# Get Over Your Fear of Fractions!

If you’ve read the *Assigning Values* section in my book, you probably already have a good working knowledge of the fundamentals of this strategy. You will probably immediately recognize that question 198 on page 180 of the GMAT Official Guide 13^{th} Edition is a good candidate for the *Assigning Values* technique because it has variables in the answers. But you may still struggle to work through an *Assigning Values* question from beginning to end, especially one this complicated. Let’s try this one together.

This question is tricky because you may have difficulty deciding to which variable to assign a value first. Don’t worry! Just start working and if you haven’t chosen the right one, it will quickly become apparent. Let’s assign a value to *r*. Let’s say that *r* is 10. That means I need to know how many Newspapers A were sold to obtain the revenue, and from there I need to calculate total revenue that will have the revenue from Newspaper A as 10 percent.

Confused? It’s OK! Just start again. What if we assign a value to *p* first?

If sales of Newspaper A were 50 percent of all sales and 8 newspapers were sold, then there were $4 in sales of Newspaper A and $5 *_in sales of Newspaper B. I chose 8 because I want the total number of Newspapers B sold to be a multiple of 4 since the price of a Newspaper B contains a ¼ value. It really doesn’t matter what number you choose, but identifying relationships like that can make the math much easier to do. Therefore, _r* will be ^{4}⁄_{9} (the revenue from Newspaper A divided by the total revenue). Don’t waste time calculating any further until you see it’s necessary. Let’s look at the answers.

A) ^{(100 x 50)}⁄_{75} = 100(^{2}⁄_{3}) = ^{200}⁄_{3}

B) ^{(150 x 50)}⁄_{200} = 150(^{1}⁄_{4}) = ^{150}⁄_{4}

How did I do my calculations for the first two answers? When you have multiplication in the numerator of a fraction, the denominator can apply to either number, so look for a pattern. I wrote answer (A) as ^{100}⁄_{1} x ^{50}⁄_{75} because ^{50}⁄_{75} is easy to reduce to ^{2}⁄_{3}.

C) ^{(300 x 50)}⁄_{325} = ^{12}⁄_{13} x 50 = ^{600}⁄_{13}

For answer (C), I chose to apply the denominator to the first number, because they were each easily divisible by 25. So I ended up with ^{400}⁄_{450} x ^{50}⁄_{1} which reduces to ^{12}⁄_{13} x ^{50}⁄_{1}. Then, 12 x 5 is 60 and I just added the zero on to the end. I applied to same process to the final two answers.

D) ^{(400 x 50)}⁄_{450} = ^{16}⁄_{18} x 50 = ^{80}⁄_{18}

E) ^{(500 x 50)}⁄_{525} = ^{20}⁄_{23} x 50 = ^{1,000}⁄_{23}

You should be able to tell that answer (D) has a clear relationship to ^{4}⁄_{9} once you reduce the fraction by half. Don’t take the calculations any further than you have to.

*Want more information? Check out the Assigning Values* *section of my 30 Day GMAT Success book!*

Image Courtesy of** jimmiehomeschoolmom** with Creative Commons License

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