It's fitting that many juniors will be taking their SAT on 3-14! The following are some thoughts for students to take with them on Saturday morning.
Each question on the Math section is worth about 11 points. Six to seven careless errors (which is common) can cost you up to 90 points! How many students would like to increase their score 90 points without that high-powered SAT Course? It is within you! So what can you do to minimize the damage?
- HIGHLIGHT (circle, underline) KEY WORDS AS YOU READ THE QUESTION.
- LOOK FOR WORDS/PHRASES LIKE EVEN, POSITIVE INTEGERS VS. INTEGERS, NOT, LEAST POSSIBLE, ...
- SLOW DOWN! WRITE OUT DETAILS - DO NOT SKIP STEPS; DON'T WORRY ABOUT FINISHING EVERY QUESTION. IT'S THE 6-7 CARELESS ERRORS THAT HURT MOST!
- IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT ABOUT DOING THE PROBLEM ALGEBRAICALLY, PLUG IN SIMPLE WHOLE NUMBERS LIKE 1, 2 OR 3. See Example below.
EVEN INTEGERS: ...,-4,-2,0,2,4,..
PRIMES: 2,3,5,7,11,... NOTE THAT ONE IS NOT PRIME!!
- ZERO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER ON THE SATS AND MATH IN GENERAL! LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT ZERO:
WHOLE, EVEN, INTEGER, NOT POSITIVE, NOT NEGATIVE, 0/5 = 0, 5/0 IS UNDEFINED!
Possible solution: Unless you're a math team whiz, you should immediately substitute a simple whole number for m and not worry about c. Also, ignore the phrase "arithmetic mean" which is math terminology for the common average.
"Plug in" m = 1: We want the average of 2⋅31 and 2⋅31+2. This translates to the average of 6 and 54 which equals 30. If you're prone to any careless arithmetic errors (order of operations, exponent issues), do this on the calculator even though your math teacher would cringe!
We want to express 30 as c⋅31+1 or 9c. Thus 9c = 30 or c = 30/9 = 10/3 = 3.33 if you're gridding in.
- The above example would normally be among the last 5 questions of a section, therefore, considered to be more difficult. Students should not give up too quickly on these. They often can be solved by straightforward methods like the one described above.
- For the mathematical purists out there who are offended by "plug-in" methods (btw, I'm one of those purists!), this post was about providing test-taking strategies or 'survival' techniques. For the classroom development of algebraic skills, I would certainly have demonstrated an algebraic method:
2⋅3m+2 = 2⋅32⋅3m = 18(3m). The average of 2(3m) and 18(3m) = 10(3m) = 10(3-1)(3m+1) =
(10/3)(3m+1) ,etc. Wonderful review of exponents and operations but not necessarily for everyone taking this test...