Knowing about a strategy doesn’t help you if you never
use it on the SAT. Many students read a book like this, say “Yes!
That’s all true!” then never once apply the techniques on real or
practice tests. As you might expect, their scores don’t improve
very much, if at all.
To prevent this from happening to you, look at every item
you encounter and always first ask yourself the question, “Which
strategy would work well on this item?” Sometimes more than one
strategy will do the trick—that’s why learning many different strategies
is so helpful.
The items themselves often contain clues within the stem,
and that will give you a good idea of what strategy to use:
|If you see . . . .
||Then you probably have a . . .
|Fractions, roots, radicals,
or exponents that need to be added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided using
fairly simple operations.
|More complex items that require using
numerous operations to simplify an expression
before solving it.
|Items that test the properties
of positive, negative, even, odd, and prime numbers.
|Items that use a real-life context
to test your knowledge of percents, sets, and ratios.
||The Real World