SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 156: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 156


Which of the following equations best describes the figure above?

  • A. y = -x4 + 6
  • B. y = -(x2 + 6)
  • C. y = -x2 + 6
  • D. y = x4 + 6

Correct Answer: B


B The graph shown is a regular parabola that has been turned upside down and moved down 6. The equation of a regular parabola that points upward is y = x2. Therefore, the graph of a parabola that points downwards is y = -x2. Eliminate (D) because that answer is missing the negative sign. To move a parabola down 6 units, a 6 must be subtracted from the equation of the parabola. Eliminate (A) and (C), which add 6 instead. Choice (B) can be rewritten as y = -x2 - 6. The correct answer is (B).

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