The SATs can feel like a maze, however, any maze once mastered becomes no different than a stroll in the park. The key to mastering the quantitative section of the SAT exam lies in studying several math concepts. Once the required rules and formulas are memorized all that remains is learning how to identify when to use what technique for problem solving.

**Know your formulas**

It is important to have a series of necessary formulas memorized so that when the appropriate problem pops up the technique for solving is immediately recognized. The circumference (distance around) of a circle is equal to 2(pi)(r). This means that pi, rounded to 3.14, multiplied by the radius (half the diameter) of the circle multiplied by two gives you the distance around the circle. The area of a circle is (pi)(r)2. Formulas such as these open up many opportunities to figure out missing information about shapes, lines, and angles. When it comes down to it, solving any problem is a matter of using what information you have to figure out what information is missing. Several more important formulas include: area of a triangle = (1/2)(base)(height), volume = (length)(width)(depth), in a right triangle a

^{2}+b^{2}=c^{2}.**Identify the branch of mathematics**

According to Google Mathematics is defined as “the abstract science of number, quantity, and space.” According to this definition Mathematics covers a very broad spectrum and that is why it important to understand the different branches. Geometry involves the study of points and lines, which working together create shapes. Algebra involves the use of symbols to replace missing information. The goal in algebraic math is to solve for the missing information and discover what number or quantity the symbol represents. The more you understand the concepts and goals of the different mathematic problems the quicker you will be able to identify the required technique to find the answer.

**Practice makes perfect**

Solving math equations takes a bit of developed reflex in order to master. The goal is to become so acquainted with the various mathematic problem types that solving one question will feel no different than solving another. Just like 2 + 5 feels just as simple as 3 + 7, more complicated problems will become just as simple once you understand the steps required to find the solution. Make sure to allocate the necessary time before the scheduled exam date so that you can work through many practice tests as well as practice manuals.

**Measure twice, cut once**

Remember to always, ALWAYS review your work as you’re working on the problem. Many test-takers make the mistake of finishing their work then going back to check for mistake, this is time consuming and can result in complicated detective work. A slight error involving an improper computation can cause many problems if not immediately identified because every following equation is using false information. This is why it is important to double-check every equation right after computation.

The Math found on the SAT exam is not meant to trick you. The problems follow a certain pattern and as long as in your studying schedule you set aside time to learn the various question types you should have no issue maneuvering the exam.

]]>It was years ago that I completed the SAT exam, then again a second time several months later. I attended and graduated from a four-year college and am now currently enrolled in a test-prep course preparing for the GMAT exam. Although it has been a significant amount of years since I took the SAT exam it’s only through my experience of preparing for the GMAT that I realize just how different everything could have gone. I was, and still am, considered very smart. I went to a reputable High School and committed to a study schedule when the time came to take the big test. I scored well and got into a good college. I was happy because I was doing well, it is only now that I realize that doing well is an underachievement if you are not doing your best. Taking a test-prep course allows you to tap potential you don’t even know you have. Here are the top reasons why I regret not taking a SAT test-prep course when I had the chance all those years ago.

**I don’t know everything**

I’m smart, I can admit this, what I can also admit to is not knowing everything. I’m not referring to information that I can learn in a book, because I’ve studied every book I could get my hands on when preparing for exams. What I’m referring to is not knowing what can only be learned through experience. Taking a test-prep course puts me in a room with an instructor that is a professional in guiding students to reach their full potential. They know all the different techniques to shave minutes off test taking time and how to gauge a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Instructors have access to test taking methods that I just did not and could not possess.

**Discipline**

I studied for the exam. My studying was not as disciplined as it could have been. When I found available time, or the only time I would admit to being available, I worked on practice problems. By signing up for a test-prep course, however, there is a set schedule. I have assignments and am responsible to commit a certain amount of time and energy to productive studying. Even though I was dedicated to receiving a high score on the exam I found it difficult to always be motivated to study. Having an instructor helped take the burden off of my shoulders. I wasn’t solely responsible for my studies, there was someone pushing me to apply myself and demanding that I commit a 100% to my work.

**Stress**

I have taken a lot of exams in my life, I have also taken many standardized exams. No matter how many times I take an exam there is always the lingering stress of failure. Even if I’m prepared and know that I’m prepared for the exam there still exists a stress and anxiety. This anxiety translates to slower test taking time, sloppy mistakes, a lower grade than my knowledge should have earned. After taking a test-prep course I was more relaxed during the exam because I had gone through a process of conditioning for test like conditions. When studying on my own there were no time constraints, no pressures or competition. Even if I decided to conduct a practice exam under timed conditions there was no real consequence of breaking the rule. In a test-prep course I was surrounded by other students competing with me for a higher score and had an instructor present who would implement rules on how the class was conducted. By going through this process I was far less anxious than usual because the experience was mirroring previous ones in class. I felt comfortable.

The ultimate reason why I regret not taking a test-prep course in the past is because of my grade. I was happy with my grade but after knowing that it could have been higher I feel disappointed. I settled for something when instead I should have fought to utilize every tool available. Good isn’t very good unless it’s your best. I now know this and am seeing the results on my GMAT studies. Although I can’t change the past what I can do is learn from my experiences and present the lessons I’ve learned. If you have an opportunity to improve on yourself, take it.

]]>Prepare as you might for a standardized exam, your test-day strategy will factor heavily into your outcome. Anthony Russo, a senior at Summit High School in New Jersey, has taken the SAT five times. He shared that the difference between his lowest and highest test scores could be explained by test prep and strategy.

“*Taking Manhattan Review’s test prep course initially raised my SAT score by 60 points,*” Russo shared. “*But more than that, my private tutor gave me a plan for approaching the test more tactically.*” Want to boost your SAT score just by shifting your behavior? Here are a few ways to maximize your test-taking potential. These tips have helped students, including Anthony, enhance their performance to achieve results in the 98th and 99th percentiles.

**Set the right pace.**Think of the SAT like a long race, each question a short hurdle bringing you closer to the finish line. Stopping too long on one question can prove disastrous for the long haul. Each question is worth the same number of points. If a question becomes too time-consuming, don’t stumble and lose your stamina. Move on to the next question, and go back to re-try the most confusing questions. Continue moving forward, answering as many questions as you can with confidence. Accuracy will prove a much more effective tool than speed.

**Start with the easiest questions.**

Keeping with the SAT-as-a-marathon mentality, everything starts off easiest. Your mind is still fresh, plus the SAT is organized in order of difficulty. As you begin with the easiest questions, calibrate your pace to match the level of difficulty. Don’t allow yourself to become mired down early in the game. Don’t skip around, creating a confusing and disjointed course to follow. Knock out the easiest SAT questions first and stay focused for the more challenging questions to come.

**Never question common sense.**

If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t just choose option B and hope for the best. Use logic to answer the harder questions by turning your guess into a formidable hypothesis. Eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can. As long as you are able to eliminate at least one wrong answer, you should make a guess instead of skipping the question. If you can’t make an educated guess, go ahead and skip the question. You don’t want to roll the dice on SAT questions when you are penalized for wrong answers.

**Master the material with test prep.**

Cramming won’t work. To prepare for the SAT – as with the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and TOEFL – strategic test prep brings the best results. At Manhattan Review, we offer a range of prep test courses customized to the learning needs of each student. Before making flashcards and memorizing countless math formulas, try the most efficient and effective study methods. Limit your studies to what actually shows up on the SAT, and you’ll conquer the curriculum in no time.

**Practice, practice, practice.**

We offer plenty of SAT practice tests because they are a sure-fire way to increase SAT scores. Develop test-taking strategies like internalizing your pace. Continue taking practice tests until you finish all SAT questions comfortably and with time leftover.

Anthony summed it up best, saying, “*You want to find your test-taking comfort level before you go into the exam. Manhattan Review’s SAT practice exams made finishing the test easier. It probably helped too that I knew more of the answers.*“

- The SAT provides five scores:–three multiple-choice section scores for Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing; an essay score; and a total score.
- Each multiple-choice section is on a 200-800 scale.
- The total score is the sum of the three multiple-choice section scores.
- The range of total scores could be anywhere from 600-2400. It is valid for five years.

- Each section of the test differs slightly in its scoring method.
- Writing, the newest section on the SAT, is divided into a short essay and two multiple-choice sections.
- The essay is given a score of 0 to 6, with 6 being the highest score, by two human graders.
- The two scores are added together to create the complete essay score.
- The essay score will influence your overall writing score.
- Critical Reading and Mathematics consist of three multiple-choice sections.
- In addition to multiple-choice questions, mathematics will include 10 student-produced response questions, for which no penalty is given for a wrong answer.

- For each correct answer you give, you will be awarded one point.
- For each incorrect answer you give, one-quarter of a point will be deducted from your overall score.
- There is neither a penalty nor an award for any questions left blank.
- Your essay will be given a score anywhere between 2-12. You will be given a zero if your essay is in pen, illegible, or off topic.
- The end score report should be available online three weeks after the test, and by mail after approximately a month.
- It will provide not only your overall score, but also the scores you received on each section.

- The SAT is offered seven times a year.
- The most popular administration has traditionally been the May exam, but the SAT is also offered in June, October, November, December, January, and February/March.
- Registration is required approximately one month before the exam date.