In view of the given answer, I think one must regard the actual question as being “Which of these graphs was obtained by taking a *non-even* function f(x) and graphing f(|x|)?”

]]>As someone on G+ demonstrated, it can actually be a line *and* an absolute value equation. https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PatrickHonner/posts/7P3JTPCeskR

y=|(3x+25)|-20

This speaks to test-writers presuming that students will know what their intent is. It’s like, “a student that’s done well knows what we *really* mean”.

]]>It is also a sad commentary that students’ ability to understand and proceed on such questions should hinge on issues of “language”, “notation” and “terminology”. NYS Regents have for decades been the most anally-retentive exams, penalising students for failing to distinguish between “congruent” and “equal”, as an example.

At the other end of the spectrum are complete soup-to-nuts problems that gauge not only students’ understanding of a concept, in this case, absolute value, but the ability to apply the concept to problem solving.

Here’s one example: http://bit.ly/1tTN6kP

We realise that the kind of problem that takes 10-15 minutes or more of uninterrupted work to completely solve is not likely to make its way into Regents exams or American Common Core exams of the foreseeable future, but it lays bare the chasm: such lengthy (and unambiguous) questions are standard fare in top-performing mathematics nations.

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