SAT Math: Data Analysis


The table above shows the number of students enrolled at Allenville Middle School from 2005 to 2011.  If the median enrollment over these seven years was 789, and no two years had the same number of students enrolled, what is the lowest possible value for y?

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 4.56.27 PM.jpg

Knowsys Method

Note: In the math section of the SAT, you will encounter questions that do not have answer choices.  Instead of bubbling in a letter, you will bubble in your answer.  These questions are called grid in questions, and you should always guess an answer for them because there is no penalty for getting the question wrong!

Read the problem carefully.   Review the definitions of important terms.  The median is the middle number in a set of numbers.

Identify the bottom line.  lowest possible y = ?

Assess your options.  There is only one possible method for solving this problem, and it is demonstrated below.

Attack the problem.  Whenever you are working with medians, you should start by putting the list of numbers in order.

737  755  776  789  804  811  

Now you need to determine where y should fall in the list.  The problem tells you that 789 is the median,  and no two years had the same enrollment, so y must be greater than 789.  The smallest that y can be, therefore, is 790.

Loop back.  Check to verify that you have solved for the bottom line.

The correct answer is 790.

Want some help reviewing the math concepts you need to master?  Try out the Knowsys Pre-Algebra Flashcards, the Knowsys Algebra I Flashcards, and the Knowsys SAT & ACT Math Practice book.  

Subscribe to Knowsys SAT & ACT Blog by Email