SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 17: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 17

3. If the product of x and y is 76, and x is twice the square of y, which of the following pairs of equations could be used to determine the values of x and y ?

  • A. xy = 76
    x = 2y2
  • B. xy = 76
    x = (2y)2
  • C. x + y = 76
    x = 4y2
  • D. xy = 76
    x = 2y

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

A Translate each statement, piece by piece. The first part tells us that "the product of x and y is 76." Since product means multiplication, the first equation must be xy = 76, so you can eliminate (C). The second part says that "x is twice the square of y," which translates to x = 2y2, so eliminate (B) and (D), and (A) is the only choice left. Notice that only the y needs to be squared, which is why (B) is wrong. The second equation for (B) would be written as "the square of twice y," which is not what the problem stated.

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