Top 4 Math Tricks for Mastering the SATs

Posted on April 11, 2015 | Filed in SAT

Top 4 Math Tricks for Mastering the SATs

The quantitative section on the SAT exam can be very tricky. Find out the top tricks to master any math problem and out-trick the test makers by getting a higher grade.

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.

  1. 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 a2+b2=c2.

  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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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