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In what year was Ellen born?

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In what year was Ellen born?  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2012, 18:51
2
5
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  35% (medium)

Question Stats:

66% (00:37) correct 34% (00:32) wrong based on 105 sessions

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In what year was Ellen born?
(1) Ellen’s brother Pete, who is 1 1/2 years older than Ellen, was born in 1956.
(2) In 1975 Ellen turned 18 years old.

I apologize if this question has been here previously. Please give me the link if possible.

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Re: In what year was Ellen born?  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2012, 19:02
1
My Answer - B (Choice 2 alone is sufficient)

1.) E = P -3/2, and P = 1956, => E was born in either 1957 or 1958 depending on the month of P's Month of birth, (Not sufficient)
2.) E = 18 yrs Old in 1975. Clearly she was born in 1975 - 18 = 1957, regardless of month of birth.

Choice B
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Re: In what year was Ellen born?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2014, 12:35
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Hi All,

These types of DS questions are more a test of your critical thinking skills than a test of your math skills. While relatively rare on Test Day, you should keep an eye out for prompts that offer phrases such as "X is 1.5 years older than Y" (beyond the idea that this is a weird piece of information to offer, it also means that knowing one birth YEAR does NOT necessarily mean that we know the OTHER).

Be thorough with your thinking (a bit of cynicism will likely help) and always remember that the GMAT is a CRITICAL THINKING test that involves Quant and Verbal skills; it is NOT, in-and-of-itself, a "math test" and a "vocabulary test."

Many questions are easy to get correct on the GMAT, but they're also easy to miss if you're moving too fast and not thinking critically.

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Re: In what year was Ellen born?  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2016, 18:48
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.

In what year was Ellen born?

(1) Ellen’s brother Pete, who is 1 1/2 years older than Ellen, was born in 1956.
(2) In 1975 Ellen turned 18 years old.


In the original condition, you need to figure out the year Ellen was born. So, there is 1 variable, which should match with the number of equations. So you need 1 equation. For 1) 1 equation, for 2) 1 equation, which is likely to make D the answer.
For 1), since it’s 1/2 from 1 and 1/2 years older, it is not unique and not sufficient. That is, if the older brother Pete was born in December 1956, Ellen should have been born in 1958. If Pete was born in January 1956, Ellen should have been born in 1957.
For 2), it makes Ellen born in 1957 since she turned 18 in 1975, which is unique and sufficient. Therefore, the answer is B.


-> For cases where we need 1 more equation, such as original conditions with “1 variable”, or “2 variables and 1 equation”, or “3 variables and 2 equations”, we have 1 equation each in both 1) and 2). Therefore, there is 59 % chance that D is the answer, while A or B has 38% chance and C or E has 3% chance. Since D is most likely to be the answer using 1) and 2) separately according to DS definition. Obviously there may be cases where the answer is A, B, C or E.
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Re: In what year was Ellen born?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2018, 19:19
Hello from the GMAT Club BumpBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: In what year was Ellen born? &nbs [#permalink] 13 May 2018, 19:19
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