SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 497: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 497

2. Damien is throwing darts. He has a total of 6 darts to throw. He gets 5 points for each dart that lands in a blue ring and 10 points for each dart that lands in a red ring. If x of his darts land in a blue ring and the rest land in a red ring, which expression represents his total score?

  • A. 10x
  • B. 10x + 5
  • C. 5x + 30
  • D. 60 - 5x

Correct Answer: D



Difficulty: Medium

Category: Heart of Algebra / Linear Equations

Strategic Advice: The key to answering this question is to determine how many darts land in each color ring. If there are 6 darts total and x land in a blue ring, the rest, or 6 - x, must land in a red ring.

Getting to the Answer: Write the expression in words first: points per blue ring (5) times number of darts in blue ring (x), plus points per red ring (10) times number of darts in red ring (6 - x). Now, translate the words into numbers, variables, and operations: 5x + 10(6 - x). This is not one of the answer choices, so simplify the expression by distributing the 10 and then combining like terms: 5x + 10(6 - x) = 5x + 60 - 10x = 60 - 5x.

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