The March SAT is just a few weeks away! Are you ready, or do you still shiver at the thought of figuring out one more ratio? Either way, here are five tips that should help you supercharge your math score.
1. Never, ever, ever guess randomly. Like ever.
You don’t understand how to do the problem, so what’s the harm in just bubbling something in? More than you’d think, actually. On the SAT, every time you get an answer wrong, you LOSE 1/4th of a raw point. Rather than helping you to increase your score, guessing randomly is the easiest way to make your score plummet. If you don’t know the answer and can’t eliminate any choices, leave the question blank.
2. Plug it in, plug it in.
Are there variables in the problem? Yes. You should create an equation, right? Nope! Creating equations is a known SAT time waster. Instead, either plug the numbers from the answer choices into the problem, or pick a number between two and ten, and plug that into the problem. Never just use the variables. They are not your friends!
3. It isn’t always C
“C is the most common answer choice, so if I don’t know the answer, I can just plug in that, right?” C is sometimes the right answer, but there is no actual evidence that C is right more often than any other answer choice. Per Tip #1, you should never guess randomly, but it’s also important not to develop false confidence in C.
4. The beginning is far more important than the end.
You know those hard problems at the end of the test that people rush to finish each time? Would you be surprised to learn that those are actually the LEAST important problems on the exam? In fact, the easy problems at the beginning of the test are the most important.
A hard problem is worth, in total, one point –even if it takes you five of your twenty-five minutes to solve. Five easy problems, however, are worth one point each – even if they only take thirty seconds. So, SOLVE THE EASY PROBLEMS FIRST. Spend your time on the easy math, because that’s where the vast majority of points are, and where you’ll have the biggest opportunities to improve.
5. Simmer down and break it down.
The hardest part about the SAT math is that it seems so overwhelming! Why are there so many WORDS in the math, anyway?! So, just keep in mind that a focused mind is a clear mind. When you see a challenging problem, just take a deep breath and break the problem down to its numerical elements. What are they asking me? What information did they give me? If you can find those things, you can solve the problem.
There’s still time to prepare for the April and June SAT’s! Check out www.revolutionprep.com to find out where classes are starting near you.