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**Mathematics: Standard Multiple Choice**

*Read the following SAT test question and then select your answer.*

*The graph above shows the distribution of the number of days spent on business trips in 2010 by a group of employees of Company W. Based on the graph, what is the median number of days spent on business trips in 2010 for these employees?*

**} is**

*1, 2, 3, 4, 5***, and the median of a set {**

*3***} is also**

*1, 2, 3, 4, 500***.**

*3*After reading carefully, identify the Bottom Line. The last thing this problem asks is, "

*what is the median number of days spent on business trips in 2010 for these employees?*" Put this in shorthand at the top of your scratch work.

*median=?*or

*m=?*

How do you find the median? This is when you ask, "What could I do?" You have two options here: Write out "

**" and then count to the middle, or determine the middle and then find its place on the graph. On the SAT, the long way is the wrong way, so use the second method.***20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 21, 21, 21...*
First, calculate the total number of employees.

*5+6+5+8+6+1=31*employees. Divide this by two to find the middle employee. Note that this method is different from the average formula, which would have required you to add up the total number of days all employees spent on business trips. If you lined these employees up along a hallway and then walked half the hallway, you would stop at the*15.5*mark, or the 16th employee. The 16th employee marks your median because there are 15 employees before her and 15 employees after her.
Finally, look at the graph to determine how many days the 16th employee spent traveling for work. The first column accounts for five employees, and the second column brings the total up to

**. The third column includes employees 12-16, inclusive, and each of these employees spent***11***days on business trips.***22*
The answer is A,

The College Board reports that 32% of those who attempted this question got it right.

**days.***22*The College Board reports that 32% of those who attempted this question got it right.

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