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## Comment on

Ages of Ebo and Atu## Hi Brent,

How could it be solved by assigning 1 variable? I could solve by test the answer though takes a lot of time but don't know how to approach by using 1 variable.

Thank you

## Using 1 variable is a little

Using 1 variable is a little trickier.

One approach is as follows:

Let A = Atu's age FIVE YEARS AGO

So 3A = Ebo's age FIVE YEARS AGO

Now let's determine their ages 3 years in the FUTURE (which is 8 years away from 5 years ago)

A + 8 = Atu's age IN THREE YEARS

3A + 8 = Ebo's age IN THREE YEARS

We're told that, in 3 years, Ebo is TWICE as old as Atu.

So, to make their futures ages EQUAL, we must double Atu's age. We get:

2(A + 8) = 3A + 8

Solve to get: A = 8

Since A represents Atu's age FIVE YEARS AGO, then Atu's PRESENT age is 13

Likewise, we see that 3A represents Ebo's age FIVE YEARS AGO. So, age FIVE YEARS AGE was 3(8), which equals 24.

So, Ebo's PRESENT age is 29

So, the sum of their PRESENT ages = 13 + 29 = 42

## Hi, I did it using single

However, I am still not clear what are the best way to solve the word problems:

1.) either using single variable or by using double variable ?

2.) Assuming current age as A+5 (and take 5 yrs ago as A) OR assuming present age as 'A' and 'A-5' five year ago.

Pls advice in which chase the equation will be simpler.

Thanks

## Good question. I cover those

Good question. I cover those questions in the following videos:

How Many Variables to Assign: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-word-problems/video/906

Solving GMAT Age Questions: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-word-problems/video/908

## Hi Brent,

I tried solving this way: Can you tell me what am I missing?

Atu age´s 5 years ago: A-5

Ebo age´s 5 years ago:3(A-5)

A-5=3A-15

A=5.

Why it doesnt´work?

## Your equation A-5 = 3A-15

Your equation A-5 = 3A-15 suggests that Atu age´s 5 years ago = 3 TIMES Atu age´s 5 years ago. This cannot be true.

It's like saying, the money in my bank account = 3 TIMES the money in my bank account.

To solve this question, you need to use the second piece of information (In 3 years, Ebo will be twice as old as Atu)

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