How to Solve Coin Problems on the ASVAB

Mathematicians must have big piggy banks. Or perhaps, ASVAB test makers find that money skills are practical knowledge to have. Many math word problems ask you to figure out how many coins of various types a person has.

Jeremy has 12 more nickels than quarters. How many coins does he have if the total value of his coins is $2.70?

Let q = quarters. Because Jeremy has 12 more nickels than quarters, you can represent the number of nickels as q + 12. Jeremy has $2.70 worth of coins, which is equal to 270¢. A quarter is 25¢, and a nickel is 5¢. Jeremy’s total coins together must equal 270¢. Therefore,

(25¢· number of quarters) + (5¢· number of nickels) = 270¢

Or, writing it another way:

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Jeremy has 7 quarters. Because he has 12 more nickels than quarters, he has 7 + 12 = 19 nickels, for a total of 19 + 7 = 26 coins.

Does this answer make sense? Always remember to check your answer. Jeremy has 12 more nickels (19 nickels) than quarters (7 quarters). How many coins does he have if the total value of his coins is $2.70? So, 19 nickels = 95¢ and 7 quarters = 175¢, so 95¢+ 175¢ = 270¢= $2.70. It looks good!

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