Orange08 wrote:

Set R contains five numbers that have an average value of 55. If the median of the set is equal to the mean, and the largest number in the set is equal to 20 more than three times the smallest number, what is the largest possible range for the numbers in the set?

78

77 1/5

66 1/7

55 1/7

52

{\(a_1\), \(a_2\), \(a_3\), \(a_4\), \(a_5\)}

As mean of 5 numbers is 55 then the sum of these numbers is \(5*55=275\);

The median of the set is equal to the mean --> \(mean=median=a_3=55\);

The largest number in the set is equal to 20 more than three times the smallest number --> \(a_5=3a_1+20\).

So our set is {\(a_1\), \(a_2\), \(55\), \(a_4\), \(3a_1+20\)} and \(a_1+a_2+55+a_4+3a_1+20=275\).

The range of a set is the difference between the largest and smallest elements of a set.\(Range=a_5-a_1=3a_1+20-a_1=2a_1+20\) --> so to maximize the range we should maximize the value of \(a_1\) and to maximize \(a_1\) we should minimize all other terms so \(a_2\) and \(a_4\).

Min possible value of \(a_2\) is \(a_1\) and min possible value of \(a_4\) is \(median=a_3=55\) --> set becomes: {\(a_1\), \(a_1\), \(55\), \(55\), \(3a_1+20\)} --> \(a_1+a_1+55+55+3a_1+20=275\) --> \(a_1=29\) --> \(Range=2a_1+20=78\)

Answer: A.

Since the statement says that the median = mean, aren't we supposed to assume that it's an evenly spaced set? If so, wouldn't a2 and a4 be different from a1 and a3?