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GMAT Strategy: The Something Method

Turning complex problems into simpler ones is a key to success on the GMAT. Often, you will be confronted with a time-consuming difficult problem. If you can find a way to break it down, you will not only get the right answer, but you will also save time. In the video and example below, we look at the “Something Method”, which helps you with complex math problems.

Let’s take a look at an example in which the Something Method can help:

If (12z)/(5 – 6y/x) = 4z then which of the following is true?

(A) 2x = 3y
(B) 3x = 2y
(C) x = 3y
(D) 3x = y
(E) 2x = y

This problem could involve a lot of algebra that would be time consuming. Note that you could re-write the problem replace the complex denominator as something.

12z/something = 4z
something = 3

We now know that the complex denominator = 3.

5 – 6y/x = 3

Now we can substitute something for 6y/x, such that we are left with:

5 – something = 3
something = 2

This leave us with our fraction = 2. With some simple algebra we can now solve for the relationship between x and y.

6y/x = 2
6y = 2x
3y = x

The answer is C.

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