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#### 7kiddosmom

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My dd is working on her math this morning and came to a problem I just can't remember how to solve. I know that when I see the answer it will come to me but in the mean time she needs help.<br><br>
The problem: What number is 1/3 less than 1/2?<br><br>
If you don't mind posting how you got the answer I would appreciate it.<br><br>
TIA,<br>
Kasey

#### neveryoumindthere

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1/2 - 1/3 = 3/6 - 2/6 = 1/6<br><br>
gotta change the denominator to a common denominator<br><br>
HTH

#### LookMommy!

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If the question were "What number is 5 less than 7" you would subtract and say 2.<br><br>
So 1/3 less than 1/2, means 1/2 - 1/3<br><br>
1/2 = 3/6; 1/3 = 2/6 (common denominators)<br><br>
3/6 - 2/6 = 1/6<br><br><br>
May I ask "who" asked this question, since you are homeschooling her? Would a book not have the answer?<br><br>
Were you confused by terminology or method?<br><br>
HTH

#### 7kiddosmom

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I guess I was having a brain fart! We actually don't have then answer to the book we are using (Saxon 76), it was given to me. I did the problem just like that, but then started second guessing myself. Just seemed to easy.<br><br>
I was actually a college math tutor many years ago, but for some reason (could it be a 2 yr old yelling mommy every 5 seconds or a 10 month old clawing me to death as she is trying to nurse) I just couldn't remember.<br><br>
Thanks

#### cottonwood

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You know what is funny (and this is why I don't want my kids taking standardized tests) is that I came up with a different answer. I thought, "1/3 of <i>what?</i>" What do they mean? Do they mean 1/2 of the whole minus 1/3 of the whole? Or do they mean 1/2 minus 1/3 of 1/2? If I was asked what number is 1/3 less than 99, I'd say 66. So I chose the second interpretation of the question and came up with 2/6 as the answer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">

#### oceanbaby

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I thought, "1/3 of what?"</td>
</tr></table></div>
That's exactly what I thought.

#### LookMommy!

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When I coach SAT classes, I tell them that "If the question is at the beginning, go with the obvious answer. If it is at the end, calculate the obvious answer, and immediately reject it!"<br><br>
So, where was the question??<br><br>
For reading comp, the strategy is to go for the obvious, never read into the question.<br><br><br>
I totally get what you mean about 1/3 less than 99. I think it would probably be stated as 33 1/3% less than 99 to get 66. But you are definitely right that this is a misleading question.<br><br>
Tests are dumb, that's why I teach kids how to try to beat them, with as little effort as possible. And why I homeschool!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
Lisa

#### 7kiddosmom

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I think that was the problem I was having. I was looking at it from both directions if you will. I came to both 1/6 and 2/6. I am pretty sure that the book was wanting the 1/6 answer, and if not that is what we are going with. As long as my dd knows how she came to that conclusion and I understand...

#### cottonwood

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">When I coach SAT classes, I tell them that "If the question is at the beginning, go with the obvious answer. If it is at the end, calculate the obvious answer, and immediately reject it!"</td>
</tr></table></div>
Do you mean the beginning or end of the test? Why is that?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">For reading comp, the strategy is to go for the obvious, never read into the question.</td>
</tr></table></div>
See, this is my problem with tests. Sometimes the questions appear so simple that I wonder whether I'm reading them right, or maybe the test writer is phrasing it in such a way that it <i>appears</i> simpler than it is in order to weed out the not-so-clever. It seems like this is what you're saying above. Or am I just paranoid? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Seriously, this is why I am such a terrible test taker, I overthink everything, and never trust that they are really wanting the obvious answer. Well, and then sometimes the questions just are not clear. Or the answer will depend on some information that isn't given.

#### TiredX2

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fourlittlebirds</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you mean the beginning or end of the test? Why is that?</div>
</td>
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The SAT (and many standardized tests) generally have the easiest questions at the beginning, the hardest at the end and so on. They are not in perfect order, but it's a good rule to follow.

#### cottonwood

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Oh, for sure. What I was wondering was, why would you reject the obvious answer in the more advanced questions? Are they making it tricky on purpose?

#### oceanbaby

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fourlittlebirds</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, for sure. What I was wondering was, why would you reject the obvious answer in the more advanced questions? Are they making it tricky on purpose?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Yes. My dh is dyslexic, and always had the hardest time with the double negative questions, as in "Which is not a wrong answer?" which is phrased that way just to confuse you. Which I don't understand, because usually the test is for something like geography or history or something, not logical thinking and reading comprehension, so why do that?

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