In addition to Problem Solving, Data Analysis and Geometry, the new redesigned SAT includes several questions from areas of Trigonometry and arithmetic of complex numbers. Some questions allow the use of a calculator; on others the use of calculator is not permitted.
Tips for Math Questions
- Write down what you know and show your steps. Mark up diagrams, write equations, so you can re check your solution
- Pay attention to the simple patterns in a problem. Trying to figure out these patterns is the key to the solution
- Look for an easy way, by over calculating a simple math problem; you may miss out on a key factor that simplifies the problem.
- Know your formulas, so you know where you need to use them
- Check your work, go over your arithmetic and algebraic solutions to avoid careless mistakes
- If you find yourself stuck on a particular math question, try working on the options or plug in numbers for the unknown
- Ensure that you read the question properly, pay attention to words like integer, even, odd and consecutive as they are commonly overlooked. Make sure you don't confuse area with perimeter
- Do not overuse your calculator. If you are using the calculator for a lot of problems, you're probably making it hard. Keep it simple, and only use the calculator as a check
- Re-read your question before finalizing your answer. Make sure that you have answered the right question
- Note any restrictions on the unknowns. For instance, whether it is a positive or a negative integer, a decimal or restriction on dimension. Underline key restrictions
- Know the definitions of special terms such as primes, integers, factors, multiples, perimeter and so on
- A product is the result of a multiplication. Do not confuse it with a sum, which is the result of addition
- Break down complicated problems into simpler ones. If you are given a geometry diagram, mark up the angles and sides when you can find them. If given an algebraic expressions, notice how they relate to one another
- Once you see parts of a problem, look for simple relationships between them
- If you can't find what you need, look at one part of the problem at a time. Going through the problem step by step will eventually lead you to the answer
- Simplify by substituting, in algebra, anything can be substituted for its equal. If you notice a complicated expression on the SAT, check to see if it equals something simpler and substitute
- Simplify by combining and cancelling, in many algebraic expressions always keep a check on like terms that can be combined or cancelled and for common factors in fractions that can be cancelled
- Check by estimating, an approximate answer can help you narrow down the choices quickly
- Use logical solutions wherever possible. For e.g., patterns for indices, multiplication of numbers etc
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