Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let your pencil do the walking

The #1 mistake that I see students make on SAT math problems is that the do not read the problem thoroughly. To do so, you must slow down and read the question word by word, underlying key words.

The #2 mistake that I witness is that students try to do the math of the SAT in their heads. This causes two problems.

First, doing math in your head is prone to making simple math errors. Second, it may actually take you LONGER to do the problem in your head, than if you wrote it down. Let's take a brief look at both:

1. Errors - Too many times have I been guilty of this myself. Speeding through simple arithmetic and making common errors, 2 + 3 = 6. Or the blunder I pulled on the June 07 SAT, a right triangle has base legs of 2 & 3, what is the hypotenuse (there was a figure). I of course added 2 + 3 and got 5, so the answer was the square root of 5! Which was of course one of the choices. But it was not the answer, the square root of 13 is the answer. Had I written down a~squared + b~squared = c~squared and actually entered the numbers and multiplied, then added: (2 x 2) + (3 x 3), I would not have scored 1 question less than a 700!

So, slow down. Write down. Wear your pencil out, it is how you have always learned to do math.

2. It may actually take longer. This may not sound right, but it can be true. While taking the SAT you have anxiety & are nervous. There is a lot going on in your head. If you use your trusty arm and pencil to help you organize your math processes, it might result in a faster, more accurate result.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Forty Days to Oct 4th

Only 40 days left to work on what you do not know.

Slope of a line is absolutely on the SAT Math section. You may read, linear function, the graph of a line, f(x) is directly proportional to x and several other key words and phrases that immediately inform you that the question is about a line.

Here is a review of some general slope ideas.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

SAT Functions f(x) #2

Here is the second in my series on functions on the SAT.

To practice how the SAT Tests functions, use the Official SAT Study Guide & download my Functions "Cheat Sheet." It lists all of the function problems in the study guide.

I'll write more function problems and then solve them on a YouTube video

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back with functions, f(x)

Here is the first of many SAT Math lessons to come.

Functions on the SAT Math, f(x)