SAT Math : How to graph a function

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Math

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Example Questions

Example Question #6 : How To Graph A Function

Which of the following could be a value of f(x) for f(x)=-x^2 + 3?

Possible Answers:

3

4

7

5

6

Correct answer:

3

Explanation:

The graph is a down-opening parabola with a maximum of y=3. Therefore, there are no y values greater than this for this function.

Example Question #4 : How To Graph A Function

2

The figure above shows the graph of y = f(x). Which of the following is the graph of y = |f(x)|?

Possible Answers:

2

6

4

5

3

Correct answer:

2

Explanation:

One of the properties of taking an absolute value of a function is that the values are all made positive. The values themselves do not change; only their signs do. In this graph, none of the y-values are negative, so none of them would change. Thus the two graphs should be identical.

Example Question #5 : How To Graph A Function

Below is the graph of the function :

 

Which of the following could be the equation for ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

First, because the graph consists of pieces that are straight lines, the function must include an absolute value, whose functions usually have a distinctive "V" shape. Thus, we can eliminate f(x) = x2 – 4x + 3 from our choices. Furthermore, functions with x2 terms are curved parabolas, and do not have straight line segments. This means that f(x) = |x2 – 4x| – 3 is not the correct choice. 

Next, let's examine f(x) = |2x – 6|. Because this function consists of an abolute value by itself, its graph will not have any negative values. An absolute value by itself will only yield non-negative numbers. Therefore, because the graph dips below the x-axis (which means f(x) has negative values), f(x) = |2x – 6| cannot be the correct answer. 

Next, we can analyze f(x) = |x – 1| – 2. Let's allow x to equal 1 and see what value we would obtain from f(1). 

f(1) = | 1 – 1 | – 2 = 0 – 2 = –2

However, the graph above shows that f(1) = –4. As a result, f(x) = |x – 1| – 2 cannot be the correct equation for the function. 

By process of elimination, the answer must be f(x) = |2x – 2| – 4. We can verify this by plugging in several values of x into this equation. For example f(1) = |2 – 2| – 4 = –4, which corresponds to the point (1, –4) on the graph above. Likewise, if we plug 3 or –1 into the equation f(x) = |2x – 2| – 4, we obtain zero, meaning that the graph should cross the x-axis at 3 and –1. According to the graph above, this is exactly what happens. 

The answer is f(x) = |2x – 2| – 4.

Example Question #7 : How To Graph A Function

Screen_shot_2015-03-06_at_2.14.03_pm

What is the equation for the line pictured above?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

A line has the equation

 where  is the  intercept and  is the slope.

The  intercept can be found by noting the point where the line and the y-axis cross, in this case, at  so .

The slope can be found by selecting two points, for example, the y-intercept and the next point over that crosses an even point, for example, .

Now applying the slope formula,

 

 which yields .

Therefore the equation of the line becomes:

Example Question #8 : How To Graph A Function

Which of the following graphs represents the y-intercept of this function?

Possible Answers:

Function_graph_3

Function_graph_2

Function_graph_4

Function_graph_1

Correct answer:

Function_graph_1

Explanation:

Graphically, the y-intercept is the point at which the graph touches the y-axis.  Algebraically, it is the value of  when .

Here, we are given the function .  In order to calculate the y-intercept, set  equal to zero and solve for .

So the y-intercept is at .

Example Question #262 : Coordinate Geometry

Which of the following graphs represents the x-intercept of this function?

Possible Answers:

Function_graph_7

Function_graph_8

Function_graph_5

Function_graph_6

Correct answer:

Function_graph_6

Explanation:

Graphically, the x-intercept is the point at which the graph touches the x-axis.  Algebraically, it is the value of  for which .

Here, we are given the function .  In order to calculate the x-intercept, set  equal to zero and solve for .

So the x-intercept is at .

Example Question #11 : How To Graph A Function

Which of the following represents ?

Possible Answers:

Function_graph_12

Function_graph_10

Function_graph_11

Function_graph_9

Correct answer:

Function_graph_9

Explanation:

A line is defined by any two points on the line.  It is frequently simplest to calculate two points by substituting zero for x and solving for y, and by substituting zero for y and solving for x.

Let .  Then

So our first set of points (which is also the y-intercept) is 

Let .  Then

So our second set of points (which is also the x-intercept) is .

Example Question #1 : How To Graph A Function

Screen shot 2016 02 18 at 8.42.52 am

The above graphic shows Bob's walk. At what times is Bob the furthest from home?

Possible Answers:

 to 

 to 

 to 

Correct answer:

 to 

Explanation:

If we look at the graph, the line segment from  to , is the furthest from home. So the answer will be from  to .

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