COMPLETE SOLUTIONS TO

8 Hardest SAT Word Problems Ever
1. (18) Our goal is to find how old Ann is now. We are given that Mary is 24 years old. Therefore we have all three sets and 8 total have sets Y and Z in common, there are 4 left that ONLY have sets Y and Z in common.

Marynow = 24
Now we are given that Mary is twice as old as Ann was when Mary was as old as Ann is now. There are four ages for both Mary and Ann that we need to consider.

X 4 4

Y

Marybefore = Marynow = Marybefore = Marynow = 24

Annbefore = Annnow = Annbefore = Annnow = ?
Z

We already have one age, and we are looking for another.

Now we are told the Mary ( Mary ) is twice as old as

⎛ Mary ⎞ ⎛ Mary ⎞ = ⎟ Ann was ⎜ = Annbefore ⎟ , when ⎜ ⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠ Mary ( Mary ) was as old as ( Mary = ) Ann is now

Now we are also given that each member of set Y is contained in at least one of the other two sets. So that means there is nobody who is ONLY in set Y. So we have

X 4 4

( Mary = Annnow ) .

0

Y

We have

⎛ Mary ⎞ = Annbefore ⎟ ⎜ ⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎛ Annnow ⎞ = Annbefore ⎟ ⎜ ⎝ 2 ⎠
Alternate explanation: The problem is stating that Mary is twice as old as Ann was when Mary was Ann’s age. In other words, when Mary was Ann’s age, Ann was 12. Since the difference in age between Mary and Ann will always be the same, Ann must be 18. So now Mary is 24 and Ann is 18. When Mary was Ann’s age (18), Ann was 12. 2. ( 19 ) Our goal is to find how many members are in set Y. Now we are given that sets X, Y and Z have 4 members in common. We can use a Venn-diagram to display this.

Z Now we are also given that sets X and Y are a total of 15 members in common. Since 4 are common in all three sets, then there are 11 people (15-4=11) who are ONLY in sets X and Y. So we have

X

11 4 4

0

Y

X 4

Y Z Since we are looking for the the total number of members in set Y, we can add all four components in the Y circle above. So we have

Y = 11 + 4 + 4 + 0 Y = 19

Z Now we are told that sets Y and Z have a total of 8 members in common. Note that since 4 are common in

The answer is 19.

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(B) Our goal is to find how many hours it will take to weed the garden. The answer is (B).2) hours. it would take to do one full garden. the other two values must be as small as possible. and the father will do of garden. 5. t. 15 miles *1 hour hour Distance = 15 miles Distance = So the distance the fly travels is 15 miles. the integers must be greater than zero. Since the rates of each of the three people are given in one hour. the fly will be traveling also for one hour only. In one hour. regardless of the direction it is traveling. This continues until the two truck meet. The answer is (B). the two trucks will meet in one hour. John will do Paul will do 1 . We are given that the average of three different positive integers is 70. Note that the fly will travel at a rate of 15mph throughout the described event. Since the integers are positive. and we are looking for the time. since the two trucks will meet in one hour. but the speed does not change. Note that the direction changes but the distance traveled is the same regardless. we have 10mph 10mph 1+ 2 + x = 70 3 3 + x = 210 x = 207 Also we also have a fly that is sitting on the hood of the first truck and flies at 15mph towards the second truck. Once it reaches the second truck. Therefore. we can according add the rates together. So 4 3 total. Now we have two trucks 20 miles apart that head towards each other at a rate of 10mph. the first truck will travel 10 miles. and the second truck will travel 10 miles also.8 HARDEST SAT WORD PROBLEMS Version 1. Note the direction will change when he reaches the trucks. Note that they are all 3 working together on the garden. Now find the time it will take for the two trucks to meet. So in one hour. and their father can 4 1 weed of the garden in an hour. we can setup the following equation 10mph 10 miles During this one hour the fly will be flying at 15mph constantly. Note that we cannot use any number twice because all three numbers must be different. Page 2 . in one hour we will have done 1 1 1 3 3 4 10 5 + + = + + = = 4 4 3 12 12 12 12 6 10mph 10 miles of the garden. ( 207 ) Our goal is to find the greatest possible value of one of the integers. Inc. it turns and flies toward the first truck. The greatest possible value of x is 207. Note that if we want one value to be large. Since the average of 1. (B) Our goal is to find how far the fly has traveled.1 3. Since the total distance between them is 20 miles. Suppose that the largest value of one of the numbers is x. 20 miles positive integers at 1 and 2. 2 and x is 70. 20 miles 1 of their garden in an hour. in one hour. So the distance that the fly will cover is as follows 5 garden 1 garden 6 = t hours 1 hour ⎛5 ⎞ garden ⎟ ( t hours ) = (1 garden )(1 hour ) ⎜ ⎝6 ⎠ (1 garden )(1 hour ) ( t hours ) = ⎛5 ⎞ garden ⎟ ⎜ ⎝6 ⎠ (1 hour ) t hours = 5 6 6 t hours = hours 5 So the time it would take all three t work on the garden is 6/5 (or 1. Now the two smallest 4. both trucks will travel 10 miles. 4 1 1 . We are given that John and Paul each weed 10 miles *1 hour = 10 miles hour 10 miles truck2 = *1 hour = 10 miles hour truck1 = Now on our diagram. Now since 5/6 of the garden will be done in one hour. Copyright © 2006 Test Masters Educational Services.

275 x So this final weight is 1.1”.1x − 25% (1. Inc.275 x = x (1 + .1x = x (1 + . Now his weight first increased by 10 percent. Suppose that Joe’s initial weight is x. Note that 10 percent is simply the same as “. So we have 1. Page 3 .1x Next we are told that his weight decreased by 25 percent.1x) = 1x + .1 6.1) = 1.275 ) = x (1.1x + .8 HARDEST SAT WORD PROBLEMS Version 1.1x ) = 1. Remember that we Copyright © 2006 Test Masters Educational Services.275x.1* x = 1x + .1) = x (1. So we have x + 10% ( x ) = x + .275 ) = 1. () Our goal is to find what percent his final weight was of his initial weight.25*(1. We are given that Joe’s weight first increased by 10 percent and then his new weight decreased by 25 percent.