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Translating English to Math

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If you have trouble studying, bookmark this handy list of study tips that can make your study time more effective. 

Mathematics: Standard Multiple Choice

Read the following SAT test question and then click on a button to select your answer. 

Always remember to follow the Knowsys Method. First, read the problem carefully for any clues or helpful terms. Identify the bottom line, what the question is asking, and note it at the top of your scratch work. Look at the problem to assess your options. Ask, "What could I do?" to consider all the options available to you. Then ask, "What should I do?" to select the most appropriate, most efficient approach to the problem. Next, attack the problem quickly and confidently to find the answer. Once you determine an answer to the problem, loop back to the bottom line to double-check that what you found is the answer to the question actually asked by a problem.

A florist buys roses at $0.50 apiece and sells them for $1.00 apiece. If there are no other expenses, how many roses must be sold in order to make a profit of $300?

First, note the bottom line.

p = $300, r = ?

Assess your options. You know how much the roses cost and how much they sell for, so you could calculate the amount of profit earned with each flower. You could also translate the problem into a formula to determine how many flowers will yield $300 in profit. The first solution is more efficient, so begin by finding the amount of profit each flower brings in. Since they cost fifty cents and sell for a dollar, each flower earns fifty cents in profit.

$1.00 - $0.50 = $0.50

Next, how many flowers are needed to add up to $300 total?


.5r = 300



r = 600

Loop back to the bottom line to check whether you answered the question correctly. You were looking for the number of roses that would yield $300 in profit. Since that is what you found, look at the answer choices to see which one matches.

A) 100

B) 150

C) 200

D) 300

E) 600

The answer is E.


On sat.collegeboard.org, 74% of responses were correct.


For more help with math, visit www.myknowsys.com!