stclark3 wrote:

Hello all, I apologize if this has been asked before.

One of my biggest struggles on the quant section is with word problems. Particularly questions that involve assigning variables and placing an equation in terms of x or y. For example

At a certain symphonic concert, tickets for the orchestra level were $50 and tickets for the balcony level were $30. These two ticket types were the only source of revenue for this concert. If R% of the revenue for the concert was from the sale of balcony tickets, and B% of the tickets sold were balcony tickets, then which of the following expresses B in terms of R?

or a question like this

A marketer bought N crates of empty cardboard gift boxes. Each crate held Q individual gift boxes, and the lot of N crates was purchases at a wholesale price of W dollars. This marketer will sell collections of J cardboard gift boxes to retailers, at a price of P dollars for each collection. (Note: J is a divisor of Q.) The marketer knows that, when he has sold all the cardboard gift boxes this way, he wants to net a total profit of Z dollars on the entire transaction. What price P for these collections must he charge, to net this profit? Express P in terms of N, Q, W, J, and Z.

I was wondering if there were any good guides on discovering how to recognize language patterns in the problems so you can know exactly how to set it up. Picking smart numbers is an OK strategy but it is time consuming and I don't think it is viable as higher levels.

Thanks

This is a really wise question to ask. It's not easy to figure out how to translate a word problem into math. It might seem obvious once you look at the explanation, but coming up with the equation yourself is quite a bit tougher.

I've done some writing about it, although I think there's still more that could be said about word problems! Here are some articles. Note that they're from our GRE blog, but the ideas are exactly the same as on the GMAT.

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gre/blog/ ... em-really/https://www.manhattanprep.com/gre/blog/ ... cks-traps/
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