**Quote:**

Each year, the members of a book club select novels and nonfiction books to discuss. The club meets 3 times to discuss each novel and 5 times to discuss each nonfiction book they select. The club met 52 times last year, and at each meeting the club discussed only one book. If the club discussed 12 books last year, how many of the books were novels?

With word problems using the phrase "how many" and seeking one specific value from choices listed in numeric order, consider plugging in the choices as a most efficient method for solving the problem without utilizing potentially overly complex algebra.

In this case we see that the choices refer to the number of novels. Start with Choice C - 5.

If there are 5 novels, then 15 meetings focused on novels and then there would have been 7 non-fiction books that were discussed 5 times each for 35 meetings focused on non-fiction. So, if 5 novels were selected there would have been 15 + 35 = 50 total meetings. This does not match the 52 indicated by the problem, so eliminate Choice C.

Now, consider if there need to be more or fewer novels. Since, the total number of meetings is too low and the novels have a lower number of meetings per book, logically eliminate all of the choices larger than 5 novels, so eliminate Choice D and Choice E.

Next, consider Choice B - 4.

If there are 4 novels, then 12 meetings focused on novels and then there would have been 8 non-fiction books that were discussed 5 times each for 40 meetings focused on non-fiction. So if 4 novels were selected there would have been 12 + 40 = 52 total meetings. This matches the 52 indicated by the problem, so select Choice B.

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Stefan Maisnier

Director of Online Tutoring, MyGuru

www.myguruedge.com

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