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Word Problems/Re-learning Math.


QUESTION: Greetings,

I am studying for an exam with the city and I am totally lost with the word problems that has to do with percentages & decimals. It has been such a very long time since I have done these. I just need to figure out how to get the answer which I can start to study. I know the answer but I seem can't figure out how to get the answer! It is driving me insane. :(

"A Certain administrative aide is usually able to succesfully handle 27% of all telephone inquiries without assistance. In a particular month , he recieved 1200 inquiries and handles 340 of them success on his own. How many more inquiries has he handles successfully in that month than would have been expected of him based on his usual rate?"
A. 10     B.16     C. 24     D. 44

"An experienced clerk can process the mailing of annual forms in 9 days. A new clerk takes 14 days to process them. If they work together, how many days MOST NEARLY will it take to do the processing?"
A. 4 1/2    B 5 1/2    C. 6 1/2    D. 7

"You Pay temporary hlep 11.20 per hour and regular employees 12.00 per hour. Your workload is temporarily heavy, so you need 20 hours of extra regular employees' time to cath up. If you do this on overtime, you must pay time-and-a-half. If you use tempoary help, it takes 25 % more time to do the this job. What is the difference in cost between the two alternatives?"
A. 20 more for temporary        B. 40 more for temporary      C. 80 more for regular   
D. 136 more for regular

I also need help learning to read grapghs and charts...some expect you do come up wth 11% for an answer. I am so lost. :(
Thank You

ANSWER: "An administrative aide is usually able to handle 27% of all inquiries. One month, he received 1200 inquiries. How many can he handle based on his usual rate?"
27% of 1200 = 0.271200 = 324
He would be expected to handle 324 of the 1200 inquiries. He actually handled 340 inquiries, which is 16 more than expected.
"An experienced clerk can process the mailing of annual forms in 9 days."
The experienced clerk completes 1/9 of the task each day.

"A new clerk takes 14 days to process them."
The new clerk completes 1/14 of the task each day.

Together, they complete 1/9 + 1/14 = 23/126 of the task per day.
1 task (1 day)/(23/126 task) = 126/23 days ≅ 5 days
"You pay temporary help $11.20 per hour and regular employees $12.00 per hour."
The extra work can be done by 20 regular employees working at the overtime (time-and-a-half) rate.
Overtime pay for regular employees is 1 $12/hour = $18/hour
20 hours $18/hour = $360

The extra work can be done by temporary help at their regular rate ($11.20 an hour), but it will take them 25% more time to do the job.
125% of 20 hours = 1.2520 hours = 25 hours
25 hours $11.20/hour = $280

Using regular employees is more expensive by $360-$280 = $80.
Where are the graphs?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: are so fast and quick! I have a feeling that you love doing this. :)
I have attached a picture of the chart and a couple of questions. Thank You.

1. For the last questions about the 11.20 per hour...where did you get the 125 % from?

I attached a photograph of the chart and will ask a couple of questions.

2. The percentage increase in total citations issued from 1995 to 2000 is MOST NEARLY.
A. 7%    B. 11%   C. 21&   D. 41%

3. Which offense shows a TOTAL INCREASE OR DECREASE of 50% for the full 20-year period?
A.  Parking Violations    B. Drug Use    C. Dangerous Weapons   D. Improper Dress

Thank You

If the temporary help worked at the same rate as the regular employees, they would do the work in the same amount of time,
i.e., 100% of 20 hours = 20 hours

Since they need 25% more time, they need (100%+25%) of 20 hours = 125% of 20 hours = 25 hours.
total citations in 1995: 9,000
total citations in 2005: 10,000
increase in total citations = 10,000 - 9,000 = 1,000
percentage increase = 1,000/9.000 ≅ 0.11 = 11%
A 50% increase means the ending figure is 150% of the starting figure.

There were 2,000 citations issued for Dangerous Weapons in 1990, and 3,000 issued in 2010.
150% of 2,000 = 3,000

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Janet Yang


Word problems are my favorite type of math questions! I would not feel comfortable answering questions that require specialized knowledge (Physics, Statistics, etc.) because I have not studied these in depth.


I tutor students (fifth through twelfth grades) and am a Top Contributor on Yahoo!Answers with over 24,000 math solutions.

Co-author of An Outline of Scientific Writing: For Researchers With English as a Foreign Language.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Business Administration degree from The Wharton School.

Past/Present Clients
George White Elementary School. Homework Help program at the Ridgewood Public Library, Ridgewood, NJ. Individual students.

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