**agganitk wrote:**According to a survey, at least 70% of people like apples, at least 75% like bananas and at least 80% like cherries. What is the minimum percentage of people who like all three?

A. 15%

B. 20%

C. 25%

D. 0%

E. 35%

Ans??

Let's say we have 100 people to make things simple. We want to minimize the triple group, so let's minimize how many people like each kind of fruit, giving us:

70 apple lovers, 75 banana lovers and 80 cherry lovers.

Now, 70 + 75 + 80 = 225, so we have 225 "fruit loves" spread out among 100 people.

Therefore, there are 125 more "fruit loves" than there are people.

Our job is to minimize the number of people who love all 3; to do so, we want to maximize the number of people who love exactly 2 of the 3 and minimize the number of people who love exactly 1 of the 3.

So, we can come up with two equations:

AB + AC + BC + 2ABC = 125

and

AB + AC + BC + ABC = 100

AB = number who like just apple/banana

AC = number who like just apple/cherry

BC = number who like just banana/cherry

ABC = number who like all 3

The first equation is derived from the triple-overlapping set equation:

True # of objects = (total # in group 1) + (total # in group 2) + (total # in group 3) - (# in exactly 2 groups) - 2(# in all 3 groups)

100 = 70 + 75 + 80 - AB - AC - BC - 2(ABC)

and when we rearrange to get all variables on one side:

AB + AC + BC + 2ABC = 125

The second equation is derived from another version of the triple-overlapping set equation:

True # of objects = (total in exactly 1 group) + (total in exactly 2 groups) + (total in exactly 3 groups)

We set the "total in exactly 1 group" to 0, so we get:

100 = 0 + AB + AC + BC + ABC

So, back to our equations:

AB + AC + BC + 2ABC = 125

AB + AC + BC + ABC = 100

If we subtract the second from the first, we get:

ABC = 25... done!

Now, at this point you may be saying, "umm.. ok.. but I asked for a simple way to solve, that seemed super complicated and time consuming!"

However, if you understand the concepts behind triple-overlap (or double-overlap) questions, it's fairly intuitive; the complicated part is getting to the stage at which you have that deeper understanding.

Of course, this exact question won't appear on the GMAT. So, as always, after you do a question you ask yourself: "what did I learn from this question that's going to help me on future questions?"

Here's our takeaways:

1) there are multiple ways to solve overlapping sets questions. The more you familiarize yourself with the 3 major approaches (equations/venn diagrams/matrices(the last only works when there are 2 overlapping sets, unless you're really good at drawing a 3-dimensional matrix)), the more likely it is that the q

uickest approach will jump out at you on test day.

2) if you're shooting for a 600+, learn the two equations noted above.

3) whenever you're asked to minimize something, think "what do I need to maximize to achieve that result?"