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Basic SAT Math Tips

Mar 19, 2015
Today I would like to go over a few basic SAT math tips that will keep you from lowering your SAT math score.

(1) Know all of the directions before taking the test: You do not want to be wasting precious time reading the directions during the exam itself.

(2) Know the layout of the test: In particular there are three math sections (and there may be an additional experimental section which does not count). Each section has a different length. All three sections have multiple choice questions, and one section is split between multiple choice and free response questions.

(3) Memorize the math formulas that can be used on the test: Start by memorizing the formulas that are given to you at the beginning of each math section. You do not want to have to waste time looking these up whenever you need them. In addition to those formulas, there are several others that you should know for the SAT. Make sure you have all of these formulas committed to memory before taking the test.

(4) Know how to use your calculator: Make sure you are very familiar with the calculator you will be using on the actual test. Be sure to use this calculator whenever you are practicing sample SAT math questions at home. I always recommend a TI-84 or equivalent calculator.

(5) Know SAT specific math strategies: Try to learn three to four strategies each week over a period of three to four months, and practice using these strategies whenever you do any sample SAT math questions.

(6) Practice SAT math questions for about ten to twenty minutes every day: Every day you should pick one of the four general topic areas to focus on: Number Theory, Algebra and Functions, Geometry, or Probability, Statistics, and Data Analysis. Practice problems that are at and slightly above your current ability level in each subject area. Some of these problems should be new ones that you haven't seen before, and some should be old ones that you had previously gotten wrong.

(7) Redo problems you get wrong until you can get them right on your own: Every time you get a problem wrong you should mark it off. Next time you are practicing problems in that subject area you should redo the ones you got wrong before attempting new problems. If you get it wrong again, leave it marked off. Do not "unmark" a question until you genuinely get it correct yourself without any errors whatsoever.

(8) Don't overdo the practice tests: About one practice test per month over a three to four month period of time is plenty to make sure you are working well under timed conditions. Make sure to use only official practice tests created by the College Board.
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For more information about sample SAT math questions and SAT math tips, please visit: SATPrepGet800.com
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