SAT Math Word Problem

New born baby
This is my face when I solve SAT Math Word Problems.

SAT Math problems can seem more complicated than they really are, particularly SAT Math Word Problems. Word Problems incorporate Reading Comprehension, and can trip up unwary students. When you are solving an SAT Math problem it is important to keep in mind that these problems were designed to be solved in under a minute. Just remember, if you are having difficulty with an SAT Math question or Word Problem, it’s probably because you are over-thinking it. Let’s take a look at this example:

At a certain hospital, 300 children were born in the month of June. If more children were born on the first of June than any other day in June, what is the least number of children that could have been born on the first of June?

The first step here is to figure out how many days there are in the month of June. An easy way to do this is like a normal person, by just memorizing how many days are in any given month of the year. However, if you are too forgetful to do that, one popular method of remembering the days in a month is counting the knuckles and the gaps between them on your hand. If the first knuckle is January and the first gap is February, then the month of June falls on a gap. Gaps mean that the month only has 30 days.

The question states that more children were born on the first of June than any other day; however, it also asks for the least number of children that could have been born on the first of June. The only way these conditions can be satisfied is to spread out the births of the babies over the days as evenly as possible and give the first of June just a little bit more births. This way, the first of the month still has more babies than any other day and the number of births is minimized.

So, spread out the births so that each day has the same amount. Evenly distributing 300 children across a 30-day month gives 10 births per day; however, the first of June does not have more births than every other day. If one birth was taken from another day and given to the first of June, the first of June would have 11 births, 28 days would have 10 births, and 1 day would have 9 births. Therefore, the least number of children that could have been born on the first of June with the first of June still having the most births is 11.

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By Joey Gu

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