SAT Math Study Tip #1

Sat Math

When studying for the math section of the SAT, students are always encouraged to use a variety of strategies. Of course, the “right” strategy has to be chosen for each question, and this is where things can get a little confusing. The student wonders, “how do I memorize all these strategies, and even if I do, how will I know which strategy to pick?”

Every student knows how it feels, after they read a math problem, to wait and hope that the right strategy “pops” into their head.

It is more important to choose strategies and methods that you understand the most, even if they are not the fastest, neatest, nor most perfect strategy for that particular question type.

The reason for this is simple:

The strategies that make the most sense to you are the ones that you will actually use on the test the most, and that you will have the most success with.

And this means that they will help you to score the best mark that you can.

A study strategy that I have developed and used for many years, is called the Principle of One. It is a strategy that involves only multiplication and division, and ends up being very fast when you use your calculator. It can be used for many different problem types, and it always helps students to understand and make sense of the problem. No more sitting and waiting for something to “pop” into your head!

Here’s how it works:

Question 1: If 4 g of coconut is needed to produce 24 Coco Monkey candy bars, how many of the candy bars can be made from 70 g of coconut?

How to think this out using the Principle of One:  When I am asked how many bars can be made from 70 g of coconut, I want to know how many bars can be made from 1 g, and then it will be easy to figure out how many bars for 70 g (I will just multiply by 70). Remember to use your calculator, and then the solution will come quickly.

Step 1: Set up your division equation:

Step 2: Multiply

6 bars x 70g = ?

Step 3: Answer

420 bars (can be made from 70 g of coconut)

 

Question 2: A chance can label 500 bottles in 20 minutes. How many minutes will it take to label 60 bottles?

Using the Principle of One: When I am asked how many minutes it will take for 60 bottles, I want to know how many minutes it will take to label 1 bottle, and then it will be easy to figure out how many minutes it will take for 60 bottles (I will just multiply by 60).

Step 1: Set up your division equation:

Step 2: Multiply

0.04 minutes x 60 bottles = ?

Step 3: Answer

24 minutes(to label 60 bottles)

 

Question 3: A water pump drains a 200-gallon tank in 25 minutes. How long will it take to drain a 960-gallon tank?

Using the Principle of One: When I am asked how long it will take to drain 960 gallons, I want to know how long it will take to drain 1 gallon, and then it will be easy to figure out how long it will take for 960 gallons (I will just multiply by 960).

Step 1: Set up your division equation:

Step 2: Multiply

0.125 minutes x 960 gallons = ?

Step 3: Answer

120 minutes (to drain 960 gallons)

 

As you can see from these examples, it doesn’t take long for the Principle of One to “pop” into your head once you practice using it for even a short time. This is because it involves just multiplying and dividing, instead of more complicated algebra.

Once you start using it for as many different problems types as you can, it will be a strategy that is faster than algebra, with the added benefit that you feel complete confidence that your answer is correct, because your thinking is so logical. And when you are taking the SAT, this is the best feeling of all.

 

 

 

When studying for the math section of the SAT, students are always encouraged to use a variety of strategies. Of course, the “right” strategy has to be chosen for each question, and this is where things can get a little confusing. The student wonders, “how do I memorize all these strategies, and even if I do, how will I know which strategy to pick?”

 

Every student knows how it feels, after they read a math problem, to wait and hope that the right strategy “pops” into their head.

 

It is more important to choose strategies and methods that you understand the most, even if they are not the fastest, neatest, nor most perfect strategy for that particular question type.

 

The reason for this is simple:

 

The strategies that make the most sense to you are the ones that you will actually use on the test the most, and that you will have the most success with.

 

And this means that they will help you to score the best mark that you can.

 

A study strategy that I have developed and used for many years, is called the Principle of One. It is a strategy that involves only multiplication and division, and ends up being very fast when you use your calculator. It can be used for many different problem types, and it always helps students to understand and make sense of the problem. No more sitting and waiting for something to “pop” into your head!

 

Here’s how it works:

 

Question 1: If 4 g of coconut is needed to produce 24 Coco Monkey candy bars, how many of the candy bars can be made from 70 g of coconut?

 

How to think this out using the Principle of One:  When I am asked how many bars can be made from 70 g of coconut, I want to know how many bars can be made from 1 g, and then it will be easy to figure out how many bars for 70 g (I will just multiply by 70). Remember to use your calculator, and then the solution will come quickly.


Sat Math Prep

Step 1: Set up your division equation


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