SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 853: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 853

13. Sea ice extent is a measurement of the area of ocean with at least 15% sea ice. Thegraph below shows data for the extent of Arctic sea ice between 2000 and 2012 as reportedby the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The line of best fit is also shown. Theequation of the line is A(t) = -0.187t + 380.5, where A(t) represents the area of measurable sea ice in the Arctic Ocean in the year t.

Assuming the trend of the data continues, in what year will the measurable sea icein the Arctic Ocean cease to exist?

  • A. 2026
  • B. 2034
  • C. 2066
  • D. 2380

Correct Answer: B



Difficulty: Medium

Category: Problem Solving and Data Analysis / Scatterplots

Strategic Advice: You'll need to translate from English into math to answer this question. The words "cease to exist" tell you that you're looking for the year (t) in which the area of Arctic sea ice will be 0.

Getting to the Answer: Substitute 0 for A(t) and use inverse operations to solve for t:

Relative to time, this means about three-fourths of the way through the year 2034, so (B) is correct.

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