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Concern for the Answer and not the Technicalities

Quite a few times it has been observed that students, rather than solving the questions, tend to get into the technicalities of the data. This furthers students’ ‘emotional attachment’ with the question ending up in the wastage of time and efforts.
 
Example-1
Can we fill up a big drum of 2000 litres capacity with exactly 88 litres of water (there is unlimited supply of water)?
 
Statement 1—There is a bucket having a of capacity 20 litres.
 
Statement 2—There is a bucket having a of capacity 50 litres and a mug of 3 litres capacity.
 
Solution
Using statement 1, we can fill anything in the multiples of 20 litres only. And it can never be ascertained that the drum has exactly 88 litres of water. So, answer to the question is—We may or may not be able to fill up a big drum with exactly 88 litres of water. And whatever the quantity of the water in the drum is, we can not be sure if this is exactly 88 litres of water.
 
Using statement 2, we can fill the drum exactly with 88 litres of water (50 + 50 – 3 – 3 –3 –3). Hence, answer to the question is—Yes, we can fill up a big drum with exactly 88 litres of water.
 
So, we can find the answer using statement 2 alone.
 
 
Example-2
Is y > x ?
 
Statement 1— x2 > y2.
 
Statement 2— x3 > y3.
 
Solution
Using statement 1, assuming some of the values of x and y can tell us that in some cases      x > y and in some of the cases y > x.
 
x y Remarks
5 4 x > y
–5 –4 y > x

While assuming the values, we can take only those values of x and y that satisfy the given statement.
 
Using statement 2,
    x3 > y3
⇒ x > y
 
Now look at the question. Obviously, we are getting an answer that y is not greater than x.
 
Hence, statement 2 alone is sufficient to answer the question.
 





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