SAT Math Multiple Choice Practice Question 413: Answer and Explanation
17. A basketball team had a ratio of wins to losses of 3:1. After the team won six games in a row, its ratio of wins to losses became 5:1. How many games had the team won before winning six games in a row?
Correct Answer: C
C And yet again, the slow way to solve a word problem like this is to set up equations. Letting w and l represent the number of wins and losses, respectively, the slow method of setting up equations would yield the following:
Then you'd have to substitute for in the second equation and solve for l and then go back to solve for w.
We can also plug in the answer choices, starting in the middle, C, and see which one works:
Bingo! We found the answer on the first try! If C didn't work, you'd move up or down depending on whether the result was too small or too big.