Forget conventional ways of solving math questions. In DS, Variable approach is the easiest and quickest way to find the answer without actually solving the problem. Remember equal number of variables and independent equations ensures a solution.
How many people are directors of both Company K and Company R ?
(1) There were 17 directors present at a joint meeting of the directors of Company K and Company R, and no directors were absent.
(2) Company K has 12 directors and Company R has 8 directors.
This question is frequently given in the Gmat Math test, which is “2 by 2” question like the table below.
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In the table, there are 4 variables(a,b,c,d), which should match with the number of equations. So you need 4 equations. For 1) 1 equation, for 2) 1 equation, which is likely to make E the answer as 2 more equations are needed. When 1) & 2), in 1), there are 2 equations(a+b+c=17, d=0) and in 2), 2 equations(a+c=12, a+b=8), which is sufficient. Therefore, the answer is C.
For cases where we need 3 more equations, such as original conditions with “3 variables”, or “4 variables and 1 equation”, or “5 variables and 2 equations”, we have 1 equation each in both 1) and 2). Therefore, there is 80% chance that E is the answer (especially about 90% of 2 by 2 questions where there are more than 3 variables), while C has 15% chance. These two are the majority. In case of common mistake type 3,4, the answer may be from A, B or D but there is only 5% chance. Since E is most likely to be the answer using 1) and 2) separately according to DS definition (It saves us time). Obviously there may be cases where the answer is A, B, C or D.
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