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Re: If Bob produces 36 or fewer in a week, he is paid X dollars [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2016, 08:37

I'm still not too clear on when it is appropriate to stop and be confident on the solution choice. I got to the part with the 2 equations combined, but then I selected "e", hoping there wasn't a constraint trick bc we clearly have too few equations and multiple unknowns. For some reason, I'm coming up on the 2 min mark after checking all of the previous out and it takes me another 2 mins (and a lot of energy) to find the exact #'s in Bunuel's solution. Is there a way to be confident without getting exact values for price and quantity in the combined statements case?

I'm still not too clear on when it is appropriate to stop and be confident on the solution choice. I got to the part with the 2 equations combined, but then I selected "e", hoping there wasn't a constraint trick bc we clearly have too few equations and multiple unknowns. For some reason, I'm coming up on the 2 min mark after checking all of the previous out and it takes me another 2 mins (and a lot of energy) to find the exact #'s in Bunuel's solution. Is there a way to be confident without getting exact values for price and quantity in the combined statements case?

You have not completely figured out the main crux of the problem. You need to be absolutely sure of whether the items were \(\leq\) 36 or > 36 . This will determine (for example) in statement 1 you need to use I =nx or I=1.5x(n-36)+36x (lets calls them equations 1.a and 1.b respectively). So, you get 2 distinct equations with no basis to eliminate either one. Thus this statement is NOT sufficient.

You will be able to use I=nx if x \(\leq\) 36 but if it is > 36, then you must use I=1.5x(n-36)+36x. This ambiguity makes this statement NOT sufficient.

You can now see that there might be a catch in this question based on analysis of statement 1 alone. Now, go onto statement 2 and you will again realize that there is no basis to eliminate 1 of the 2 possible equations (lets calls them equations 2.a and 2.b respectively) as you still have not been provided any information about the number of the items. They can be \(\leq\) 36 but at the same time can also be >36. We have no justification to choose 1 option over the other.

Again, you get 2 more distinct equations , making statement 2 not sufficient alone.

For combining the 2 statements, you can now clearly see that you can have the following 2 sets of distinct equations:

1. 1.a and 2.a or 2. 1.b and 2.b

Either way, you will not be getting the same answer ---> E is thus the correct answer. But be careful about this step as if you do get the same result for 'x' or 'n' from the 2 systems of equations, then it will be C instead of E.

In totality, it took close to 1-1.5 minutes to analyse both statements individually with another 45-60 seconds to analyse both statements together and mark E as the answer. Remember that in GMAT Quant, you need to spend an AVERAGE of 2 minutes per question and not more. This does not mean that all questions will take you full 2 minutes. Some of the questions are bound to take less than 2 minutes while some of them will take you >2 minutes, bringing the average close to 2 minutes per question.

As this is a 'difficult' question as categorized by the GMATCLUB timer results, it is fine if you spent 2-3 minutes on this question. In GMAT, you should be able to recover this time if you know how to pick your battles and move on.

Hope this helps.

P.S.:

1. Having 2 equations for 2 variables may or may not sufficient to give you a sufficient answer.

Example, 2a+3b=6 and 4a+6b=12 are although 2 equations but they are NOT distinct and you will not get a unique value for a,b. Thus you need to check for DISTINCT equations and not just any equations while solving for variables.

2. Lets say you ended up getting 2 systems of equations as

a) 2x+3y=4 and x+y=4 ,you get x=3 and y=1

b) 3x+4y=13 and 2x+y=7, you again get x=3 and y=1

Thus in this case, you must mark C as you are getting the same unique values for x and y.
_________________

Re: If Bob produces 36 or fewer in a week, he is paid X dollars [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2016, 17:22

Engr2012, that makes sense and thank you for your response. However, I'm wondering how much calculation we have in this specific scenario since there are actually 3 cases:

1) 1a & 2a 2) 1a & 2b 3) 2b & 3b

Without putting out the numbers is there anyway we can pick "e" without finding the exact prices and quantities for x & y given that the total number is the only constraint and prices can be decimal quantities?

Engr2012, that makes sense and thank you for your response. However, I'm wondering how much calculation we have in this specific scenario since there are actually 3 cases:

1) 1a & 2a 2) 1a & 2b 3) 2b & 3b

Without putting out the numbers is there anyway we can pick "e" without finding the exact prices and quantities for x & y given that the total number is the only constraint and prices can be decimal quantities?

You are correct that we will have 3 systems of equations as Bunuel had mentioned in his post but in effect you only have 2 systems as the 2nd one mentioned below does not work as '' can only take integer values.

\(480=nx\) and \(510=(n+2)x\), meaning that \(n+2<=36\). In this case \(x=15\) and \(n=32\).

OR: \(480=nx\) and \(510=1.5(n+2)x-18x\), meaning that \(n+1<=36\) and \(n+2>36\) (\(n=35\)). In this case n has no integer value, so this system doesn't work;

OR: \(480=1.5nx-18x\) and \(510=1.5(n+2)x-18x\), meaning that \(n>36\). In this case \(x=10\) and \(n=44\).

But your reason for choosing E is not correct. We are marking 'E' as you will end up getting more than 1 sets of values for x and n, hence even when you combine the statements, you will not get unique values for x and n.

Re: If Bob produces 36 or fewer in a week, he is paid X dollars [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2016, 18:07

Engr2012, thanks for entertaining my questions. Maybe I'm dumb here, but I can't solve these three simultaneous situations as quickly as you all seemingly do. Would my thinking be incorrect to think, at a high level and through inspection:

1) We have two equations where we know x will be (510 - 480)/2 = 15. N must be 480/15 = 960/30 = 32. Ok this holds. 2) Maybe this is right, I can't tell n can't be an integer... 3) Maybe this is right, I've tapped out on my mental capacity for this question and I need to finish this exam...

E seems more likely to be correct because we only need one more solution that works and for c to be right 2 & 3 must either give the same answer a (1), not be possible bc n must be an integer, or a combination of those. I just can't see myself reasonably throwing any more firepower at a question like this so that's why I'm asking for a shortcut.

Engr2012, thanks for entertaining my questions. Maybe I'm dumb here, but I can't solve these three simultaneous situations as quickly as you all seemingly do. Would my thinking be incorrect to think, at a high level and through inspection:

1) We have two equations where we know x will be (510 - 480)/2 = 15. N must be 480/15 = 960/30 = 32. Ok this holds. 2) Maybe this is right, I can't tell n can't be an integer... 3) Maybe this is right, I've tapped out on my mental capacity for this question and I need to finish this exam...

E seems more likely to be correct because we only need one more solution that works and for c to be right 2 & 3 must either give the same answer a (1), not be possible bc n must be an integer, or a combination of those. I just can't see myself reasonably throwing any more firepower at a question like this so that's why I'm asking for a shortcut.

You are not dumb to ask these questions. Asking questions only goes to show that you are actually thinking about this question along the right path. As for us figuring out the systems, it all comes down to practicing similar DS questions. Once you have solved 50-100 questions, you will start seeing patterns. GMAT is all about pattern recognition and time management. These 2 things come only after you have practiced a lot.

As mentioned in my post above if you see a difficult question such as this and you have already spent 2-2.5 or even 3 minutes to reach the last combined step, then yes, your high level assumptions might work. This will atleast help you to cut your losses further timewise and move on to the next question. Your explanation for (1) is correct and the same goes for (2). For (3) if you see running short on time, mark E and move on.

1 way I see between 1 and 3 is to recognise that the equations are very different in these 2 systems and your best bet will be that you will end up getting 2 different values for x and n . This in itself will be sufficient for you to mark E and move on. You dont even need to check (2) as you already have 2 different answers.

But to close the loop on this discussion, for (3) in order to look at the values, you will have to solve the equations to get x=10 and n=44. There is no other way I see to circumvent this requirement and to be absolutely sure that you will not end up getting the same numbers as those you got from (1). But this route is only recommended when you are still within the 2-2.5 minute mark.

Hope this helps.

The more straightforward way to solve this system is to substitute for 'n' in order to get x=10. After this you can plug in this value of x to get n.
_________________

Re: If Bob produces 36 or fewer in a week, he is paid X dollars [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2016, 19:13

Thanks Engr2012, this was very helpful. From a timing standpoint, I always take about 60 secs to digest and understand a word problem. I'm not sure I can cut that down. Building my number sense may help me push through calculations once I get to (c) in the answer choices (after eliminating A & D, and B). After this, I should have time to get through that last calculation (if I can really nail down this number sense). It just seems hard when you're 2 mins in:

(510 - 480) = 1.5(n + 2 - n)x + (18x - 18x) 30 = 3x x = 10...plug in x

480 = 1.5(10)n - 18(10) 480 = 15n - 180 660 = 15n ... now I just need to "see" that 600/15 + 60/15 is 44.

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.

If Bob produces 36 or fewer items in a week, he is paid X dollars per item. If Bob produces more than 36 items in a week, he is paid X dollars per item for the first 36 items and 3/2 times that amount for each additional item. How many items did Bob produce last week?

(1) Last week Bob was paid total of $480 for the items that he produced that week.

(2) This week Bob produced 2 items more than last week and was paid a total of $510 for the items that he produced this week.

When you modify the original condition and the question, you need to figure out the number of item he produced(L), the number of item he produced this week(T), and x. So there are 3 variables, which should match with the number of equations. So you need 3 equations. For 1) 1 equation, for 2) 1 equation, which is likely to make E the answer. When 1) & 2), they become 36x+(L-36)(3x/2)=480, 36x+(L+2-36)(3x/2)=510 or Lx=480 and (L+2)x=510, which is not unique and not sufficient. Therefore, the answer is E.

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.
_________________

Re: If Bob produces 36 or fewer in a week, he is paid X dollars [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2016, 10:10

I wonder if the GMAT will play a trap E in these type of questions and actually have one answer come out of two different equations (one is not integer while the other is) Either way, the gut answer with this question is E.

Re: If Bob produces 36 or fewer in a week, he is paid X dollars [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2017, 13:06

Statement 1: Clearly not sufficient

Statement 2: Clearly not sufficient

1 + 2

Total paid last week = 480 Total paid this week = 510

510 - 480 = 30/2 = 15 each when assuming items are > 36

15/1.5 = 10 each when assuming items are <= 36

I believe the confusion begins when people are forgetting that statements 1 and 2 are not providing enough details about total items. if you take 480/10 = 48 items then you have >36 items if you take 480/15 = 32 which are < 36

The question is... do you know with certainty how many items?

because of this ambiguity of two possible answers, then statements 1 and 2 are not sufficient. Therefore, answer is E

Re: If Bob produces 36 or fewer in a week, he is paid X dollars [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2017, 16:15

Bunuel wrote:

If Bob produces 36 or fewer items in a week, he is paid X dollars per item. If Bob produces more than 36 items in a week, he is paid X dollars per item for the first 36 items and 3/2 times that amount for each additional item. How many items did Bob produce last week?

First let's set the equation for Bob's income:

\(I=nx\), when \(n<=36\), OR \(I=36x+(n-36)1.5x=1.5nx-18x\), when \(n>36\).

\(n=?\)

(1) Last week Bob was paid total of $480 for the items that he produced that week --> \(I=480\). Clearly insufficient.

Either: \(I=480=nx\) OR \(I=480=1.5nx-18x\)

(2) This week Bob produced 2 items more than last week and was paid a total of $510 for the items that he produced this week --> \(I'=510\), \(n'=n+2\). Clearly insufficient.

Either: \(I'=510=(n+2)x\) OR \(I'=510=1.5(n+2)x-18x\)

(1)+(2) We can have three system of equations:

\(480=nx\) and \(510=(n+2)x\), meaning that \(n+2<=36\). In this case \(x=15\) and \(n=32\).

OR: \(480=nx\) and \(510=1.5(n+2)x-18x\), meaning that \(n+1<=36\) and \(n+2>36\) (\(n=35\)). In this case n has no integer value, so this system doesn't work;

OR: \(480=1.5nx-18x\) and \(510=1.5(n+2)x-18x\), meaning that \(n>36\). In this case \(x=10\) and \(n=44\).

So we can have two values for n. Not sufficient.

Answer: E.

The last step can be done in another way:

We know that 2 more items resulted 30$ more.

If these two items were paid by 1.5x rate (n>=36) --> 1.5x+1.5x=30 --> x=10 and as n>=36, we should substitute this value in the second equation from (1), which gives n=44 If these two items were paid by x rate (n<=34) --> x+x=30 --> x=15 and as n<=34, we should substitute this value in the first equation from (1), which gives --> n=32 Already two different answers for n (no need to check for the third case when one item is paid by regular rate and another with overtime rate), hence insufficient.

Answer: E.

Hi - why are we even testing the equations in the red font ...can that step by removed all together

Q2) Just confirming, we are saying its not sufficient because we are getting 2 values in the greens right ?

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