Without practice, you won’t master SAT numbers
& operations. You’ve learned quite a bit since you picked up
this little book, but now comes the hard part—you have
to apply it to testlike items. There are two practice sets at the
end of this book: one made up of multiple-choice items and one made
up of grid-ins. Here are some tips for getting the most out of these
- Do not time yourself on the first
practice set. When you begin, don’t worry about
time at all. Take as long as you need to work through each set.
- Read the explanations for all items, regardless
of whether you got them right or wrong. This is critical—always
read all the explanations for each
set’s items. The idea is to develop skills that help you score points
as quickly as possible. Most important, scoring a point doesn’t
mean you got it in the most efficient manner. The overarching goal
is to apply the methods you’ve learned. Whether
you get all, some, or none of the practice items right doesn’t matter.
After the first set, you may want to start paying
attention to time. Certainly by the actual test, give yourself about
a minute or so per item.
All the vital information and snazzy strategies
you learn in this book won’t do a lick of good if you don’t use
them on the day of the test. Sadly, this happens more often than
you might think. Students acquire useful tips, but once the test
starts on Saturday morning, all of it goes out the window.
To help ensure this doesn’t happen to your, tackle these
sets using the skills and strategies you have just learned.
Don’t worry about how many you get right or wrong; they’re just
practice sets. Instead, focus on how well you use the techniques
you’ve learned. When you look at a numbers & operations item,
can you tell what method would work best? If it’s a Real World item,
how do you translate the information into an equation? If it’s a
Numbers Game item, what are some good numbers to use as substitutes
for the variables?
Don’t get frustrated by your progress on the practice
sets. Every mistake you make on the practice sets is one that you
will avoid on the real test. Yes, there are some rules you don’t
know, but learning about these on practice items corrects that deficit.
When the real SAT rolls around, you’ll have yet another tool in
your arsenal that you can employ if needed.