Wednesday, December 11, 2002

PSAT updates

Mrs. Gibson has our PSAT scores but will only show us our scores after Christmas break, when she'll go over our scores with us. I'd like to see my scores now...but I guess I can wait. For a little bit.

Anyhow, the PSAT is actually administered two times every year, one day during the school week and then the Saturday of that week the test (a different version) is given again. This year's Saturday test had an error, as reported by the College Board. Here's the problem:

Explanation of the Problem

Math question 32 in Section 4 of the Saturday form of the PSAT/NMSQT was not scored because of a flaw in the question. The following is an explanation of the problem:

The product of the integers from 1 through 10 is equal to 2j × 3k × 52 × 7.


For Quantitative Comparison questions, you are to compare the two quantities in the boxes and on the answer sheet fill in oval


A  if the quantity in Column A is greater;

B  if the quantity in Column B is greater;

C  if the two quantities are equal;

D  if the relationship cannot be determined from the information given.


I worked it out and got j = 8 and k = 4 (answer choice A); however, the question does not specify that j and k have to be theoretically I could have j = 0 and k = 9.0474…so "the relationship cannot be determined from the information given."

Tricky tricky. Good thing they threw this question out of grading. Well, actually, I took the other version of the PSAT--so this concession doesn't help me. In fact it probably hurts my score comparatively. Ah well.

update(Dec 11): A reliable source tells me that there are two 219s, one of which the source earned. And there was also a 231! And to round it off there were several other 200s in the Junior class. Once again, if Sig has much higher PSAT averages than the EVSC or Day School that doesn't necessarily show that Sig has better teachers (Ms. Gregg did help some on the English and Writing sections, but my Math section woulda been the same had I stayed at Reitz this year), but it will show that Sig has a environment where people take learning seriously. I'm just curious...


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