Jeff Miller

GMAT OFFICIAL GUIDE PS – The ratio, by volume, of soap to alcohol to water…

The ratio, by volume, of soap to alcohol to water…

Solution:

The first thing we want to do is set up the ratio of the original solution using variable multipliers.

soap : alcohol : water = 2x : 50x : 100x

We are given that the ratio of soap to alcohol is doubled. Our original ratio of soap to alcohol is:

soap/alcohol = 2x/50x = x/25x

(Notice that we only canceled the 2 and 50; we didn’t cancel the x because it’s our ratio multiplier.)

If we double the ratio we multiply the entire ratio by 2, so we have:

2(x/25x) = 2x/25x

So now our new ratio is:

soap/alcohol = 2x/25x

Next we are given that the ratio of soap to water is halved. Our original ratio of soap to water is:

soap/water = 2x/100x = x/50x

If we halve the ratio, we multiply the entire ratio by 1/2, so we have:

(1/2)(x/50x) = x/100x

So now our new ratio is:

soap/water = x/100x

Next we must notice that the amount of soap in the two new ratios is not the same value. In the first new ratio, soap = 2x and in the second new ratio, soap = x. Thus, we need to make these values equal before continuing to the answer. To do this, we multiply the second ratio by 2/2, so we have:

soap/water = (2/2)(x/100x) = 2x/200x

Now we can set up the ratio of the altered solution.

soap : alcohol : water = 2x : 25x : 200x

Lastly, we are given that the altered solution will contain 100 cubic centimeters of alcohol.

With this we can set up the following equation and determine x:

25x = 100

x = 4 (This means that the ratio multiplier is 4.)

Thus, the altered solution will contain (200)(4) = 800 cubic centimeters of water.

Answer: E