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SAT Tips: Math Section

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More Lessons for SAT Math, Math Worksheets

Tips and Strategies for the New SAT Math
Word Problems: The most common math problem you'll see on test day are word problems. Compared to the old SAT, word problems on the new SAT have gotten much longer. So, you'll need to sift through all the information to separate the important facts. Make sure you practice plenty of SAT word problems during your studies.

Difficulty progression: The questions you see at the start of the section will tend to be easier than those you see at the end of the section. So, be confident if you're blazing through the first few questions. However, if you're coming up with the answers to the final questions in 5 seconds, you may want to double check and make sure you haven't fallen into a trap. Make sure you check out the official practice tests from College Board so you can develop a feel for the difficulty of the test, and the time it should take to solve the various problems.

Math Section - Standard Multiple Choice:

* Read the question well. Be sure to select the best answer for the variable, value, or expression that is requested!

* Learn in advance all of the critical definitions, formulas, and concepts that appear in common questions.

* Remember to use the test booklet for scratch work, as well as for marking up any diagrams/graphs.

* Early questions in this section are easier. Spend less time on them.

* Don't get carried away with detailed calculations. Look for a trick or a shortcut if the question seems time consuming.

* When a question contains a weird symbol, just substitute the accompanying definition when figuring out the best answer choice.

* If you're stuck, try substituting numbers for variables. You can also try substituting in numbers from the answer choices. Start with the middle number. That way, if it doesn't work, you can strategically choose one that's higher or lower.

* Remember that number lines, graphs, and coordinate systems are drawn to scale unless otherwise stated.

* However, if you're told that a figure is not drawn to scale, remember that lengths and angles may not be shown accurately.

* Take each solution one step at a time. Some seemingly difficult questions are really just a series of easy questions.

Of course, the best way to improve in math is practice, practice, practice. We have lots of SAT practice questions, techniques and strategies for conquering the math questions on the SAT. Practicing one section (about 30 minutes) a day would definitely help to improve your SAT math scores.

Math Section - Student Produced Response (Grid-In):

* Negative numbers are not possible as answers in this section. If your answer comes up negative, do it again.

* You may begin to enter a short answer in any column. For instance, .6 can be entered in columns 1-2, or 2-3, or 3-4.

* If an answer is a repeating decimal, just enter as many decimals as will fit in the grid. If you obtain a decimal number with more digits that the grid can accommodate, it may be either rounded or truncated, but it must fill the entire grid. For example, if you obtain an answer such as 0.6666..., you should enter your result as .666 or .667. A less accurate value such as .66 or .67 will be scored as incorrect.

* You may enter an equivalent decimal for a fraction as your answer, but why waste the time evaluating the fraction?

* Do not try to enter mixed numbers. For example, if your answer is 3 1/2, enter it as 3.5 or 7/2.

Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
Mathway Calculator Widget

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