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28
24
16
14
12
We can PLUG IN THE ANSWERS, which represent the estimated time: 28, 24, 16, 14, or 12.
The actual time was 4 hours longer: 32, 28, 20, 18, or 16.
Both the estimated time and the actual time must divide evenly into 336 (the labor cost).
Since 336 is not a multiple of 32, eliminate A.
Since 336 is not a multiple of 20, eliminate C.
336 is not a multiple of 9, since the sum of its digits is not a multiple of 9.
Thus, 336 is not a multiple of 18; eliminate D.

The correct answer must be B or E.

Answer choice B: estimated time = 24, actual time = 28
Estimated payrate = 336/24 = 14.
Actual payrate = 336/28 = 12.
Difference = 14-12 = 2.
Success!

The correct answer is B.

Note that we had to try only ONE answer choice -- a very efficient way to solve the problem.

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Matt@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
Joined
12 Sep 2012
Posted:
2640 messages
Followed by:
113 members
Upvotes:
625
Target GMAT Score:
V51
GMAT Score:
780
Thu May 26, 2016 2:49 pm
If we've got

336 = x * y

and

336 = (x + 4) * (y - 2)

We could factor 336 to look for solutions. Since the answers are likely to have both the time and the hourly rate (in an attempt to trap us if we're not careful), we might cheat with them and assume that they multiply to our number ... which, of course, they do!

336 = 28 * 12
336 = 24 * 14

Since Don's estimate had a lower time and a higher hourly rate, his estimate must've been 24 * 14. We want the time, which must be LOWER than the time in the other equation, so our answer is 24.

Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now!

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