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10 Tips for SAT Math Students

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The SAT Mathematics test challenges student on various topics. The test is intended to assess basic knowledge and is used to measure a student’s readiness for college.  Here are few tips to perform well on SAT Mathematics.

1. Use a highlighter

Many math questions are not challenging, but may be worded in a tricky manner. In order to pick the content that is necessary, highlight the important parts. Read the question carefully, and highlight the important aspects; this will allow you to better understand the question and ignore the unnecessary information.

2. Show your work

How many times you got an answer wrong due to silly error? Whether you forgot to carry forward a sign or made a mistake with mental math, these are mistakes that we all occasionally make. No matter how good you are at mental math, do not forget to show your work. This will allow you to avoid careless mistakes. This also provides an easy way for you to check your work later on.

3. Know your formulae

Even though you will be given a formula sheet, knowing the basic formulae will save you time during the test. Remember the SAT is a timed test; you want to ensure that you have enough time to work rather than searching for information. You should also make it a point to familiarize yourself with the formulae sheet beforehand.

4. Use a calculator

Calculators will always provide the correct answer. SAT exams are high stress environments for students. This can cause students to make silly errors. To be sure that you are getting the correct answer, use a calculator to confirm your answers each time.

5. Write what you know

Regardless of your level of understanding for a question, you should get into the habit of writing down what data is provided and what to solve for. As you start writing, you may notice things fall into place and realize what steps you need to take to solve the problem.

6. “Guess and eliminate” choices

If you are stuck on a question, use the process of elimination. Many times two to three of the five choices listed can be easily eliminated immediately. This will allow you to focus more closely on the remaining choices.

7. Know when to move on

SAT exams have questions that reflect a variety of difficult levels. If you are stuck on a question, move on to the next one. You do not want to spend five minutes on one difficult question and then miss three easier questions. As long as you work through the test in a timely manner, you will have time to return to any unanswered questions after.

8. Break-down a question

Imagine you are asked to solve for the area of an irregular polygon. This is easy to do once the polygon is broken down in a series of smaller, more familiar shapes. Similarly, more difficult questions will require multi-step solutions. Look at the information provided to you and work with what you already know. In doing so, you will eventually notice a pattern.

9. Take practice tests

It is recommended that you attempt as many SAT practice tests as possible. In doing so, you give yourself a realistic idea of the types of questions you need to improve on and your time management skills.

10. Do not Stress Out!

If you do not get the very first question, it’s okay! Keep working through the questions that you do know. Remember, you’ve spent a lot of time preparing for this and panicking will only serve to hinder your memory.

Preparing for SAT exams can be very stressful. It is important for any student give themselves adequate time to prepare and get the support that the need.

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