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.

There are 42 students in a group. If each student is either a freshmen or a senior, how many of the students are seniors?

(1) The group has more than four times as many seniors as it has freshmen.

(2) The group has more than 7 freshmen.

In the original condition, there are 2 variables(f,s) and 1 equation(f+s=42), 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), in s>4f, value of s is not unique and not sufficient.

For 2), in f>7, value of s is also not unique and not sufficient. When 1) & 2), they become s>4f and f>7 → s+f>4f+7, 42>4f+7, 35>4f → 35/4=8.75>f. Since f>7, in 8.75>f>7, f=8, s=34, which is unique and sufficient.

Therefore, the answer is C.

--> 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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