SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 404: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 404

14. Plants are capable of cross-pollinating with related but different plants. This creates a hybrid plant. Sometimes, a hybrid plant is superior to the two different plants from which it was derived. This is known as "hybrid vigor." Scientists can examine the DNA of a plant to see if it is a hybrid. This can be valuable information because if the plant appears superior, it would be beneficial to develop more of these hybrids. An agricultural scientist examines an orchard that has several types of apple trees and orange trees to see which ones are hybrids. Some of the information she collected is shown in the table below.

Apple Trees Orange Trees Total
Hybrid 402
Non-hybrid 118
Total 628

Based on the data, if 45% of the apple trees are not hybrids, how many apple trees are hybrids?

  • A. 50
  • B. 132
  • C. 226
  • D. 240

Correct Answer: B



Difficulty: Medium

Category: Problem Solving and Data Analysis / Statistics and Probability

Strategic Advice: Start by filling in any cells in the table that you can, using the information provided in the table itself (kind of like a sudoku puzzle).

Getting to the Answer: Because there are 628 trees total and 402 are hybrids, you know that 628 - 402 = 226 are not hybrids. Then, because 118 orange trees are not hybrids, you know that 226 - 118 = 108 apple trees are not hybrids. Now, you've reached the point at which the table can't help you anymore. So, look at the question. It says that 45% of the apple trees are not hybrids. Use the formula Percent × whole = part to arrive at the equation 0.45w = 108. Then, solve for w by dividing: 108 ÷ 0.45 = 240, which tells you there are 240 apple trees in total. This means there are 240 - 108 = 132 apple trees that are hybrids.

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