How To Solve Age Word Problems

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A common type of word problem that gives many of my GRE students difficulty concerns age.

Age questions are a sub-type of word problems and thus require the approach you should take toward all word problems: identify unknowns, assign variables, create algebraic relationships, and solve. In most age questions, you will be given information about the people’s ages at some earlier or later point.

Now let’s do some problems that use some of the translations above.

We’ll get to more difficult algebra word problems later. Solution: We always have to define a variable, and we can look at what they are asking.

The problems here only involve one variable; later we’ll work on some that involve more than one.

Doing word problems is almost like learning a new language like Spanish or French; you can basically translate word-for-word from English to Math, and here are some translations: Note that most of these word problems can also be solved with Algebraic Linear Systems, here in the Systems of Linear Equations section.Note that Using Systems to Solve Algebra Word Problems can be found here in the Systems of Linear Equations and Word Problems section.Now that you can do these difficult algebra problems, you can trick your friends by doing some fancy word problems; these are a lot of fun.When doing any word problem, it’s essential that you track the variables that you’ve assigned and how they change with each new piece of information.Erfun Geula is a professional GMAT and GRE tutor, based in New York City.I like to set up these types of problems as proportions, but what we’re looking for is actually a rate of minutes to photos, or how many minutes to print 1 photo.Remember that rate is “how many \(y\)” to “one \(x\)”, or in our case, how many “\(m\)” to one “\(p\)”.Now we have 6 test grades that will count towards our semester grade: 4 regular tests and 2 test grades that will be what you get on the final (since it counts twice, we need to add it HINT: For any problem with weighted averages, you can multiply each value by the weight in the numerator, and then divide by the sum of all the weights that you’ve used.For example, if you had test 1 (say, an of your grade, you will take the weighted average as in the formula below.Don’t forget to turn percentages into decimals and make sure that all the percentages that you use (the “weights”) add up to Solution: You’ll see these “consecutive integer” problems a lot in algebra.When you see these, you always have to assign “\(n\)” to the first number, “\(n 1\)” to the second, “\(n 2\)” to the third, and so on.


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