The College Board's website contains a "SAT question of the day" feature. As I'm going to be taking my SAT I's (as well as three SAT II tests, lucky me) in the near future, I check it on a regular basis in conjunction with the rest of my studies.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Today's question seems completely crazy, though. I'd link to it, but the link would change by tomorrow, so I'll just copy it here:

It was accompanied by this image.

The LEAST number of trees one would need in order to arrange 4 trees on each line of the plan above is

5

10

14

15

20

Would you be able to confidently answer this question using only the information presented above? Give it a try before reading on.

The correct answer is apparently 10, and here's the reasoning they use:

Since a point that is located where two lines intersect is considered to lie on both of those lines, you want to put trees on as many intersection points of the lines in the figure as possible in order to minimize the number of trees needed. There are 10 points where two lines intersect. With a tree in each of these 10 locations, there are then 4 trees on each line of the figure. Thus, the least number of trees needed is 10.

Based on this, Ithinkthey're talking about actual, real-life trees, and that pattern is supposed to be drawn in soil from a bird's-eye perspective. I could be mistaken, though.

If that is correct, I feel that it is not at all reasonable to expect someone to be able to answer this question with the provided information. The word "tree" has mathematical connotations that come to mind long before I'd ever think of arranging literal flora in an abstract pattern.

So, my question is this: Is the question, in your opinion, a valid one for this sort of test (and therefore answerable using only the information provided), or is it sufficiently flawed to be inappropriate?

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# SAT math: is this a valid question?

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