is how I translated the question:

At a certain college there are twice as many english majors as history majors
E = 2H

and three times as many english majors as mathematics majors.

E = 3M

What is the ratio of the number of history majors to the number of mathematics majors?

What is H:M?

Just set E equal to each other to get the ratio in terms of H and M.

2H = 3M
H/M = 3/2

Last edited by GMATBootcamp on 27 Oct 2009, 21:17, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: how to read math questions in English? [#permalink]  27 Oct 2009, 16:16
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Expert's post
At a certain college there are twice as many english majors as history majors and three times as many english majors as mathematics majors. What is the ratio of the number of history majors to the number of mathematics majors?

Think above is not correct, though the final answer IS correct. But again there is a mistake in calculations, if it were as it's written above answer would be 2/3. So there are two mistakes in the solution, one in ratio translation and the second in calculation.

At a certain college there are twice as many english majors as history majors:
E = 2H (as there are MORE english majors)

and three times as many english majors as mathematics majors:
E = 3M (as there are MORE english majors)

What is the ratio of the number of history majors to the number of mathematics majors?
What is \frac{H}{M}?

H=\frac{E}{2}, M=\frac{E}{3} --> \frac{H}{M}=\frac{3}{2}

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Re: how to read math questions in English? [#permalink]  27 Oct 2009, 17:19
HAHA you are right. I can't believe I did that. Just goes to show you how two wrongs can make a right?

Kudos to you sir, thanks for pointing out my blunder.
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Paul

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Re: how to read math questions in English?   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2009, 17:19
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