SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 863: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 863

8. Luge is a winter sport in which a person slides down an ice track feet first on asmall sled. The luger lies supine (on his back) and uses his calf and shoulder musclesto steer the sled. Below is a summary of the times, in seconds, of three lugers' practiceruns on a track in Utah.

RunMarcelleAaronDanielle
159.20955.30256.850
257.91652.63155.414
358.40257.91454.650
458.80853.21555.845
Mean58.58454.76655.670
Std. Dev.0.5542.3920.918

Which of the following conclusions can be drawn based on the data in the table?

  • A. Aaron performed the least consistently because his mean time is the lowest.
  • B. Marcelle performed the least consistently because his mean time is the highest.
  • C. Aaron performed the most consistently because his standard deviation is the highest.
  • D. Marcelle performed the most consistently because his standard deviation is the lowest.

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

D

Difficulty: Medium

Category: Problem Solving and Data Analysis / Statistics and Probability

Strategic Advice: Skim through the answer choices-each one involves consistency, so you need to examine the statistic that measures consistency, which is standard deviation.

Getting to the Answer: The mean run times have nothing to do with consistency, so eliminate A and B. A lower standard deviation means the data is less spread out and therefore more consistent. Marcelle's standard deviation is the lowest, so he performed the most consistently. This matches (D).

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