Posts filed under: SAT Strategies


“How do we get these scores to go up?” I hear this question from parents and students all the time, and my reply is always: “Practice, practice, practice.” There’s no major secret; it’s a matter of putting in the time and effort by completing as many timed practice sections as possible and following specific strategies and methods to save time and increase raw points.

But … there are 4 very important letters that I always stress to all my students: RTFQ. Read The Freakin’ Question! Many times, students will read the words to a question but not closely enough. They’ll see one thing and then think another so it’s truly a matter of slowing down and remaining focused, which takes lots of practice.

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Pi, Sun Tzu, and The Art of SAT Math

Pie … mmmm. There’s Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb …Wait a minute, no not that kind! We’re talking about the other kind of pi. You know, the 3.141592 etc. kind, in which the numbers go on forever.

Recognizing this simple homonym (wink, wink) will inevitably raise your overall SAT math score, which is important, and it also leads to a greater discussion about the specific types of math questions on the test.

Sun Tzu once wrote in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” This very valid quote applies perfectly to the SAT math section since each math question provides its own little skirmish for students.

To become a truly great math warrior, only 2 things are required: practice … and more practice. The SAT is given so frequently now that all types of questions essentially repeat themselves to varying degrees, so if you’re able to complete as many problems as possible beforehand, you will own the advantage.

Math questions on the SAT can basically be broken down into 5 different categories:

1. Algebra I & II

2. Geometry

3. Statistics

4. Arithmetic

5. Tricky Word Problems

Many times I’ve heard my students say, “Is that even a math problem?” And I usually respond, “Not really, it’s more of a brain teaser.”

If you are good at math, problem solving, and puzzles, then the SAT is really not that daunting; it just takes patience, close-reading, and again lots and lots of practice.

High math scores (600-700+) can be achieved by taking many timed practice sections, by learning from each small mistake made, and by correcting those small errors in the future.

So start practicing now (and/or sign up for my course) and become an SAT math samurai!

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