SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 394: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 394

4. The American political system is largely a two-party system. In fact, only six candidates who were not associated with either the Republican or the Democratic Party have been elected governor in any state since 1990. In one such election, the ratio of votes received for the Independent candidate to the Democratic candidate to the Republican candidate was approximately 19:18:13. If 510,000 votes were cast in the election, how many more votes were cast for the Independent candidate than for the Republican candidate?

  • A. 6,000
  • B. 10,200
  • C. 61,200
  • D. 193,800

Correct Answer: C



Difficulty: Easy

Category: Problem Solving and Data Analysis / Rates, Ratios, Proportions, and Percentages

Strategic Advice: Don't let the three-way ratio confuse you. You can answer this question just like any other ratio question. Before selecting your answer, make sure you answered the right question (how many more votes for the Independent candidate than for the Republican candidate).

Getting to the Answer: Set up an equation using parts: 19 parts of the vote were cast for the Independent candidate, 18 parts for the Democrat, and 13 parts for the Republican. You don't know how big a part is, so call it x. Now, write and solve an equation:

This means each part is equal to 10,200 votes. Now, you could multiply 19 by this number and 13 by this number, and then subtract. Or, you could recognize that the Independent received 19 - 13 = 6 more parts of the vote than the Republican, or 6(10,200) = 61,200 more votes.

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