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SAT Math Articles

This page features blog posts about SAT math. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Let your favorite tutor know that the WyzAnt community could benefit from a blog post about SAT math!
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Mathematical Journeys: The Function Machine

y = f(x)

I can't tell you how many times I've had students come to me profoundly confused about their entire math unit, all because their teachers never fully explained this concept. Teachers throw this equation up on the board without discussion as if it explains everything – which it does, but only if you know what it means. So let's discuss!

First off, it's important to remember that this is not just an equation; it's an indication of a larger concept. We'll get to that in a minute, but let's start at the beginning.

Imagine that I have a little machine which I set on the table in front...

The Test Prep Industry

I'd like to rant, if I could, about the test prep industry, specifically as it relates to the SAT and the ACT.

THEY LIE. They give their students "practice tests" that aren't real practice tests! They make up their own "SAT" or "ACT" and train their kids on that and it makes me so mad, because they have no idea how to model such a test! It's like training someone how to spike a volleyball and then telling them that they're going to do great on their basketball game on Saturday. LIES, I TELL YOU!!

And THEN, they tell you that all you need to do in order to get ready for the test is study...

SAT ACT Test Taking Tips

Be Prepared!

The night before, collect

• plenty of sharpened #2 pencils
• an eraser
• a small pencil sharpener (in case your pencils break during the exam)
• a watch (you cannot rely on the proctor and there may not be a wall clock or it may be on the wall behind your seat)
• directions to the testing center
• tissues
• medicine (if necessary)
• disposable earplugs (if you find the background noise of people coughing and fidgeting distracting)

It may be helpful to collect these items in a clear plastic (Ziploc) bag that you can grab and go in the morning...

As the school year begins to wind down, I have noticed that many of the students I help have begun the journey of signing up for next years classes or, better yet, deciding where they will start the next chapter of their life in college. I began to reminisce on my Senior year of high school and how stressful that year was for me. It was so easy to become overwhelmed by all of the choices that (seemed to be) abruptly placed in front of me: what college should I go to? What should I major in? Should I choose a college close to home? Should I rush? Should I go to a college with all of my friends...

The IMPORTANCE of ALGEBRA!

To My Future and Current Students,

I can't stress enough the IMPORTANCE of ALGEBRA! Of all the mathematics I have taken in my lifetime...BELIEVE ME IT'S BEEN A LOT, ALGEBRA is the only course that is WOVEN into every single course. I was lucky enough that my first mathematics teacher in High School (Mr. Large), turned me from a B student into an A student such that I graduated High School with a 4.0 in mathematics. The one piece of advice he gave me that I will share with you is that...I NEED TO CHECK, DOUBLE CHECK AND TRIPLE CHECK ALL OF MY ANSWERS!

Algebra is a required course (prerequisite)...

Advice to my younger self- the student

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time.

While I was able to get good grades (A- average)...

Suggestions for finding the BEST tutor for your child or student.

When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too.

I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER...

Last week before March SAT - Don't Panic

We've finally entered the final week before the March 9th SAT test. All my students have been working very hard, and your dedication is about to pay off. Just remember during this last week to practice the methods I've taught you so that they're second nature come test time. I wouldn't recommend studying at all past Thursday - remember what I've taught you about cramming vs. resting your brain. You're going to do great, so just remember my face - like you've seen countless times in our lessons - reminding you, "Don't. Panic."

Here are some other good reminders for test day:
-Get plenty...

Consolidate - POINT SLOPE FORMULA is the SLOPE EQUATION

Did you ever realize that the SLOPE EQUATION is the SAME as the POINT SLOPE FORMULA???? WHAT?!?! Check it out:

POINT SLOPE FORMULA is (y-y1)=m(x-x1)

SLOPE EQUATION IS m = (y-y1)/(x-x1)

Can you see where I'm going with this?
-Take the first equation
-Divide both sides by (x-x1)
-The result is the second equation!!!

So now you've shortened your "list of equations to learn" without really doing anything ;)

Students versus Clients...

As members of WyzAnt, we are fully aware of the fact that we are dealing with two different entities when it comes to tutoring. We usually communicate with the clients (parents/guardians) but we tutor the students. Generally speaking, there is almost complete coincidence between these two entities in terms of what direction the tutoring should take. If a particular student is struggling in a class (say, Geometry), and the "client" can tell this from progress reports, report cards, or simple communication with the teacher, then it's pretty obvious that Geometry is the course in question (though...