SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 915: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 915


What is the maximum value of the function graphed on the coordinate plane above, overthe interval –8≤ x ≥ 8?

  • A. 4
  • B. 6
  • C. 8
  • D. ∞ (infinity)

Correct Answer: B



Difficulty: Medium

Category: Passport to Advanced Math / Functions

Strategic Advice: The maximum value of a function that is graphed over a given interval is the highest y-value of all the points on the graph in that interval. Be careful, it's easy to mistake a relative maximum (a hump in the graph) for the actual maximum over the entire interval.

Getting to the Answer: For the graph shown, the maximum occurs at the left endpoint of the graph, (-8, 6). The y-value of the point is 6, so (B) is correct. Note that if the domain (x-values) had not been restricted to -8 to 8, and the graph had continued indefinitely upward on the left side, then there would be no maximum value (i.e., the maximum would be ∞).

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