SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 414: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 414

9. Johanna picked 3 pounds of strawberries at a "pick-your-own" patch. At this particular patch, the cost is $1.50 for the pail and $3.99 per pound of strawberries picked. If a linear equation is created to represent the situation and written in the form y = mx + b, which piece of the equation would the value 13.47 in this scenario most likely represent?

  • A. b
  • B. m
  • C. x
  • D. y

Correct Answer: D



Difficulty: Medium

Category: Heart of Algebra / Linear Equations

Strategic Advice: When a real-world scenario is modeled using a linear equation, b is a flat fee or starting amount, m is a unit rate, x represents the number of units, and y represents a total amount.

Getting to the Answer: Write the equation in words first, adding the variables as you go. The total cost, y, is equal to the cost per pound, m, multiplied by the number of pounds, x, and added to the cost of the pail, b. You can eliminate A and B because b is 1.50 (the cost of the pail) and m is 3.99 (the cost per pound). You can also eliminate C because Johanna picks 3 pounds, so x is 3. Choice (D) is correct because the total cost of picking 3 pounds is 3.99(3) + 1.50 = 13.47. This means 13.47 most likely represents the total cost, y.

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