SAT Probability ProblemsDate: 11/12/96 at 19:00:38 From: mike Subject: SAT Probability Questions How do you do probability problems? Do you take the whole thing and divide it by the possible chances? Date: 12/12/96 at 19:00:18 From: Doctor Daniel Subject: Re: SAT Probability Questions Hi Mike, I'll give you an example of a short probability problem and show you how it'd be solved. Suppose you roll 2 dice. What's the probability that the result is more than 10? The answer is 1/12. Here's how to get it: A result of more than 10 has to be either 11 or 12. There are only three ways the dice could have fallen to give these results: 6 and 5, 5 and 6, and 6 and 6. (Where the first number is what happened on the first die, and the second number is the second die.) So there are three possible ways to get more than 10. And there are 36 possible ways to roll two dice (that's 6 choices for the first and 6 for the second: 6 x 6 = 36). So the overall chance of getting more than 10 is equal to: no. of ways to get more than 10 ------------------------------- , no. of ways to roll the dice which is 3/36, which equals 1/12. The general idea, then, is that you compute the number of ways that what you want to happen can happen, and divide by the total number of possible outcomes. This only works, incidentally, when every outcome is as likely as the next one; for example, it won't work with dice that cheat. Good luck on the test! -Doctor Daniel, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
Search the Dr. Math Library: |
[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]
Ask Dr. Math^{TM}
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/