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Finding Your 'Perfect Partner': Evaluating matchmaker profiles usings ratings and cutoff methods

This activity authored by Semra Kilic-Bahi, Colby-Sawyer College, based on
1) a city ranking activity in "Quantitative Reasoning" by Alicia Sevilla and Kay Somers
2) an excel activity developed by Semra Kilic-Bahi for Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum program
Author Profile
This material was originally developed by the the National Numeracy Network
as part of its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.


In this activity, students will explore two decision making methods; rating and cut-off methods.

Learning Goals

Cut-off Screening method
Weighted sums
Decision Making

Context for Use

In this activity, the focus is on two methods that can be used in decision making by using the known information related to the decision.

1. Cutoff screening method
2. Weighted sum method
The basic data set in the activity is given as an Excel file, and the class is scheduled in a computer lab where each student has access to a computer. Since the data set is not large and the required calculations are not tedious, this activity can easily be done without a computer or a calculator. One hour class time is enough to introduce the idea and finish the activity. Since the required mathematical skills are quite elementary, this activity can be used at any point in the semester at college, high school, or middle school level. The impact of this activity can be enhanced if students apply the methods learned in this activity to a decision process they need to make. In my class, one student applied this activity into buying a horse, another student applied it to make a buying decision between iPod and Zune.

Description and Teaching Materials

Class Activity (Microsoft Word 474kB May14 08)
Candidate Information (Excel 24kB May14 08)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Before I give the activity in class, I usually give a simple example to describe the key points in the activity. Please see the attached file. Introduction to Perfect Date Class Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 21kB May18 08)


I use pre-and post test for this activity. Perfect Date Pretest (Acrobat (PDF) 47kB May14 08)

References and Resources

Somers, Kay and Sevilla, Alicia, "Quantitative Reasoning"

Kilic-Bahi, Semra, "Perfect Date" activity developed for Spreadsheet Across the Curriculum