Math: Answer cannot be determined from Information Given

<p>for the past one and half years, has the choice "answer cannot be determined from information given" been the correct answer?</p>

<p>from the practice tests iv taken no</p>

<p>never been a correct choice?</p>

<p>ive seen it once but i forgot if it was a cb practice test</p>

<p>Watch out for times when an answer choice is 'cannot be determined'. What usually happens (especially on questions ranked 'hard') is a question will seem to not give enough information, so people choose 'cannot be determined' because it's tempting, but from my experience it's rarely the correct answer and seeing it puts me on guard.</p>

<p>I usually dont even think about it. Ive see it once and that was when there were multiple answers rather then no answer at all.</p>

<p>i've never taken a test, practice or otherwise, where it's the right answer.</p>

<p>According to Princeton Review, it's there to tempt Joe Bloggs.</p>

<p>haha.. I was very insightful yesterday . . .</p>

<p>That Was The Right Answer Today Folks...i Repeat That Was The Right Answer Today.</p>

<p>Of course it is.</p>

<p>I am still surprised at my PRESCIENCE of the knowledge on SAT . . .</p>

<p>Are you guys talking about the majority cookie problem? I got not enough info...</p>

<p>me too!! I was thinking .."ooo..got to tell CC"! LOL</p>

<p>Cannot be determined was definitely the correct answer! Rarely the answer but this time it was!</p>

<p>I know this post has been dead for 6 years, but in case anyone else was looking up this same question, here it is.</p>

<p>Last November or so, I had an official SAT question where the answer was E) it cannot be determined from the given information. However, this was a pretty rare occurrence. I shouldn't post the actual question, but I'll post a variant of the question:</p>

<p>A graduating class has 400 students. 60% of them are male. 20% of the members in the graduating class took calculus. How many males in the graduating class took calculus?
A: 24
B: 48
C: 80
D: 240
E: It cannot be determined from the information given.</p>

<p>The tempting solution would be to automatically do 40<em>0.6</em>0.2 = 48, B. However this is NOT the correct solution. Yes, we know that there are 240 male students and 80 students that took calculus, but we cannot conclude that the calculus students are distributed proportionally among genders. Hence the answer is E.</p>

<p>Got an 800 on the math part, so I'm pretty confident that E was the correct answer...</p>

<p>I have seen many SAT problems where "It cannot be determined from the information given" is the answer. But, I have NEVER seen a Level 4 or 5 question where this turned out to be the answer. </p>

<p>If I had to guess, I would say that the question you just gave is Level 3. </p>

<p>If anyone has an example of a Level 4 or 5 question where this answer has come out I would like to see it.</p>

<p>In any case, if "It cannot be determined from the information given" is an answer choice for one of the last few questions on any math section, it is statistically safe to cross it out.</p>

<p>^Well, these used to be common on SATs prior to March 2005 because of QC questions. But I assume you are referring to "modern" SATs.</p>

<p>Using Saturday QAS tests, there have been 7 of these questions on 21 tests, so I'm hard-pressed to call this "many". All but one were L3 or less, one of them was L4. (Sec 2, #15 if you have the October 2010 SAT.)</p>

<p>Only one out of the seven questions (an L1) had E as the correct answer.</p>

<p>Assuming these tests are representative, that's a probability of roughly 0.1% that an MC question has an "E) It cannot be determined ..." and that E is the correct answer.</p>

<p>@fig</p>

<p>Thanks for the detailed data - this is good information.</p>

<p>When I use the word "many" I am basing that on SAT's over the last 20 or so years, not just modern ones. </p>

<p>So based on your information, even on "modern" SAT's "It cannot be determined" questions come out about 1 out of every 3 SATs. I consider that to be pretty frequent. Having choice (E) come out 1 of those 7 times is fairly consistent with empirical probability, especially if we discard the Level 4 problem (which as far as I know has never had this choice as an answer).</p>

<p>I would still be interested if anyone can find a Level 4 or 5 problem from an "old" SAT where this choice was the answer.</p>

<p>Looking at some old SATs from the early 80s, there were typically 3-5 of these questions per test. Not unusual to see hard ones, but I can't find one with E as the answer.</p>

<p>Anyway, 3-5 per test is way closer to my definition of frequent. Even these days, I'm going to guess that a typical person takes three SATs or fewer, so on average he or she will see one of these questions or less in his or her SAT career.</p>

<p>BTW, those old SATs also had questions with: "E) None of the above." I don't think that's done at all anymore.</p>

<p>@DrSteve, I believe it was one of the mid-range questions (#9 or 10 out of 20 or something like that). Still it likes to trick you by multiplying 400<em>.6</em>.2 which is incorrect.</p>

<p>But still, I wouldn't eliminate E. After all, it could still be the correct answer.</p>

<p>was this cookie question on the may satI math???!?!?!?!?!?!? if so was it real or experimental?!!?!?</p>