Walkabout wrote:

A dealer originally bought 100 identical batteries at a total cost of q dollars. If each battery was sold at 50 percent above the original cost per battery, then, in terms of q, for how many dollars was each battery sold?

(A) 3q/200

(B) 3q/2

(C) 150q

(D) q/100

(E) 150/q

We are given that 100 batteries cost a TOTAL of q dollars. We are also given that EACH battery was sold at 50% above the original cost. The first thing we must do is create an equation for q. Remember that q is the TOTAL COST. So if we make b = the original cost per battery we can say:

100 x b = q

b = q/100

We now have the original cost per battery in terms of q. Next, we determine the selling price when we increase the cost by 50%. To calculate this increase we simply multiply q/100 by 1.5. We have:

(q/100) x 1.5

(q/100) x 3/2 = 3q/200

Answer: A

If you don't like working with variables, you could instead substitute a convenient number for q. Normally I would not suggest the plugging-in method in a problem such as this; however, since we have only one variable, the method will be sufficient.

Let's say we make the total cost of the 100 batteries q = 200. This is a convenient number that will work well with the numbers presented in the problem. We can now set up a similar equation to what we did above, where b = the original price per battery.

100 x b = 200

b = 200/100

b = 2

The cost per battery is $2. Now we need to show the selling price per battery by increasing $2 by 50%.

2 x 1.5 = 3

The answer 3 is the selling price of the battery.

The last step is to now plug our value of q = 200 into each answer choice to see which one provides us with a value of 3. This will yield the correct answer.

(A) 3q/200

(3 x 200)/200 = 3

This IS equal to 3.

(B) 3q/2

(3 x 200)/2 = 600/2 = 300

This IS NOT equal to 3.

(C) 150q

150 x 200 = 30,000

This IS NOT equal to 3.

(D) q/100

200/100 = 2

This IS NOT equal to 3.

(E) 150/q

150/200 = 15/20 = ¾

This IS NOT equal to 3.

Answer choice A is the only one that is equal to 3.