Going through the NY Regents Algebra exam questions in the NYT

Saw this article about the NY Regents Algebra exam in the NYT today:

NYT Article on the NY Regents Algebra Exam

The article made me sad on a lot of levels, but it did include 5 sample problem and I thought it would be fun to go through those problems with my older son.

Here are the problems and my son working through them:

Problem 1 – a problem about lines and slopes:

Problem 2 – a problem about algebraic inequalities:

Problem 3 – a problem about systems of equations and arithmetic (this problem makes me cringe, but my son has a clever idea about how to simplify the calculations):

Problem 4 – a problem about the graph (and the roots) of a polynomial equation:

Problem 5 – A problem about arithmetic and geometric series

So, I thought all but the 3rd one were good questions. I honestly have no idea why the exam writers felt it was important to write that question using the amounts of dollars and cents that they did. It seems to me that this choice made the problem needlessly complicated.

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