## A Word Problem: Sleep, Hopelessness, or Success

206.26 words…and it’s all in Arabic.

A word problem:

It is 11:50 pm, and an Arabic student has 206.25 words that she must learn for a test that begins the next day at 8:30 am. In order to pass the test, the Arabic student must go through the entire list of words at least three times, weeding out one third of the words each time. In the first round of reviewing, she has gone through 33.33333% of the words in 3 hours.

Currently, she is at 60% wakefulness. This percentage drops by 8% for every 30 minutes of studying.  If at any point her wakefulness drops below 30%, she will need to take a 20 minute coffee break, followed by a nap of desperation and then a slapping fit upon awaking. This will take one hour, and will raise her wakefulness to 70%, but after recommencing her work, she will move at a pace that is 23% less efficient than her original speed. Furthermore, her wakefulness will deteriorate at a new rate of 16% per every 30 minutes of studying.

One minute in every 6 is lost to facebook and email checking. Every 4 hours there is something new on one of these sites, resulting in the loss of an additional 4 minutes. The student must also write one email, which will cost 24 minutes as and result in a 30% decrease in concentration. The equation for calculating efficiency is e=chilz, with c=concentration, h=hunger levels, i=interest level, l=location, and z=zoo location. The email will be written when wakefulness hits 43%, but will also raise wakefulness levels to 55%.

Her current level of hopelessness is at 20%, but this rises exponentially as she continues studying, at a rate of x to the (1.3h). If her hopelessness ever reaches 80%, she will instantly go to sleep. If she sees her bat friend, it will result in a temporary boost of wakefulness and a decrease of hopelessness levels at a flat rate of 5 and 8 percent, respectively.

Will the student finish studying? If so, how many hours of sleep will she get if she wakes up at 7 o’clock in order to enjoy the new brand of granola her roommate bought?

If not, will she be overcome by hopelessness or sleepiness? If she had to complete at least 80% of the original amount of work in order to make an A on the test, with each ten percentage points below that corresponding to a lower letter grade, what will she make on the test?

What are ways she could avoid having this happen to her again, if the words were given to her over the past two weeks at a rate of 20 words per day, and if she is has 7 hours of free time every day?

Choose the answer that is most correct:

a. What was the question again?

b. Get back to work.

c. Really, you should stop blogging and study for your test.

d. Why are you still blogging?

e. All of the above

## 2 thoughts on “A Word Problem: Sleep, Hopelessness, or Success”

1. I have been in your shoes twenty five years ago however I was blessed with an amazing memory for the written word however that being said, copying down the words everyday and reviewing them daily is quite the way to go. Enough with my stupid advice the answer to the multiple choice question I’d b. C. And d. Good luck!

• edrevets says:

If only it were as simple to receive an answer as to follow through with the advice. The text wasn’t that bad. I think I did “okay,” which is something I’m usually satisfied with.