SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 550: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 550

10. Mae-Ling made 15 shots during a basketball game. Some were 3-pointers and others were worth 2 points each. If s shots were 3-pointers, which expression represents her total score?

  • A. 3s
  • B. s + 30
  • C. 3s + 2
  • D. 5s + 30

Correct Answer: B



Difficulty: Medium

Category: Heart of Algebra / Linear Equations

Strategic Advice: The key to answering this type of question is determining how many results fit in each category. Here, you need to know how many shots were 3-pointers and how many were 2-pointers. Mae-Ling successfully made 15 shots total and s were 3-pointers, so the rest, or 15 – s, must have been 2-pointers.

Getting to the Answer: Write the expression in words first: points per 3-pointers (3) times number of shots that were 3-pointers (s), plus points per regular goal (2) times number of regular goals (15 – s). Now, translate from English into math: 3s + 2(15 – s). This is not one of the answer choices, so simplify the expression by distributing the 2 and then combining like terms: 3s + 2(15 – s) = 3s + 30 – 2s = s + 30.

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