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Ambiguous GRE Question?

  1. Sep 18, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Title of pie chart: New Construction in Daisy Hill Subdivision
    Given a pie chart with sections:
    Currently Completed: 26%
    Currently Under Construction: 42%
    Approved, but Not Yet Started: 32%

    When construction is completed in Daisy Hill Subdivision there'll be a total of 50 homes.
    Approximately, how many houses have not yet been completed?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Originally, I thought that because construction completed in the subdivision meant completely done with labor.
    Then, I thought about setting
    50 homes -- 26%
    x -- 42%
    But, apparently that's not the way.

    Then, I thought 50 is 100% of construction completed.

    Then that 26% * x = 50, and I tried to solve for x to find total amount of houses.
    From 192.30 I tried to get the 42% = 80.76, but that didn't work.

    I think that the question is poorly phrased. Anyone agree?

    Apparently, the solution is :
    74%50 = 37
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2014 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Let's analyze what the previous sentence says: 'When construction is completed ...' suggests that there are still houses to be built or houses which presently are at some intermediate stage of construction, but not necessarily complete. '... there'll be a total of 50 homes' means that the total number of homes in the subdivision will be 50. That does not mean there are currently 50 complete homes in the subdivision, but there will be 50 homes in total when all construction on the subdivision is complete.

    'Currently completed' means at this moment, not at some undetermined future time.

    Not unless you have trouble with the definition of the words 'currently' and 'total'.

    Pie charts are supposed to show the breakdown of a whole quantity into various sub-groups of interest, to illustrate graphically the size of the sub-groups in relation to each other and the whole group. It would be illogical to show the whole group (50 homes) as anything less than 100%, or the entire pie chart.
  4. Sep 18, 2014 #3
    Thank you, I understand now.
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