Word Problems

GMAT Word ProblemsWord problems on the GMAT get an unfair reputation for being especially challenging. However, it’s helpful to think of them as just dressed-up algebra. The real challenge is that they are (1) long, (2) boring, and (3) require translation from ‘English’ to ‘Math.’ Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you fully break down and understand the problem BEFORE you start to solve!

What is the problem really asking?

    Make sure to understand what the answer choices represent. Are they the total number of dollars of profit? The profit accumulated by Jenny only? The percent increase in profit from June to July? Taking the time to do this will also ensure you never leave a problem half finished. If you dive into setting up an equation too quickly, you may realize half-way through that you’re solving for the wrong variable. Sometimes word problems will add an extra step at the end. You may be busy solving for “x” and forget that the problem is asking for the value of “1/x”.

What information am I given?

    The best...

Categories : Word Problems

GQ magazine has 5,200 words divided into 23 pages. A 2 page introduction is added to the article about Bill Clinton. Is the average number of words per page for all 25 pages less than 240?

1. Each page in the introduction has more than 200 words
2. Each page of the introduction has fewer than 300 words

A. Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.
B. Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.
C. BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
D. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
E. Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.


If each has 600 words, the total in the introduction will be 1200 words. Since 1200 > 800, the average number of words per page in the story will be greater than 240.

Therefore, Statement 1 alone is not sufficient to determine if the average will be less than 240.

Statement 2 tells us that each of the 2 additional pages has fewer than 300 words. This means that combined, the two new pages have a total of fewer than 600 words.

Since 600 < 800, the average number of words per page in the story will be less than 240. Statement 2 alone...

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