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Pearson accepts only a short final answer and knows only one solution method!

A Pearson student solves the mixture problem below on yellow paper, but makes an error in transposing (see “???” below) and enters an incorrect short final answer.  Here Pearson responds with its one solution method but rejects the correct expression “516-A” as the second step!  Pearson accepts only “85A” as the second step and then provides no later help in finding the student’s actual error.

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Pearson BAD VP 800w

Please scroll down to see how xyAlgebra handles unexpected student steps.


XyAlgebra responds intelligently to each step and supports any correct method.

After entering two acceptable steps, this student has unexpectedly expressed the cost of the small jars correctly as a difference involving the total budget.  The standard strategy (an equation expressing the total budget in two ways) would now yield an identity. Instead, xyAlgebra now proposes an equation expressing the cost of the small jars in two ways. As an explanation, it first highlights the three quantities used in constructing the new equation.

xySol Demo 304 (3)
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