SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 218: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 218

8. The table below shows the relative investment in alternative energy sources in the United States by type. One column shows the relative investment in 2007 of $75 million total invested in alternative energy. The other column shows the projected relative investment in 2017 given current trends. The total projected investment in alternative energy in 2017 is $254 million.

United States Investment in Alternative Energy Sources

Actual 2007 Investment Projected 2017 Investment
Biofuels 0.31 0.34
Wind 0.40 0.32
Solar 0.27 0.30
Fuel Cells 0.02 0.04
Total 1.00 1.00

Based on the information in the table, which of the following statements is the most accurate?

  • A. The value of the 2007 investment in biofuels was approximately $50 million.
  • B. The portion of total alternative energy investment focused on wind sources is projected to decrease by 8% in 2017.
  • C. The dollar amount invested in fuel cells in 2007 is projected to double in 2017.
  • D. The top three types of alternative energy were invested in more equally in 2007 than they are projected to be in 2017.

Correct Answer: B


B Examine each answer choice and use Process of Elimination. For (A), the 2007 investment in biofuels was 0.31 out of 1.00, or about one-third of the total, according to the chart. The total that year was $75 million, so the Ballpark value would be about $25 million. The $50 million value in (A) is too high, so eliminate it. Choice (B) refers to percents, but the chart is in "relative" investment. If the 2007 relative investment in wind is 0.40 out of 1.00, it is equivalent to 40% of thetotal. The wind investment in 2017 is projected to be .32 or 32% of the total, which is a decrease of 8%. Check out (C) and (D) just to be certain. For fuel cells, the percent of the total is projected to double, but the total in 2017 is projected to be much higher. So the total dollar amount invested in wind in 2017 will be much more than double the 2007 investment. For (D), the top three energy types-biofuels. wind, and solar-are projected to be more equally invested in for 2017 than they were in 2007, so (D) is the opposite of what the chart shows. Eliminate (C) and (D), and choose (B).

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