SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 50: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 50

6. Carlos and Katherine are estimating acceleration by rolling a ball from rest down a ramp. At 1 second, the ball is moving at 5 meters per second (m/s); at 2 seconds, the ball is moving at 10 m/s; at 3 seconds, the ball is moving at 15 m/s; and at 4 seconds, it is moving at 20 m/s. When graphed on an xy-plane, which equation best describes the ball’s estimated acceleration where y expresses speed and x expresses time?

  • A. y = 5x + 5
  • B. y = 25x
  • C. y = 5x
  • D. y = (4x + 1)2 + 5

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

C Figure out the points that will be on the graph from the data given: (0, 0), (1, 5), (2, 10), (3, 15), (4, 20). Draw a line through or close to these points to get an idea of what the graph will look like. Then use POE. The line is linear, not quadratic, so you can eliminate (D). It is also clear that the line begins at the origin, so the y-intercept will be 0. This will eliminate (A). A slope of 25 is far too big-ballpark-so you can eliminate (B), leaving (C).

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