Crossing the threshold from the 600s into the 700s is a very big step towards getting closer to victory. Once you get to this point, you will be separating yourself from the pack and you’ll be scoring well above average.
To comfortably score this high, you need to be able to reliably draw upon your new SAT math knowledge and combine that with specific test-taking tactics. If this sounds a little bit scary, don’t worry!
Read on and I’ll break down exactly what you need to do in order to be prepared to beat the test.
Master the Basic Algebra Tactics for a 700 Score
Since algebra is the main focus of the new SAT math section, it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve specifically geared towards solving those types of problems quickly.
For some multiple-choice problems, working backwards is one of the best ways to quickly get to an answer. It allows you to decrease the amount of steps required to get to a solution, especially if you can eliminate more than one wrong answer choice at a time.
Number substitution is also another great way to deconstruct algebra problems. Sometimes, SAT test makers will try to confuse you by throwing in equations with lots of variables and very few concrete numbers. Inn order to combat this,
For slopes, inequalities, and radicals, a good way to eliminate answer choices effectively is to think in terms of negative and positive. For example, if a slope is going up from left to right, then you know that the slope has to be positive. If you’re asked to choose an ann equation that correctly matches the line, then you know that you can eliminate all answers with a negative slope.
Practice these tactics and get used to being able to solve SAT algebra problems in more than one way. By doing this, you’ll be able to come up with the most efficient way to solve a problem. Sometimes the most obvious way ends up being the one that takes the longest.
Assess and Work on Your SAT Math “Gaps”
In order to score somewhere in the 600s, you only need to drill and review the math topics that come up on the new SAT math. However, in order to score in the 700s, you need to figure out where your gaps are and work on your specific weaknesses.
There are three gaps that you can choose to work on: a knowledge gap, a time gap, and an SAT language gap. A knowledge gap indicates that you need to work a little more on math subject mastery. A time gap shows that you need to figure out which problems are slowing you down too much. An SAT language gap means that you need to get more accustomed with how math terms and vocabulary are used on the new math SAT.
When you do practice problems, take the time to reflect and think about why you miss certain questions and why you get other questions correctly. For the problems that you miss, is it because you didn’t know how to do the problem, or is it because you ran out of time?
The Final Word
Remember to focus on drilling those tactics each and every night. When you have those memorized, try to come up with your own shortcuts and tricks.
Finally, work hard to bridge those gaps and you’ll start to see improvement in your new SAT math scores.
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About Minh Nguyen
Minh's passion for helping students succeed grew during his time as a career counselor at the University of California, Irvine. Now, he's helping students all over the world by spilling SAT/ACT secrets through blog posts on Magoosh. When he's not busy tutoring or writing, he enjoys playing guitar, traveling, and talking about himself in third-person.
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