1. For all positive integers p and q, let the function pq be defined as pq = 2p-q. If g♮12 = g, then g =
    (A) 2
    (B) 4
    (C) 8
    (D) 16
    (E) 76

Answer below.

The cardinal rule of function questions is this: FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY.

If pq = 2p-q, then g♮12 = 2g-12. We know that’s equal to g. Here’s what we have so far:

2g-12= g

From here, we COULD start listing powers of 2 to see which ones might work, or we could take a shortcut and BACKSOLVE because we know one of the 5 answer choices has to be right. I vote the latter. As always when backsolving, start with (C).  That says:

28-12= 8
2-4= 8

Note that 8 is too small…it creates a negative exponent on the left of our equation.  So let’s move towards (D) and see what happens:

216-12= 16
24= 16

(D) is our answer.