Cut Your SAT or ACT Math Study in Half
Watching the spectacular harvest moon at Rye’s Oakland Beach last week, my eyes caught the twinkle of Rye Playland in the distance. The cooler breezes reminded me that college exams – ACT and SAT would soon be the topic for high school students. The first SAT is Oct. 8th; the first ACT will be Sept. 21st. How can students prepare, and use essential skills to cut their study time?
By knowing the content of the SAT Math and ACT Math, you can maximize your study time. The chart below reveals the areas of SAT math.
How do the math questions break down in the SAT?
- Algebra + functions, 33%
- Geometry/coordinate geometry, 29%
- Data, statistics, 14%
- Number theory + percents, 24%
What is the content of the math questions in the ACT?
- 19 algebra questions = 31%
- 23 plane geometry + coordinate geometry = 38%
- 14 pre-algebra = 23%
- 4 trig questions = 6%
So, by concentrating your study on Algebra and Geometry/coordinate geometry, you will be prepared for approximately 62% of the math questions in the SAT, or 69% of questions in the ACT. What a time saver it would be to have the content under your belt!
In addition to having a good solid review of the above topics, learning how to strategize the correct answer is extremely valuable.
8 math solution strategies for both tests:
1. ANALYZE the Answer Choices (eliminate poor answers first).
2. BACKsolve the Answer Choices (Use the answers given and plug them into the problem.)
3. PIN Numbers (Choose a simple number to replace the variable.)
4. SPLIT the Question into Parts
5. DIAGRAM the Question and draw the figures.
6. If you can eliminate 1 or 2 answers, guess on the SAT. For the ACT, always fill in an answer, because there is no penalty for guessing.
7. For the ACT, try the middle value first. Solve the problem. If it’s too big, cross off any numbers that are larger than the one you tried. Then, try the remaining answers.
8. For both SAT and ACT, read the problem carefully. Underline/circle key words.
Theresa Yin-Michna, M.A. has taught over 2,000 hours of test prep. She enjoys seeing her students succeed. 93% of her students are accepted at one of their top 3 colleges. Visit her at www.TheresaMichna.com, or Michna.firstname.lastname@example.org.