by **ohthatpatrick** Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:40 am

A sequential ordering means, "Who's first? Who's second? Who's third? ....etc."

We don't care about specific positions; we care about relative positions.

If these were the dates of my kids' births:

Zazz: 2014

Plops: 2016

T-bone: 2018

Then Zazz was my firstborn, Plops my mischievous middle child, and T-bone will always be the baby of the family.

If we switch the dates,

Zazz: 2015

Plops: 2017

T-bone: 2018

it's still the same sequential ordering. The same person is first, second, third.

So Q15 is asking if W - T, then how many possible sequences of kids are possible.

We end up having these two possible scenarios:

Z S x U W x T

x S x U Z W T

Z - S - U - W - T is one sequential ordering of kids, from firstborn to lastborn.

and

S - U - Z - W - T is the other.

Does that make sense?

You were asking for advice on how to approach odd wording: you have to ask yourself questions about what words mean.

"What is a sequential ordering?"

"What is a sequence?"

"What is an ordering of children from firstborn to lastborn?"

"Can I think of an example? Do I know MY family's sequential ordering of children from firstborn to lastborn?"

Ultimately, the weird moments of the test are by definition beyond the purview of advice. They're weird BECAUSE they're new, and because we don't have a preconceived plan for, or familiarity with, them. We just have to embrace the challenge, think flexibly, and read carefully.

They're mean.