Item FM055004: The speed of a sailboat will continue to decrease the entire time the force of the water slowing it down is greater than the force of the wind pushing it forward.

In the drawing below, the arrows labeled WIND and WATER represent forces acting on a sailboat. The directions of the arrows represent the directions of the forces, and the lengths of the arrows represent the strengths of the forces. The force of the water on the sailboat is stronger than the force of the wind on the sailboat the entire time.

Which statement describes the sailboat’s motion while these forces are acting? Assume that the sailboat does not stop or turn around.

  1. The sailboat’s speed will decrease the entire time.
  2. The sailboat’s speed will stay the same the entire time.
  3. The sailboat’s speed will decrease for a while and then stay the same.
  4. The sailboat’s speed will stay the same for a while and then decrease.

Distribution of Responses

Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item FM055004

Percent of students responding correctly

Overall35%
Grades 6–833%
Grades 9–1237%
Male39%
Female30%
Primary Language is English35%
Primary Language is not English26%

View data table