SAT math questions are not like the ones you’ve solved in school. For the SAT math, your problem-solving skills have to be sharper. Plus it’s not only hard work but also smart work that counts here. With the right effort in the right direction, you won’t just reach your goal, you will reach it faster.
Question is, how do you figure out the right direction? Would you need the help of an SAT math tutor? Here are some promising math SAT tips to better your math score, SAT tutor or not.
1. Practice the SAT Math under timed conditions
When it comes to math, practising makes all the difference. And since you appear for the SAT math exam in a timed test, that’s how you should practice as well. Set a timer when you’re solving mock papers. Once you’re done, evaluate your performance as well as speed. If you’re going slow, try to bring down the time taken to solve each problem. You can’t take forever to solve a problem that interests you, or seems challenging. Practising without a target won’t help either, so aim for a minute or a minute-and-a-half per question.
2. Hone your basic calculation skills for the no-calculator section
The SAT paper is divided into no-calculator and calculator-allowed sections. Although both sections test your quantitative aptitude and ability to reason, the no-calculator section shouldn’t take too much time or it’ll get in the way of your overall performance. So, become good at manual calculations. And by good, we also mean quick.
3. Be proficient with your calculator
Your calculator can save the day. Master it and become a calculator pro before taking the math SAT.
Start by taking the right calculator along. Make sure that your calculator is SAT approved by taking a look at the SAT calculator policy. Also, an outdated calculator will make it difficult to solve the graphing questions. Even the algebra part could take you unnecessarily long.
Now there are hundreds of things you can do with a calculator. Are you aware of all of them? If not, ask for help. Reach out to friends or family if they can guide you. Here’s when an experienced SAT Math tutor could also be a great help.
4. Read your SAT math word problems well
Most of us hate word problems and have been in a situation where the words in front of us just don’t make sense. We just stare at the words without doing a thing or skip the question altogether.
A major reason for the lack of understanding is that word problems have clues hidden between the words. And one has to look for these. That’s why they can be made more approachable by breaking them down. Read your questions well, and just start writing whatever makes sense. Write down what’s given and what’s being asked for and that’ll get you going.
Also, underline what the question is asking for. And, never neglect the tail of a question. Sometimes, the most important information of an SAT math word problem is written in its tail.
5. Avoid careless mistakes
When you are writing your math SAT paper, you could feel tremendous pressure, which could trigger nervousness and anxiety. This can lead to a lot of mistakes. So, learn to stay calm and don’t let your anxiety get in the way of your performance. Also, maintain an error log. All your careless mistakes from the practice sessions can be noted in this log, and then, each error should be studied separately so they are not repeated. Try to understand where you tend to go wrong and fix it.
6. Learn multiple ways of solving math SAT questions
Irrespective of whether it’s a shortcut or an elaborate method of solving a math question, if it’s the only one you’ve learnt, you could be in trouble. To be sufficiently equipped for the SAT math test, learn more than one method. Sometimes, the information given in a problem simply won’t fit into the method you’re familiar with. Or – hate to say this, but – you might forget the one and only way you’ve learnt to solve the problem. Knowing alternative methods of solving problems can be lifesaving and help you get that 800 SAT Math score.
7. Memorize and understand patterns and formula
For that perfect SAT math score, apart from learning your formula and patterns by heart, you also need to understand them. This understanding will help you figure out why certain formula are used to solve certain types of questions. Once you are skilled enough to discover these links, solving even the toughest of math problems in the SAT will be a breeze.
8.Practice, practice, practice!
A high SAT math score needs proper practice so solve as many questions as possible, and take mock tests.
If you’ve heard people talk about important or less important parts, there’s no such thing. No area is less important. Also, neglecting the portions you are weak at, will make scoring difficult. Give equal importance to all the areas, with greater emphasis on what you find difficult.
Although all parts need practice, word problems can be more demanding. If that’s the case, try to fit them into a pattern. And to spot, understand and work through such patterns, you’ll need plenty of practice. So there is no substitute for practice really!
Now, you know that scoring a perfect 800 in SAT math is not impossible. All you need is the right approach, some guidance and plenty of smart work. Use the above time-tested, practical SAT tips, and cracking the test will be a whole lot easier.