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Source: Official Guide for GMAT Review 2016 Data Sufficiency ; #105


Is the number of seconds required to

Is the number of seconds required to travel d feet at r feet per second greater than the number of seconds required to travel d feet at r feet per second?

1 Explanation


Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

Aug 18, 2015 • Comment

I have a question here, thank you for your reply in advance:

If we have (1) and (2) together, we are basically trying to solve whether (d2+30)/(r2+30) is larger than d2/r2. According to Fraction Properties, on the number line, (d2+30)/(r2+30) is closer to 30/30 (aka 1) than d2/r2. So, (d2+30)/(r2+30) is smaller than d2/r2, if d2/r2 is larger than 1. The prompt asked "the number of secondS", this plural seconds here imply that it takes more than 1 second, in which case (d2+30)/(r2+30) is smaller than d2/r2. So, the answer should be C.

I do think this is a reasonable explanation to this question, so can I say this question itself is flawed? Thank you again.

Apr 28, 2016 • Reply

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Bohai,

Happy to help! The question itself is not flawed but rather constructed using general English grammar. When asking about a quantity that refers to a countable noun like seconds, the general construction is: "How many [plural form of noun]...?" The answer could be zero, one, or more than one. For example, I could ask, "How many exams do you have today?" Three examples of acceptable responses are:

1. I have no exams today.
2. I have one exam today.
3. I have three exams today.

As you can see, while the noun is in the plural form in the question, it is not necessarily the case that the answer also refers to the plural noun. With that in mind, the wording of the question does not necessarily imply that the number of seconds is greater than 1, and we can use the method described in Mike's explanation video to determine that the answer is E.

I hope this helps :)

Apr 30, 2016 • Reply

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Section 6.3 Data Sufficiency

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