Category Archives: Problem of the Week

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 26, 2017 solution

Hint for process of elimination: Taking test values such as a=3 and b=5 and carefully using order of operations will help you eliminate most or all answers. If your own choice of values of a and b do not eliminate all choices, making a second choice (or in very extreme cases even a third choice) will finish off all remaining incorrect answers.

Another hint is, variables are never being multiplied with other variables, this eliminates choices D and E. Also, there is nothing in the original expression which can combine with and eliminate the number 2 from the expression. This eliminates choices A and C, leaving you with the correct answer, B.

Read on for a full solution.

Continue reading

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 26, 2017

Which of the following is equal to 5a + 3b -(5b -2) ?

  1. 5a (check answer)
  2. 5a - 2b +2 (check answer)
  3. 5a - 10b (check answer)
  4. 5a - 15b^2 - 6b (check answer)
  5. 8ab - 5b + 2 (check answer)

Have a solution? Hint? Question? Drop it below. We’d love to hear from you. A full solution will be posted on February 1st. If you would like to learn how to enter fancy math formulas into this blog, visit the WordPress LaTeX tutorial page.

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 19, 2017 solution

Hint for process of elimination: Use the keyword “despite” as a hint that the word in the blank must produce a statement that says that Isiah did the opposite of what might be expected after repeated failure. This should at least eliminate choices A, B, and D, giving you a 50% chance of getting this problem correct. Any time you can eliminate at least one answer, it is most advantageous to guess.

Read on for a full solution.

Continue reading

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 19, 2017

Despite the fact that all his attempts to capture the massive Goliath Tigerfish had failed, Isiah ——— in his attempts to capture the fish during his outing.

  1. failed (check answer)
  2. languished (check answer)
  3. cemented (check answer)
  4. was defeated (check answer)
  5. persevered (check answer)

Have a solution? Hint? Question? Drop it below. We’d love to hear from you. A full solution will be posted on January 25th.

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 12, 2017 solution

Hint for process of elimination: This is considered a difficult problem to solve on the SAT directly, since the test makers don’t necessarily expect you to know logarithms. However, they do expect you to know the equation for percent growth, so you should have an equation to plug into. The equation is described below in the full solution.

Notice that the investment grows from $10,000 to $100,000, which is a tenfold increase in value of the investment. In this case, you might get a hint that the growth rate of the investment is pretty big. If the investment grows at a rate of 20% per year, then it takes less than 5 years for the value of the investment to double. That means it takes less than 15 years for the investment to double three times, which is a factor of 2^3 = 8. To grow by a factor of 10, it really should not take more than 15 years, at the roughest estimate. This leaves choices A (5 years), B (10 years), and C (12.6 years). Clearly 5 years is too short. After all, an investment that grows at 20% per year cannot grow 1000% in five years. This leaves choice B and C, giving you a 50% chance of getting the answer right. Even if you can’t decide on which answer is correct at this point, you should still give an answer.

Read on for a full solution.

Continue reading

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 12, 2017

A $10 thousand investment in a stock is expected to achieve a rate of return of 20% per year. At this rate, approximately how much time is expected to pass for the investment expected to be valued at $100 thousand?

  1. 5.0 years (check answer)
  2. 10.0 years (check answer)
  3. 12.6 years (check answer)
  4. 16.3 years (check answer)
  5. 50.0 years (check answer)

Have a solution? Hint? Question? Drop it below. We’d love to hear from you. A full solution will be posted on January 18th. If you would like to learn how to enter fancy math formulas into this blog, visit the WordPress LaTeX tutorial page.

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 05, 2017 solution

Hint for process of elimination: The most important thing to recognize is that this problem can EASILY be solved by punching the numbers into the calculator. The second thing to know is the three major easy arithmetic facts and tips that students forget all the time but they shouldn’t live life without knowing:

  • Know that the word “product” implies multiplication.
  • Do not mix up the concepts of multiplication and addition.
  • Know how to multiply negative numbers, including knowing that the product of two negative numbers is positive.

Read on for a full solution.

Continue reading

SAT/ACT problem of the week, January 05, 2017

What is the product of -2 and -3? (Seriously, this is a real ACT question.)

  1. -6 (check answer)
  2. -5 (check answer)
  3. -1 (check answer)
  4. 5 (check answer)
  5. 6 (check answer)

Solutions, hints, and questions are welcomed. A full solution will be posted on October 9th. If you would like to learn how to enter math formulas into this blog, visit the WordPress LaTeX tutorial page.

SAT/ACT problem of the week, December 29, 2016 solution

Hint for process of elimination: The largest part of the student body population consists of girls. Therefore, the population of girls is greater than \dfrac{1}{3} , or 33.3%, of the total population. This at least eliminating choice A. But the ratio of girls to girls plus boys is \dfrac{150\%}{150\%+100\%}=3/5, or 60%. Therefore the population of girls is under 60%. That at least eliminates both D and E. Answer C is too nice for this particular complex situation, and is also meant to draw your eye since the number 50\% appears twice in the problem, so I lean towards B.

Read on for a full solution.

Continue reading

SAT/ACT problem of the week, December 29, 2016

The Funny Clowns High School student body consists of human boys, human girls, and chimpanzees of undetermined gender. The number of girls is 50% more than the number of chimpanzees. The number of chimpanzees is 50% more than the number of boys. What percentage of the student body is girls?

  1. 25% (check answer)
  2. 47% (check answer)
  3. 50% (check answer)
  4. 77% (check answer)
  5. 90% (check answer)

Have a solution? Hint? Question? We’d love to hear from you. A full solution will be posted on January 4th. If you would like to learn how to enter fancy math formulas into this blog, visit the WordPress LaTeX tutorial page.