## Wednesday, September 24, 2008

### Fun With Math

I'm tutoring again and that means (in my case) making up practice questions. It's easier to use the questions in my book, of course. The problem is that I'm being forced to teach out of a new, and therefore unfamiliar, book, and it's impossible to find questions grouped by types. So, I write my own.

Since I figured most of my readers are big nerds and because I haven't posted in a while, I thought I'd give you all a chance to show off your SAT Math Chops (such as they are). Below are six SAT-level questions, written within the last 24 hours. The first person to send me all the correct answers will win

1) a Jeep Grand Cherokee

2) a hunting lease in Dorado County, New Mexico, and

3) a signed first edition of Shakespeare's plays.

More importantly, they'll have my undying respect. Because no matter what anybody tells you, there is NO MORE IMPORTANT SKILL in this world than the ability to solve SAT math questions accurately and quickly. No there is not.

Seriously, the first correct answer set will earn a shout-out and maybe a drink, if I know you. And like you. And you can prove you didn't cheat. (I'm talking to you, Williams).

ADDENDUM

1) All of these questions would be considered medium-level difficulty on the SAT.

2) To give yourself the true test-taking experience, you should do all questions in under six minutes.

The Mojo Itself

1. A hat is marked up 20% above its original price. Then it's new price is increased by another 30%. What is the total percent by which the original price has been increased to arrive at the final price?

A. 60%

B. 50%

C. 40%

D. 30%

2. A stuffed wombat is put on sale at 40% below normal rate. After a day, the store's owner comes to his sense, realizes how valuable wombats are, and raises the price 80% above it sale price. The final price is what percent of the original price?

A. 118%

B. 144%

C. 108%

D. 92%

3. What number is in the one's digit of 3^237?

A.3

B.9

C.7

D.1

4. Which of the following could NOT be the equation of a line parallel to the line: y = 2/3x + 4?

A. 3y-2x=9

B. 6x-4y=2

C. y=2/3x + 800

D. 3y + 10x = 4

5. Which of the following points lies on the line: y = 4x-5?

A. (-5, 0)

B. (7, 23)

C. (2, 2)

D. (4, -5)

6. The line y=x+4 forms the hypotenuse of an isoceles right triangle. If one of the remaining sides can be defined by the equation x=3, which of the following could be the equation for the third side?

A. y=6

B. x=2

C. Y=x-4

D. yx=5

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## 5 comments:

Damn it! I have important work to do about obscure medieval historians. This is going to prove to be an unnecessary interruption.

I was thinking about giving this quiz a go until I got to question #4. And then 5. And then 6.

I was pretty good at math once.

Once.

"I was told there would be no math."

If I were lost in the desert, parched, and dying of thirst, and you handed me a tall cool glass of refreshing liquid algebra, I'd dash it to the ground and curse your cruel name with my last croaking wheeze. I dislike math.

Remember honors physics? If a 6 cubic cm mouse pulls a 4 gm potato through the 3.5 hectares of forest at 11.75 mm/helek attached to a 7 cm plum line then climbs a 38 cm log at 47 degrees to the ground. Calculate the degrees of celestial rotation the sun must travel in its orbit and the wavelength of the light it must emit to cast the potatoes shadow as 10 cm wide halfway up the branch three days after the solstice at 8 a.m, then at 3 pm. Calculate for both Russet and Long White potatos...

It's like picking apart giant balls of tangled christmas tree lights. I know, it's also elegant, profound, and launches rockets. I've just had some traumatic experiences with it. My hats off to those who are deft at this. Somebody's got to launch those rockets.

Of note, I was just discussing my only recurring dream with someone yesterday who has the same one. It's nearly the end of the semester in high school or college and it dawns on me that I'm registered for a math class that I meant to drop but forgot about, and the final's approaching along with a big F. It's always algebra or calculus. It's a horrible feeling of dread to wake up with. Apparently it's quite common. A mathematician named Devlin wrote a book about math anxiety called The Math Gene. I haven't read it though.

I hear spiders love math.

I admit it, I'm a small frightened man a la Don Knotts in The Reluctant Astronaut.

Spiders don't just love math, J: they INVENTED it.

It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

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