# Solve If You Are A Genius (From 1869). Harvard Admissions Question Algebra Problem

The Harvard admissions exam in 1869 included this algebra problem: “A man bought a watch, a chain, and a locket for 6. The watch and locket together cost three times as much as the chain, and the chain and locket together cost half as much as the watch. What was the price of each?” Can you solve it? The video presents a solution.

My blog post for this video

http://wp.me/p6aMk-4Vi

The Harvard 1869 Test

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/education/harvardexam.pdf

Via New York Times

http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/remembering-when-college-was-a-buyers-bazaar/?_r=0

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did it in 2 mins just by seeing the thumbnail!

I finally figured out one of your questions I feel like living again jkjk

BTW i just used my own method -_-

I actually solved it! I'm so glad!

Let w= watch , c =chain and L= locket,

(1)w + L + c = 216 , total cost of all three items

(2) w+ L = 3 c , the watch and locket together cost three times as much as the chain

(3) w +c = w/2 , the watch and chain cost half as much as the watch

substituting equation (2) into equation (1) gives : 3 c + c= 216 or 4 c= 216 or c=54

substituting equation (3) into equation (1) gives : w + w/2= 216 or 3/2 w = 216 or w = 144

substituting c and w into equation (1) to find L gives: L = 216-144 – 54 or 216-198 or L= 18

cost of all three items : watch $ 144

chain $ 54

locket $ 18

watch 144, chain 54 and locket 18 as w+l+c=216

w+l =3c

c +l=w/2 then solve for l, c, and w.

I used Gauss elimination

i

got

in

order

144 : watch

54 : chain

18 : locket

you must be joking that it's from Harvard

what an easy stupid question !

in my opinion, the question was way clearer when it was normally asked in writing. after i read the question i solved the problem and watched the explanation. i got the amswers right but couldent follow the explanation

Clock =136, chain =51, heart = 17

I got watch=64,8 lokcet=21,6 chain=129,6

Someone knows if its right too?

Good job guys, we are all going to harvard

I did it with the gauss algorithm

I'm drunk and stoned. And I needed 2 minutes to get my head right. isn't it much easier this way. Part one. 4*A=216 A=54. Chain. Part 2 (2+1)*X=216 X=72. So 2X =144 Watch. And X-A=18 Locket.

easy peasy just do simultaneous eq

hahahahahahahahahahahaha

So easy, I did it mentally in 10 seconds