Welcome to the Back to School Special Edition of Are You Smarter Than Your High Schooler? To reflect the scholarly theme of fall, this week’s issue flips the script: Instead of getting the standard disclaimer that no rules or formulas are needed to solve, you’ll learn a few rules first and then test yourself on two Math questions, both inspired by problems on a recent ACT.
Integers: All (real) numbers except for fractions and decimals.
Factors: Numbers you multiply together to get another number.
Divisor: The number used to divide another number.
Prime: A number whose only factors are one and itself.
Did you ever watch Walt Disney’s Donald in Mathmagic Land in elementary school? (It was the best thing about Math through all of school for me.) In one particularly memorable scene, numbers float down a river, hit a rock, and split into smaller numbers. For example, 6 splits into 1 and 6, 2 and 3. Those are the factors of 6, all the numbers that can multiply together to make 6. When 2 and 3 hit a rock, each can split only into 1 and 2, 1 and 3 respectively. Both 2 and 3 are prime and can’t be broken into smaller pieces.
Now take your newfound knowledge and try your best on this week’s two questions.