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Thread: Two Practice SAT Questions I Just Can't Wrap My Head Around

  1. #1

    Two Practice SAT Questions I Just Can't Wrap My Head Around

    Ok, so I'm not 100% sure which category these fall under, but I'm hoping I'm posting to the right one. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    The first question:

    I can't draw the picture here, but there was a picture of a mystery polygon that was mostly hidden, only showing a part that looked like a quadrilateral. It gave two of the four angle measurements, said the remaining two were equal, and asked how many sides the polygon had.

    Here's what I wrote in my notes about it:

    The sum of the measures of a quadrilateral is 360 degrees. The shown angles = 80, leaving 280 in the quadrilateral. The remaining angles are equal, making each 140 degrees. So, if a polygon has equal angles, each measuring 140 degrees, how many sides does it have?

    Now, I followed the explanation up to here (the online practice SAT explains all questions you get wrong), but after that I really didn't follow the rest. So instead of writing out the rest of what they said, I'll ask that you provide a fresh explanation here, in the hopes that I understand yours better.

    ....Actually, scratch that. I'll write it here because it brings up a sub-question, but please don't base your answer on the following:
    "The sum of the angles of the n-gon is (n-2)x180 degrees. Therefore, 140n=180(n-2), and solving for n gives 140n=180n-360, or n=9. "

    That whole entire equation just Does Not Work in my head. (;_

    The second question:

    I never learned the mathematical symbol of a circle with a dot in the middle in school, and I only halfway remember functions (I'm attempting to relearn them two tabs over as I take a breather to write this out), so I blatantly Do Not Understand the following question:

    ....*sigh*, okay, I didn't write down the question, so I will find a similar one....

    This is what wikipedia has to show about this Mystery Alien Symbol Created To Confuse Wendy:


    composed with

    fg is the function, such that (fg)(x) = f(g(x)).[8] if f(x) := 2x, and g(x) := x + 3, then (fg)(x) = 2(x + 3).


    For anyone who read all that, thank you -so- much, and for anyone who can help, thank you a dozen times more!

  2. #2
    So it's taken me ages to get back to you, but yes, your explanations did help! I honestly had to ponder over both your response and the one I got on another site for a while. But your explanation of the functions is what made me understand it, and my other helper's explanations of weirdo geometry problem got it through my thick head. I was missing both the fact that the sum of the angles of a quadrilateral is 360, although that makes sense since a triangle is 180, and the fact that there's a set formula that the sum of the angles of any polygon is (n-2)x180 or 180(n-2), where n is the number of sides. It makes a lot more sense with those facts. And while you may be right, I may have learned that formula once upon a time and spent a few days and one test having it memorized, I only took the first of the two Geometry classes in my high school, opting for statistics my senior year instead of geometry II, and we didn't really go in depth into that sort of thing. Also, it's been about 6 years since I graduated and I haven't really dealt with math formulas since, so things are a little hazy, haha cut me a -little- slack, I'm trying here!

    Anyway, SAT's tomorrow, I got a 600 in Math on the practice, and I have a much better idea of the math issues I was having before, so hopefully now I can apply to university with more room to breathe now, haha. (their minumum was a 600 in any given subject). So thanks, and here goes nothin'!

  3. #3
    Ha, just because it's common sense doesn't mean it's going to click right away. I tend to look at things from different angles than other people, so sometimes the answer is staring me straight in the face while I'm too busy looking around and behind me for it. But I'm a lot more confident in my math understanding now than I was a few days ago. I went from 17 questions wrong or not understood two nights ago, to 6 last night, to so far none tonight. So hopefully the curve balls on the actual test will be few and far between :P

    Thanks for the luck, hopefully I won't need it!

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Don't let SAT scores be barrier to your intended higher education.

    If you attend community college, you won't need to have SAT scores.

    Most of the state universities have articulation agreement with community colleges - they offer guaranteed admisson to students from CC with GPA > 3.

    Thus you can finish your first two years at a CC - then transfer to a state university to finish the last two years.

    I teach at a community college in VA, at least that is the situation here....
    ... mathematics is only the art of saying the same thing in different words - B. Russell

  5. #5
    Haha that's ever so slightly ironic. I'm in Massachusetts right now but am thinking of moving home to Fredericksburg to go to school. The local community college, Germanna, doesn't actually have most of the classes I want to take though (Linguistics and more than the basic foreign languages), so I will most likely be attending the University Of Mary Washington instead, where my mom works in one of the offices. I was going to go to school in Australia, but with in-state prices, going home would be at least $20,000 a year cheaper, so... small sacrifices, I guess, haha.


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