GMAT Question of the Day – Problem Solving – Word Problem/Limits
A shipment of 257,400 widgets must be divided amongst 16 trucks. If no truck can have less than 8/9 the number of widgets as any other of the 16 trucks, what is the minimum possible number of widgets that can be shipped on one of the trucks?
GMAT Question of the Day Solution
This is a tough but fair GMAT Word Problem based on maximums and minimums. These types of limits questions tend to be on the more difficult side of the GMAT spectrum because they require a bit of imagination. However, once you get the hang of this question type the process for solving them is relatively simple.
Usually the question will provide some type of scenario in which things need to be sub-divided (widgets into trucks). The question will provide some type of limitation (in this case the smallest can be no less then 8/9 of any other shipment) and then ask what the minimum or maximum can be for a subdivision (in this case one truck shipment). If you want to find a Max then make everything but the Max as small as possible. In this question of the day we want to find the Min so the strategy is to make everything else as big as possible while considering the rules of the question.
One thing to note – these questions can present rather large and intimidating numbers. But, if the answer must be an integer then all of the numbers that you are working with must be factors/multiples of each other and therefore divide evenly. Also – if you know that you will be able to simplify (divide) later on in the question you might hold off on doing any multiplication that will make the numbers unnecessarily big. This little GMAT trick will help you solve this question of the day (and many other GMAT questions) with less effort.