# Word problems questions

## What is it?

Whilst on most questions you get all the relevant data and information from exhibit or introductory paragraphs, in word problems part of the data is contained in the question itself, while another part in the exhibits or introductory paragraph. If you have taken the GMAT before, you will find that word problems are the closest question types to the GMAT.

## Question formats

• If employeesâ€™ salaries are increased by 20%, what is the increase in productivity required to break even?
• Assuming that the economy keeps on growing at 2% per year for the upcoming 10 years, which of the following equations best approximates the decrease in the debt/GDP ratio?

## Example

Ardito, a leading fast fashion retailer, has 3,350 branches with 79,000 employees at these branches. Maison operates on approximately 25 FTE per retail branch. Approximately, how many more branches than Ardito should Maison have to sell as many clothes in Menswear as Ardito?

1. 500
2. 1,700
3. 5,000
4. 127,000

## Method

1. Carefully understand the word problem.
2. Go through the answers to quickly assess the level of precision you will need in your calculations. Since all answer options are quite far apart, you will be able to estimate rather than calculate precisely.
3. Build up the structure of the equation.

What has to be kept constant?

$\text{Sales}\textsubscript{Ardito} = \text{Sales}\textsubscript{Maison}$

Hence, calling x the additional branches, Maison needs to sell as many clothes as Ardito:

$\text{Total employees}\textsubscript{Ardito}\ *\ \text{Sales per employee}\textsubscript{Ardito} =$
$= (\text{Branches}\textsubscript{Ardito}\ +\ x)\ *\ \text{Employees per branch}\textsubscript{Maison}\ *\ \text{Sales per employee}\textsubscript{Maison}$

Yielding:

$79,000 * 400 = (3350 + x) * 25 * 250$

At this point, we have two possible solutions.

First solution:

$\frac{79,000 * 400}{25 * 250} = 3,350 + x$

$\frac{79,000 * 16}{25 * 10} - 3,350 = x$

$\frac{79 * 100 * 16}{25} = 3,350 + x$

$79 * 4 * 16 - 3,350 = x$

$79 * 64 - 3,350 = x$

$~5,000 - 3,350 = x$

Thus the result must be between 1,000 and 2,000. Answer B.

Second solution:

You plug numbers from the answer options in the equation and see which result would make the equation work. This method is by far our preferred way of solving this king of problems.

$79,000 * 400 = (3,350 + x) * 25 * 250$

$~32,000,000 = (3,350 + x) * 6,250$

1,700 is the only result fitting the equation. Answer B.