Approach every SAT Math section like this party. On the
first go-around, look at and answer the easy, familiar items first.
This process is made simpler by the fact that every Math section
is set up in order of difficulty. The first item is the
easiest; the next item is a tiny bit tougher, and so on until the
end. A typical twenty-item Math set breaks down the following way:
Keep this chart in mind as you take practice tests, but
also remember that the order of difficulty is simply based on what
the test-makers consider to be easy, medium, and hard. You are your
own person, and you may find item 15 to be much easier to complete
than item 5.
Answering every item in order—no matter how long it takes—is
a classic SAT mistake. Students start with item 1 and then just
chug along until time is called. Don’t be that chugger! If an item
takes more than a minute to solve, skip it and move on to the next
item. The goal on the first run-through of an SAT Math section is
to answer the items with which you’re most comfortable. Save the
other items for the second go-around. Although the next item is
statistically a little tougher, you might find it easier to answer.