# Math problem help

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So my older two are probably going to high school next year, and the math coordinator just sent me the study sheet for the Algebra midterm, which is probably what they'll take to be placed into regular or honors geometry next year.

Most of it is fine - had to look ahead in some topics that aren't covered in the same order in our text, and looked up a definition on the internet of one concept that wasn't in either book, but all good.

There's one thing on there I'm wondering if it's a typo, though. It's to evaluate |x|-2|a-2m| when a=-3, m=1, and x=-2.

The problem I'm having is that there's no operation indicated between all those absolute values - those are absolute values, right? Do I multiply them (in which case the answer is 20?)? I've never seen them all strung together this way. Or is this something else?? Or is this totally odd and I should email the coordinator for clarification?

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I read it with a subtraction sign after the first term and before the 2 times the absolute value of a-2m

So it would be the same as

[x]+(-2)[a-2m]

using brackets for the absolute value because I can't find those quickly.

So the answer would be -8.

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There's one thing on there I'm wondering if it's a typo, though. It's to evaluate |x|-2|a-2m| when a=-3, m=1, and x=-2.

The problem I'm having is that there's no operation indicated between all those absolute values - those are absolute values, right? Do I multiply them (in which case the answer is 20?)? I've never seen them all strung together this way. Or is this something else?? Or is this totally odd and I should email the coordinator for clarification?

???? But there is a minus sign between the |x| and the 2. And the 2 in front of the other absolute means multiply by two (as in "2x means 2*x)

(2)-2*|-3-2|=2-2*5=2-10=-8

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Ah - okay - it would've helped me if there had been a space.

Like |a| - 2|a-2m|

The -2 in the middle looked to me like another |-2|, but I knew there weren't enough |'s - but it wasn't clear to me that it was a minus (operation) vs. a negative 2 and they were taking some weird shortcut and using too few |'s.

And this is why I ask you all - better to feel like a doofus here than in front of the math coordinator. :tongue_smilie:

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