I just didn’t get it together to write a weekend challenge question this week, but I didn’t want to pass on the opportunity to give away access to the Beta. So instead of writing a question, I’ve decided to run a bit of a contest (inspired by work I’ve been doing with Debbie Stier at the Perfect Score Project).

I want YOU to write an SAT question. It should be pretty hard, but not so hard that there’s no way it could appear on the SAT. Post your best stuff in the comments, and I’ll choose my favorite question (or questions) and award those authors access to the Math Guide. I’ll let this contest run until Wednesday, 9/14 Saturday, 9/17 whenever. If you write a good question and post it in the comments here, I’ll see it. If I think it’s good, I’ll email you access to the Beta. Easy, right?

Some guidelines and stuff:

- The question must be your own original work (duh).
- Formatting matters. It needs to feel real for me to like it. And it can’t have typos.
- The idea here is to simulate the SAT, not to write the hardest question you can write. Don’t use any concept that isn’t tested on the SAT.
- Make sure the incorrect answer choices you choose aren’t random — make sure they anticipate possible missteps a hapless student could make.
- If your answer choices have numbers, make sure those numbers go in order from least to greatest to greatest to least…just like on the SAT.
- If your question requires a diagram, it’s up to you to figure out how that’s going to work. Suggestion: Use a free image uploading service and post a link in the comments. To make it easy on me and whoever else is trying to solve the question, maybe include the text of the question in the image?
- SAT questions often test multiple concepts at once (ex: a circle question that also involves special right triangles). Just sayin’.
- There could be 1 winner, or 10. I’m not setting limits. If I think your question is awesome, you’re a winner.
- If your question is REALLY good, I might even ask you if I can use it in my book.

## Comments (28)

OMG, I am so winning this contest.

I don’t have time to post mine right now — but will later — so do not close this until you hear from me, ok?

Question: Am I allowed to use one of those I wrote (but haven’t posted yet) from the other day? Can I submit more than one?

I want fresh work; no recycling. 🙂

Otherwise, submit as many as you like!

oooofffff ouch ok I’m still in, but that really raises the bar. I’m going to start over tomorrow on this. Right after I do my other stuff.

Hello,

I saw this contest on Debbie’s page…I think this is a great exercise. Have you thought about posting it at collegeconfidential?

Hey Phil, thanks for stopping by! I’m a big fan of yours.

I thought about it, but they’re (justifiably) strict about advertising over there at CC, and I don’t want to ruffle any feathers if a link were perceived in that way. I would certainly not be upset if someone mentioned this contest there, though. I bet a lot of those kids would be quite good at this.

Well, OK — I posted it for you. I figure they can’t throw me off the board for linking to a site that isn’t even mine.

Good luck with the contest. If it works out that you also get lots of material for your book, I will be pretty envious. 🙂

I’m sharing this with all my students. Very cool idea. Hope you get great results!

Me too!

I’m so relieved to see contest deadline extended. I can’t seem to get my head above water.

Saturday should do it though!

Candy bars were passed out among 10 students. If the average (arithmetic mean) number of candy bars that the students received was 11, what is the greatest possible number of candy bars that one student could have received?

A) 11

B) 20

C) 101

D) 109

E) 110

Wow. I wish I could click “like” more than once!

I am going to multiply submit. More to come.

Good Question :), Is it C) 101? Check out my question below 🙂

Debbie – You are getting so good! I love that you included 11 and 110. So many of my student would fall for 110 in a heartbeat!

I’m sharpening my deceptive ways.

I plan to post my question later this week!

Dan wrote a 7 digit phone number on a piece of paper. He tore the paper accidentally and the last two digits were lost. What is the max number of arrangements of two digits, using digits 0 through 9, he could use to find the correct number?

If x + 1/x = 4, what is the

value of x2 + 1/x2?

Sorry the formatting messed up,

If x + (1/x) = 4, what is the value of x^2 + 1/(x^2)?

If (a/4) + (b/8) + (c/24) = 1, what is one possible value for abc?

The lengths of the side of an isosceles triangle are 30, n, n. What is the smallest possible perimeter of the triangle?

These are all great examples of tough grid-in questions! Thank you for sharing them all! I sent you an email but I haven’t heard back from you re: access to the Beta program. Please check your spam filter, maybe, for something from me.

In a room, of the people are wearing jackets, and of the people are wearing gloves. What is the minimum number of people in the room wearing both a hat and a glove?

insoluble

In a room, 2/5 of the people are wearing gloves, and 3/4 of the people are wearing hats. What is the minimum number of people in the room wearing both a hat and a glove?

How many prime numbers are there between 1-1000?

How do you figure that out?

You don’t….at least not on the SAT.