Anatomy of SAT Algebra
Even without reading this book or preparing
for the SAT in any way, you’d still get some algebra problems right.
However, there’s a big difference between:
Sweating out a problem, breathing a sigh of relief
when you finish, and timidly moving on.
a problem, seeing that the next problem contains a herd of easily
manipulated variables, and licking your chops in expectation of
an easy kill.
You don’t want to be sweating through each question. You
want to be an elegant test-taking animal, a destroyer of SATs and
all algebra questions therein. It isn’t as hard as you might think
to unlock your inner Algebra Ace. The mistake many students make
is taking the SAT cold. That’s right—no preparation—not so much
as a flip through the information booklet.
By familiarizing yourself with every type of algebra question
you can encounter on the SAT, you can approach each algebra question
coolly and calmly, knowing in advance what needs to be done to answer
it correctly. It’s about switching from survival mode to attack
mode. It’s attack mode that will help you score high.
In this section we provide you with an X-ray of SAT algebra.
Later on, we’ll review the subtypes of questions and specific strategies
for approaching each one. By looking at these questions inside and
out, you’ll know more about how The College Board tests your skills
and how to approach each and every problem you’ll encounter on the
There are two types of math questions on the SAT: multiple-choice and