SAT Math Multiple Choice Practice Question 203: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 203

5. Five students, Johnny, Karen, Lucas, Mario, and Natalia, are comparing the number of articles they have written for the school newspaper. Johnny wrote four articles, the most among the group. Natalia and Mario wrote the same number of articles. Karen wrote one article less than Natalia. Lucas wrote the fewest articles among the boys. What must be true?

A. Natalia wrote at most three articles.
B. Karen and Lucas wrote the same number of articles.
C. Mario wrote four articles.
D. Lucas wrote more articles than Natalia.
E. Johnny wrote fewer articles than Mario.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

A. You know that Johnny wrote four articles and that amount was the largest, so you can eliminate Choice (C), because if Mario had written four articles, Johnny would not have written the most. You can eliminate Choice (E) for the same reason. You know that Lucas wrote the fewest articles among the boys and that Natalia and Mario wrote the same number of articles. Therefore, Lucas wrote fewer articles than Natalia, so Choice (D) is out. You're left with Choices (A) and (B). Karen and Lucas may have written the same number of articles; they both wrote fewer than Johnny, Natalia, and Mario, but it's possible that they wrote different numbers of articles. There's no way to know for sure that Choice (B) is true with the given information. Choice (A), however, must be true. Natalia could not have written four articles because Johnny wrote four and was the most prolific writer; therefore, she wrote three or fewer articles. Choice (A) is the best option.

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