And then the thought process is - how could it be a RECTANGULAR walkway if it is around a garden? Aha! Rectangular means it has the shape of a rectangle. Much younger students can tell you that.
For those who think the test should be strictly about math and not reading - part of math is learning problem solving capabilities. Students are not going to use a lot of this in life (as they always tell me) but they do need to learn how to think. Solving math problems is partially a reading test. Students must read and translate English into algebra. I tell them it's another language they are learning.
If they can't read and translate the problems by the time they get to this class, the solution is not dumbing down the test. Go back to the root cause and fix it!