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# What is the volume of a cardboard box with sides a, b, and

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Manager
Joined: 11 Apr 2008
Posts: 128
Location: Chicago
What is the volume of a cardboard box with sides a, b, and [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2008, 20:19
1
KUDOS
What is the volume of a cardboard box with sides a, b, and c?

1. $$a = \frac{12}{bc}$$

2. $$b = 3, c = 2$$

See attached for spoiler and a follow-up question

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Current Student
Joined: 11 May 2008
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19 Sep 2008, 23:00
ans is A.

stat 1) vol = product of three sides , which is given in A.

stat 2) the third side is not given. can be anything.
Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 292

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20 Sep 2008, 01:31
arjtryarjtry wrote:
ans is A.

stat 1) vol = product of three sides , which is given in A.

stat 2) the third side is not given. can be anything.

No where it is mentioned that a, b and c are lenth. breadth and hight.
Hence it should be "E"
Manager
Joined: 11 Apr 2008
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20 Sep 2008, 10:57
vivektripathi wrote:
arjtryarjtry wrote:
ans is A.

stat 1) vol = product of three sides , which is given in A.

stat 2) the third side is not given. can be anything.

No where it is mentioned that a, b and c are lenth. breadth and hight.
Hence it should be "E"

I agree, yet the official answer is A. These kind of pseudo-subjective questions that are open to interpretation are what scare me come test time. If I had the chance to explain my answers once the test was done, I could easily bump my score up 50 points. Any suggestions?
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VP
Joined: 05 Jul 2008
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20 Sep 2008, 13:59
brokerbevo wrote:
vivektripathi wrote:
arjtryarjtry wrote:
ans is A.

stat 1) vol = product of three sides , which is given in A.

stat 2) the third side is not given. can be anything.

No where it is mentioned that a, b and c are lenth. breadth and hight.
Hence it should be "E"

I agree, yet the official answer is A. These kind of pseudo-subjective questions that are open to interpretation are what scare me come test time. If I had the chance to explain my answers once the test was done, I could easily bump my score up 50 points. Any suggestions?

While I agree that the word cardboard box (rectangular box and not a cube because all sides are not equal) does not tell any thing about the sides ( about L B H), Is it possible for a rectangular box (with 6 sides) to have 6 different sides?? IMO, NO. The sides of a rectangular box are the same and when they sides a,b,c they are the L, B, H indeed.

The ambiguity comes down to whether we can imagine cardboard box as rectangular box or NO.

Thoughts Fellas??
Intern
Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 45

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25 Sep 2008, 08:19
I agree with icandy.

It is not mentioned whethere card box is rectangular box.

Otherwise. I will go with A. as abc = 12.
Whether a is length or height or depth. Does not make any difference in final volume.
Manager
Joined: 11 Apr 2008
Posts: 128
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25 Sep 2008, 08:45
Twoone wrote:
I agree with icandy.

It is not mentioned whethere card box is rectangular box.

Otherwise. I will go with A. as abc = 12.
Whether a is length or height or depth. Does not make any difference in final volume.

But Stmt 1 states that abc = 12 This "could" mean that a and b are the length (a = 2 and b = 2) and c is the width (c = 3). In this case, we don't know the height (perhaps "d" or some other variable) so therefore, statement 1 does not give enough info. We can not assume that a, b and c give us different pieces of data (height, width and length) because 2 or more of them could give us the same piece of information.

Statement 2 is obviously not sufficient

When taken together, we still have the same issue: can not assume that a, b and c give us different segments of the box.

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Intern
Joined: 02 Sep 2008
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25 Sep 2008, 09:16
Thanks!!

I got it.
SVP
Joined: 17 Jun 2008
Posts: 1502

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25 Sep 2008, 11:11
My reading on such questions is that if it mentions sides as a,b,c, I will assume a, b and c represent three distinct values and for a rectangular box, sides cannot have more than three distinct values.

Hence, I will go with answer A.
Manager
Joined: 11 Apr 2008
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25 Sep 2008, 11:54
scthakur wrote:
My reading on such questions is that if it mentions sides as a,b,c, I will assume a, b and c represent three distinct values and for a rectangular box, sides cannot have more than three distinct values.

Hence, I will go with answer A.

I kind of see what you are saying. Could you please point out what is wrong with my make-shift diagram I put together, it might make more sense to me when viewed visually. Thanks!!
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Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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25 Sep 2008, 20:41
brokerbevo wrote:
What is the volume of a cardboard box with sides a, b, and c?

1. $$a = \frac{12}{bc}$$

2. $$b = 3, c = 2$$

See attached for spoiler and a follow-up question

IMO, in case of ractangular/square/cube solid, always only 3 dimensions are given. when the question stem says sides a, b, and c they are different measurement of of length, bredth, and height.

No question asks to find the area or volume providing the measurements for all (six) sides. So the only thing that we need to make sure is whether the given solid is square or cube or rectangular.

However, I also agree that the question is definitely unclear.
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GMAT Tutor
Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1346

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25 Sep 2008, 21:08
brokerbevo wrote:
I agree, yet the official answer is A. These kind of pseudo-subjective questions that are open to interpretation are what scare me come test time. If I had the chance to explain my answers once the test was done, I could easily bump my score up 50 points.

Can you point out a single real GMAT question (from the OG, GMATPrep, or GMATFocus) that is ambiguous in its wording? GMAC spends \$2400 designing each question in part to avoid any ambiguity; ambiguity eliminates any value a question might have on the GMAT, because an ambiguous question won't be answered much better by good test takers than by bad ones. So an ambiguous question does not give much information about your ability, and is essentially useless in helping to determine your score. If you did see a truly ambiguous question on your real GMAT (though I can assure you that you won't), it could only be a diagnostic question, because any ambiguously worded question would be discarded once calibration data was collected on it- the question would not provide good data.

And while I get your point about the above question, I'd interpret it the same way as GMATTiger; the question appears to intend for a, b and c to represent the three different dimensions of the box. I can't imagine you'd see a real GMAT question with that exact wording, however.
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SVP
Joined: 17 Jun 2008
Posts: 1502

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26 Sep 2008, 02:01
brokerbevo wrote:
scthakur wrote:
My reading on such questions is that if it mentions sides as a,b,c, I will assume a, b and c represent three distinct values and for a rectangular box, sides cannot have more than three distinct values.

Hence, I will go with answer A.

I kind of see what you are saying. Could you please point out what is wrong with my make-shift diagram I put together, it might make more sense to me when viewed visually. Thanks!!

In your first diagram, I will treat depth of diagram to be 2 (if length and width are 2 and 3 respectively).
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Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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26 Sep 2008, 21:02
GMAT TIGER wrote:
brokerbevo wrote:
What is the volume of a cardboard box with sides a, b, and c?

1. $$a = \frac{12}{bc}$$

2. $$b = 3, c = 2$$

See attached for spoiler and a follow-up question

IMO, in case of ractangular/square/cube solid, always only 3 dimensions are given. when the question stem says sides a, b, and c they are different measurement of of length, bredth, and height.

No question asks to find the area or volume providing the measurements for all (six) sides. So the only thing that we need to make sure is whether the given solid is square or cube or rectangular.

However, I also agree that the question is definitely unclear.

Having said all above, your argument would make more sense if the question asked to find the measurement of L, B and H.

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If you would like to discuss this question please re-post it in the respective forum. Thank you!

To review the GMAT Club's Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow these links: Quantitative | Verbal Please note - we may remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines. Thank you.

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Re: Confused box   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2008, 21:02
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# What is the volume of a cardboard box with sides a, b, and

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