For test takers, the SAT Math section has always posed a challenge. The section has two 25-minute sections and one 20 minute section with close to 20 and 16 questions respectively. The reason test takers are afraid of the math section is not the complexity, but the way the problems are presented. Chances are that you would know the formula of a concept but will not know where to apply it.
We offer you some strategies for tackling the SAT math section. These strategies will help you greatly on test day.
Read the question well
Sometimes reading the question well reveals a simpler way of attempting a problem or hint. Notice the keywords and other important information. Make sure you read the question thoroughly before attempting to solve it.
Master the content
While the students get an SAT test book containing commonly used formulae during the exam, you should prepare for the section well. Learn all the basic formulae, concepts and geometrical properties. Don’t refer the book for simple formulae. This will help you save time during the exam.
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Use the calculator only when needed
It is allowed to use a calculator during the exam but do not be too dependent on it. Sometimes it may be counter-productive. Memorize your tables and do simple calculations by hand. Often, it might save more time than the calculator. Use the calculator only to perform simple tasks.
Focus on the best ways
There can be a number of ways to arrive at the answer to a question. Reverse engineering, eliminating answers, plug-and-play – are all ways to solve a problem efficiently. The plug-and-play technique involves picking a value and plugging it in the statement for the correct answer. Reverse engineering involves taking the answers and solving backwards. All of these work for different problem types. Take a lot of practice tests to understand the most efficient ways to approach problems.
Estimate when needed
Certain geometric problems may need you to use estimations. Estimations help you to arrive at the answer quickly. This especially works with diagrams.
Keep verifying every step
It is quite possible to make a mistake somewhere in between a lengthy problem. Keep verifying every step to eliminate mistakes.
These math section strategies should keep you in good stead during the exam. Following them will ensure that you are on your way to a smashing score. All the best!