Lesson: Volume and Surface Area

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A rectangular box, with dimensions of 12 inches by 18 inches by 10 inches, contains soup cans. If each can is a cylinder with a radius of 3 inches and a height of 5 inches, what is the maximum number of soup cans that the box can contain?

A. 6
B. 12
C. 15
D. 30
E. 48

For this ques can we solve it by calculating the volume of the rectangular box divided by the surface area of each cans to get the no of cans?
gmat-admin's picture

That strategy won't work, since you're comparing surface areas and volumes, which are entirely different concepts.

Also, I should note that many students will want to find the volume of one can and then divide it into the total volume of the box. However, this strategy only works if we're pouring the liquid soup into the box.

If we're leaving the soup IN the cans, then we must consider the fact that there will be air pockets.

Here's my step-by-step solution: https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-rectangular-box-with-dimensions-of-12-inche...


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