SAT Math Multiple Choice Practice Question 598: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 598

12. If a = –2, then a + a2 - a3 + a4 - a5 =

A. –32
B. –18
C. 0
D. 32
E. 58

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

E Plug in the number given for a in the expression to find the value: –2 + (–2)2 – (–2)3 + (–2)4 – (–2)5. Remember PEMDAS, the order of operations: The first thing to do here is deal with the Exponents, then we can take care of the Addition and Subtraction: –2 + 4 – (–8) + 16 – (–32), which simplifies to –2 + 4 + 8 + 16 + 32 = 58, answer E.

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