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Tricks to finding mean

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Tricks to finding mean [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2012, 09:00
There was a PS problem on my GMAT that involved five numbers. Two were four-digit numbers and three were five-digit numbers. The questions asked which of the following is true. Some options were median>mean, mean>median, and something about the range. The median and range were easy to find, but is there a trick to find the median? The numbers were not evenly spaced or anything like that. I ended up manually calculating it, but it took three minutes :/
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Re: Tricks to finding mean [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2012, 11:21
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Re: Tricks to finding mean [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2012, 13:35
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I would love to check out the full question too! fast calculations is a common problem for me.
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Re: Tricks to finding mean [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2012, 06:01
I cannot remember the exact question. Even if I did, it is against GMAC's terms of use to divulge official questions. They gave five large numbers and you were asked to find the mean of them. What is an easy way to do that? Say you have 10,964, 5212, 14,230, 4290, and 10,992. Is there a trick to finding the mean of those five numbers?
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Re: Tricks to finding mean [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2012, 08:07
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If the answers are spread among a reasonable span you might round the numbers (say, 10,992 to 11,000) and get a close idea of what the average should look like.

Still, without a question to work on I am just speculating.
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Re: Tricks to finding mean [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2012, 21:50
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commdiver wrote:
I cannot remember the exact question. Even if I did, it is against GMAC's terms of use to divulge official questions. They gave five large numbers and you were asked to find the mean of them. What is an easy way to do that? Say you have 10,964, 5212, 14,230, 4290, and 10,992. Is there a trick to finding the mean of those five numbers?


You can approximate the mean. It should be around 9000 in this case.

10,964 is apprx 11k
5212 is apprx 5k
14,230 is apprx 14k
4290 is apprx 4k
10,992 is apprx 11k

The mean of 4, 5, 11, 11, 14 will be 9 (use deviations concept to figure it out quickly. The deviations concept has been discussed here: http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/05 ... eviations/)

Since we rounded down many numbers, the mean will be a little more than 9000.

Median of these 5 numbers is 10,964 which is obviously greater than the mean. I doubt you were required to calculate the exact value of the mean.
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Re: Tricks to finding mean   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2012, 21:50
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