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Tue Feb 16, 2016, 05:46 AM

Can you answer this math question from a practice test for the SAT?

http://www.upworthy.com/can-you-answer-this-sample-question-from-the-newly-redesigned-sat

SAT study blogs recommend spending only about 75 seconds on each math problem, so you should set a timer.

Ready?

A typical image taken of the surface of Mars by a camera is 11.2 gigabits in size. A tracking station on Earth can receive data from the spacecraft at a data rate of 3 megabits per second for a maximum of 11 hours each day. If 1 gigabit equals 1,024 megabits, what is the maximum number of typical images that the tracking station could receive from the camera each day?

A) 3
B) 10
C) 56
D) 144

*You can find the answer at the bottom of this story.

Keep in mind that the numeric details here are presented in an intentionally confusing order, from which multiple equations must be extrapolated before any math can actually be done.

Give up? Timer run out? Or hey, maybe you answered it without even blinking (no judgements here ... nerd).
That question comes from the newly redesigned SAT, which will roll out in March 2016.

8 replies, 2112 views

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Reply Can you answer this math question from a practice test for the SAT? (Original post)
eridani Feb 2016 OP
2pooped2pop Feb 2016 #1
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Feb 2016 #2
oswaldactedalone Feb 2016 #3
Travis_0004 Feb 2016 #4
Jim__ Feb 2016 #8
Warren Stupidity Feb 2016 #5
FBaggins Feb 2016 #6
eppur_se_muova Feb 2016 #7

Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 06:11 AM

1. I guessed 10 but I did the math in my head

 

And that's definitely a bad place to do math. I thought it might be slightly under 10 which would make it only 3. So I imagine the actual answer is c or d which I didn't guess. Lol

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 06:47 AM

2. You got it, but yeah, they allow calculators to be used on the SAT now.

So doing that question in under 75 seconds (or even under 30) is pretty straightforward IF you understand what the question is saying. And that's what the article's about, how the questions are being worded in ways that are more confusing for english as a second language folks.

Still, ESOL types are going to have a definite disadvantage on any timed test. In our nursing classes, second language students tended to be given more time to finish the tests, which didn't bother the rest of us, since what you actually DO in nursing doesn't usually involve a ton of reading when time is tight.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 06:55 AM

3. Ten?

With a calculator took about two mins to get it.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 07:00 AM

4. Yes

 

36060102411

Divide that by 11.21024

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 02:18 PM

8. FYI: Your computation yields 10, 607.14...

36060102411

Divide that by 11.21024


You don't, of course, want a factor of 1024 in the dividend.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 07:58 AM

5. 10 - seems pretty straightforward.

 

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 08:11 AM

6. That's fairly standard for the SATs

They focus less on computational skills and more on "setting up the problem". Students who are "bad at word problems" tend to have a tougher time. On the other hand (unless it has changed), it only goes through geometry.

A valid alternative for many students is to take the ACTs instead. It covers more of high school math (trig?), but requires less evaluation/analysis.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2016, 01:42 PM

7. 118.8 GB/day is enough for ten images and more than half of the next.

No calculators needed.

Of course, I've been doing astronomical calculations lately, so 3600 seconds/hr, 86400 seconds/day are as familiar to me as the first hundred digits of pi.

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