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Yesterday, Nan parked her car at a certain parking garage [#permalink]
28 Aug 2004, 08:15

00:00

A

B

C

D

E

Difficulty:

5% (low)

Question Stats:

0% (00:00) correct
0% (00:00) wrong based on 0 sessions

Hi, Posting this OG question here for discussion. I don't quite agree with the OA due to some lines in the question which I think the explanation overlooked. ( Or I read too deeply into it). Anyway, here it is:

Yesterday, Nan parked her car at a certain parking garage that charges more for the first hour than for each additional hour. If Nan's total parking charge at the garage yesterday was $3.75, for how many hours of parking was she charged?

(1) Parking charges at the garage are $0.75 for the first hour and $0.50 for each additional hour or fraction of an hour.

So for the first hour--> $0.75 Each additional hour --> $0.50 We've met the question's statement "charges more for the first hour than each additional hour", but that's not important.

Since for the first hour it's $0.75, so $3.00 must be incurred by the number of hours parked after the first hour. But we are told that $0.50 is charged for each additional hour OR fraction of an hour, so we can't tell if she parked for 3.00/0.50 = 6 hours, or 5.5 hours with the last fraction of an hour (0.5 in this case) still incurring a 50cents charge. So statement 1 should be insufficient.

(2) If the charge for the first hour had been $1.00, Nan's total parking charge would have been $4.00.

Not sufficient as we're not told the hourly rate after the first hour.

Combining (1) and (2) still does not answer the niggly question of whether she parked fraction or whole hours. So I picked (E) which the Oa disagrees with.

The OA given is A. Here's the reasoning the OG gave:

Statement (1) gives the charge for the first hour and for subsequent hours. From this information, together with the total charge that is given, the number of hours after the first hour can be computed.

Now I have misgivings about the explanation here. The question obviously stated this: "parking charges at the garage are 75 cents for the first hour and 50 cents for each additional hour or fraction of an hour".
What the explanation does is to ignore the last phrase "faction of an hour"

If the question has stated only this : "$0.50 for subsequent hours", then we're pretty fine. All we need to do is to divide $3.00 by $0.50 to find out how many hours she has parked at the garage after the first hour.

However, the statement says it's $0.50 for each additional hour or fraction of an hour"

Now we can have a number of possibilites:

Parked 6 hours - $3.00
Parked 5.5 hours - $3.00
Parked 5.75 hours - $3.00
and so on...
So we can't really tell how many more hours she actually parked her car at the garage.

It's scary that even OGs might make mistakes. If that happens on an actual GMAT, I think I'll be pretty mad.

Alex is right. ETS goes to great lengths to avoid ambiguity in questions. The stimulus states explicitly "for how many hours of parking was she charged" A is the answer.