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# Stupid (simple) algebra problem

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I had this question on a college entrance test, and I feel stupid because I was unable to figure it out: Ed and Martha are reading the same book. Ed reads x amount of pages each day. Martha reads 10 more pages per day than Ed. It took Martha 10 days to finish the book, while Ed took 12 days. How many pages per day did Ed read? Hopefully I wrote that right. Can anyone tell me how to figure it out, considering it is now driving me crazy? Thanks.

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Ed: x pages/day
Martha: (x+10) pages/day

# of pages Martha read: (x+10)*10=10x+100
# of pages Ed read: 12x

Since they are reading the same book the book must have the same number of pages so...

12x=10x+100
12x-10x=100
2x=100
x=50

So Ed can read 50 pages per day

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Ahh... that makes sense now. Thanks a lot. I remember learning about these problems in Geometry a few years ago. I was trying to think back on how it worked. I forgot that you have to equate the number of pages for both people in order to solve.

Thanks again. Now, can you build me a time machine so I can retake the test?

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Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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