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Tanya Kazaryan

904 Brighton

Scholars Challenge 3

In choice A, youre an exchange student spending the semester abroad in Japan. You
purchased a total of 10 items for a total of 610 yen. However, you bought two different types of
items (pens and pencils) and dont know how many of each you purchased. You remember each
pencil cost 40 yen more than each pencil. Using this information, you can figure out how many
pens and pencils you bought.

The first step in this problem is to define the variables. I used x to represent the number
of pencils purchased and y to represent the number of pens purchased. The problem states that
you purchased a total of 10 items. Using this information you can set up the following equation:

Since each pencil costs 40 yen the price of all the pencils you purchased can be
represented by 40x. Since each pen costs 30 yen more than each pencil, we can represent the cost
of pens as 70y. The total cost is 610 yen. Using this information you can set up the following
equation: 40x+70y=610

Both of these expressions are problematic because they used two different variables.
However, we can define the variables in relation to each other.

Using the first equation we can redefine x by solving for it:

We solved this using inverse operations. Since y is added to x, we need to subtract y from both
sides in order to isolate the x.

Now that we have redefined x as 10-y, we can plug this into the other equation in order to
solve it. We rewrite the equation, substituting 10-y for x: 40(10-y)+70y=610

The first step is to use the distributive property to open the parentheses:

When we use the distributive property, we have to multiply each value by 40.


Next step is to subtract 400 from both sides:

We continue using inverse operations to solve for y.

Earlier in the problem we defined y as the number of pens purchased. This means that we
purchased 7 pens. We also defined x in relation to y and got that x=10-y therefore x=10-7 which
means that x=3. This means that we purchased 7 pens and 3 pencils.

The last step is to check our work. If we purchased 3 pencils for 40 yen each, we spent
120 yen. If we purchased 7 pens for 70 yen each we spent 490 yen. In total we spent 610 yen
(120+490=610). We also bought a total of a 10 items because 3+7=10.

In order to solve a bonus question I set up a proportion. Since 5176 yen is equivalent to
$50, we write that on top. In the bottom we write that 610 yen is equivalent to x, since we dont
know what the value is yet.

5176 50
610 x


Therefore 610 yen is equal to 5.89, so I paid $5.89 for my pens and pencils.