GMAT Math : Similarity recognition

With enough right practice, test takers will be able to recognize key similarities that can help significantly with cracking the problem :

What is the value of x?

  1. x + 4y + 2z = 16
  2. 3x + 8y + 4z = 9

Take a moment to attempt the problem 🙂

Let’s look at both statements put together

Multiply the expression in statement (1) by 2 to arrive at

2x + 6y + 4z = 32

Now, subtract this expression from statement (2). We are left with

x = 9 – 32 = -23

Hence we go with Option (C)

Key learning: Take a moment to look at the equations for visual similarity. In this particular example, notice how the y and z terms are quite similar in the statements given – they differ by a constant factor of 2.

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