5 Tips for SAT Math Preparation

The Math section of the SAT can seem intimidating, but with the right preparation, it doesn’t need to be! There are lots of proven strategies to help students prepare for standardized tests that sometimes feel overwhelming at first. With the right amount of practice and studying, you’ll be surprised at how much you know! To help you get ready and feel confident going into the test, here are 5 Tips for SAT Math Preparation:

1. Learn to Translate “Math Language”

Remember the good old days when math was only about numbers? Frequently on the SAT, you will find yourself dealing with letters, symbols, and phrases – and don’t forget those pesky word problems! But don’t let all of that intimidate you. Look past the words and translate them into algebraic equations that you’re used to solving. Since many of the questions won’t include the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division symbols you’re used to seeing, get comfortable translating common math phrases into equations.

For example, if you see the words “more than” or “sum,” you can rest assured you’re going to be adding. If you see “difference” or “less than,” you’ll be ready to subtract. When the problem refers to “a number,” you should know that that will be your “x” for the given problem and that this is the number you’ll be trying to solve for. Being able to translate phrases into equations will speed up your thought process and help you stay focused on what is needed.

2. Plug It In

Many of the questions on the test will be multiple choice, meaning that the correct answer is right in front of you, and you just need to eliminate the other options. When dealing with multiple choice questions, sometimes the most efficient thing to do to save time and come up with the right answer is to plug in each of the possible answers and see which one works out! You won’t be able to use this strategy for every question, but it’s important to be able to recognize when it will be helpful, as it will save you valuable time.

3. Divide and Conquer

You’re probably used to hearing that it’s important on every test to answer every single question. That is not always necessarily true for the SAT. There are lots of questions, with tricky ones sprinkled in when you least expect them. If you plan to just move through the test in chronological order and not skip the ones that you find yourself spending too much time on, you might be doing yourself a disservice. With the SAT, it’s important to divide and conquer. Find the questions that you can solve easily, and answer all of those first. Then you can tackle the ones that are going to require a bit more time without leaving any easy points unclaimed.

4. Review Number Properties

One of the best things you can do for yourself leading up to Test Day is to make sure you have a solid grip on number properties and relationships. What are prime numbers? What is the order of operations? How can you tell the difference between percentages, ratios, and proportions? These are the skills you want to have in your toolbox for quick access, as they will come up frequently and you will want to have them solidly committed to memory, so you don’t have to waste too much time racking your brain.

5. Calculators or No Calculators?

Make sure you know whether your calculator is allowed on Test Day, and prepare accordingly. The official SAT website can help with this. If your calculator is allowed, make sure you’re comfortable using it and know how to find all its functions. If it’s not allowed, be sure you’re prepared to succeed without it.

Like any test, the Math SAT doesn’t need to be overwhelming as long as you’ve spent time studying and preparing. Always remember to get a good night’s sleep before the test, eat a well-balanced breakfast, and face your test with confidence!

{ Comments are closed }

How to Be a Successful Math Student

Maybe math isn’t your strong suit, or maybe it’s your favorite subject in school. Either way, there are some strategies to help you succeed whether you’re the next Pythagoras, or just trying to stay afloat and make it to next year!

1. Do Your Homework!
We know, we know. You probably hear this one all the time! But there’s a reason teacher and parents alike frequently stress the importance of doing the homework. Set up a regular time and place so that homework time becomes second nature, and then make sure to do it all. If your teacher assigned a certain problem, it’s likely that the problem represents an important concept that you’ll need to master as you move on to the next level of difficulty. So do your homework – all of it!

2. Get To Class
It’s important to be present for every class, as much as you possibly can. Math classes can move fast, and missing even one day can make the difference between understanding a new concept and feeling left out and confused. If you miss, there’s a good chance you’ll need to put in extra effort to get yourself caught up and back on track. So be sure to get to class as often as you possibly can.

3. Find a Study Partner
Some concepts will come naturally to you and others won’t be learned as easily. But maybe you have a friend who is having a better time with one of the concepts that are giving you trouble, or vice versa. Find a study partner who can help you, and who you can help as well. If you understand something your partner is struggling with, try explaining it to them. Teaching a concept to someone else often helps solidify it in your memory. There’s strength in numbers, so tackling a difficult subject with a partner is often more successful than trying to take it on alone.

4. Ask Questions
If the teacher is moving too quickly, or if you can’t help but feel like you missed a step somewhere in the process, don’t be afraid to speak up. Again, things often move quickly in math, and sometimes steps take leaps, and people get lost along the way. Remember – if you have a question, there’s a good chance that someone else in your class has the same question, too. Never be afraid to ask.

5. Ask for Help
Finally, if you feel like you’re falling behind, or if all the homework problems start looking like a foreign language, ask your teacher if there’s a good time for you to stop by for help. That’s what your teacher is there for, after all. Their job is to help you understand and master the concepts you’re learning, and most teachers are more than happy to devote time after hours to help a student succeed. Your teacher does not want to see you fail! A few minutes of private help might make all the difference, and you’ll end up enjoying class a lot more once you understand what’s going on.

Math can be found all over the place in your everyday life, no matter who you are or what you do, so it’s important to learn the concepts that will follow you for years. Build a solid foundation in math by being a good student, and it will take you far.

Find Youtube Videos for extra help. There are all sorts of tips out there for every aspect of math, like tips for multiplying in your head!

{ Comments are closed }

The Secret of Being a Good Math Tutor

Math is a difficult subject; this is one of the reasons, so many math tutors are sought out, even at the lower grade levels for students. So, how exactly should a tutor go about teaching and preparing for the materials they will work on with their students? What is the secret to being a good math tutor? These are a few things to consider, to hone in and improve your skill set, as a math tutor.

It is critical; you simply won’t get anywhere without it. The Pythagorean theory, acute or obtuse angles, geometry, algebra, and AP courses. There are so many different formulas to learn, figures to remember, and numbers to input. Guess what? Students get frustrated and get things wrong. If you are going to yell or jump down their throat when they don’t understand something, you aren’t going to get very far. You have to show patience, and teach them the basics from the very start.

Knowledge vs. Understanding
No, they aren’t the same thing. You can be knowledgeable about every theory or formula in math; however, if you don’t understand how to teach/convey that message to your student, you aren’t going to get far. You have to understand the questions students ask. You need to understand how to present different materials, and you have to understand how individual students think. This is the best and only way to teach and ensure each gets what you are teaching them.

Check out this advice.

Look for Alternatives
The conclusion is the conclusion. If it is a right angle, it has to equal 90 degrees. Although this is a basic example, some formulas are far more complex. If one student takes one approach and gets the right answer, while another chooses an alternative approach (and actually shows their work to get there), if the answer is correct, it is ultimately correct. Keep in mind that every individual learns and deducts numbers differently. So listen to your student, walk them through, and go with the approach that works best for them.

When it comes to math, 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2 (it does, but again, the approach/method of getting there can differ). If you want to improve upon your skills and become an excellent tutor, these are a few of how you can modify your teaching approach, and truly improve your skills, so you can better help the students you are working with as a math tutor.

{ Comments are closed }

Best Apps to Learn Math

You can’t get around the online, digital world we live in today. So, if you want your kids to learn, and study, the math they are learning at school, you better find a way to bring it to the online world. The use of apps is just one of the many tools your kids are going to want to use, when they are learning new, complex information, in their math class. But, what are the best apps to learn math? These are a few to consider when you want to get your kids to do their work and learn the subject matter as well.

Sushi Monster  
Who doesn’t like sushi? With 12 levels of play, the intuitive, playful monster character will interact with your child and engage them in the new math they are being taught. This app teaches multiplication and addition modules, where the player has to use plates to make the right combination, to achieve the desired solution. Each round has 14 target numbers, and it gets progressively tougher, so your child will learn, and have fun while playing with this app.

Chalkboard math  
At a price of just $0.99, this app helps students practice the basic math skills they are learning in class. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, and basic division, and a feature answer mode or flashcard mode is available for use. With verbal answering options, your kids are more likely to engage, and want to practice the basic equations they were taught in class.

Number rack  
This app utilizes visualizing the numbers, placing them on a rack, and getting kids to learn where they should be placed in a particular equation or sequence. Using movable colored beads, players will group numbers also and subtraction equations, to achieve the desired result in an equation. It is an engaging app, for the juvenile (elementary student) who is having a hard time grasping onto the basics of what they are learning in class.

Due to the nature of math, and the fact that it is accurate (rather than theoretical), many students have a hard time grasping and enjoying the subject matter. You want your kids to get a good start with math from an early age. These are a few of the many fun apps you can place on your phone or a tablet, to help them engage, learn, and have a good time while doing so.

{ Comments are closed }

Why Should We Know the Pythagorean Theory?

Okay, you know that A2 +B2 = C2 (squared), but is it all that important to learn the Pythagorean Theorem? Does not having to measure the third side of a triangle pushes you to want to learn the Pythagorean theorem? Of course, you need it in your geometry class if you want to get out of high-school (and college geometry), but apart from that, where are you going to use it? These are a few real-life scenarios where the theorem might come into play and help you out in your everyday life.

1. Road trip anyone?  
If you are meeting at a destination before taking off on a road trip, the theorem can help you out. If you are already there, and a friend is going to meet you at a point, the theorem will present you with alternative roads he can travel to get there. Using the theorem, you can figure out which route is shortest, most direct, and will get him to the meeting point in the shortest amount of time.

2. Contractors 
If you are a painting contractor, this theorem can also help you out when tackling a house painting project. When using ladders, it is important to determine how all a ladder has to be to reach the highest point safely and at which angles to place the ladder, to do the job quickly, efficiently, and safely. Using the base (floor), the house, and the angle at which you will place the angle, you can determine which ladder to use, to complete the job.

3. Computer or TV purchase
In certain living room areas or offices, a screen which is too large (or small) can cause issues. Strain the eyes, make it hard to read information, or otherwise make things difficult to view when working (or watching TV). The Pythagorean Theorem can help you here as well. You can simply use the diagonal screen size, length from where you will sit/work, and find the third angle to determine if it is the right fit in the space.

Sure, these are basic examples, but you can use the theorem in many practices of your everyday life (professionally and at home). So, why not pull out your old math books, and dust off the cover, to take on a refresher course of the Pythagorean theorem, as well as other useful theorems you can use which were taught to you so many years ago. In case you forget it, like most people do, check out the video below!

{ Comments are closed }

Understanding Trigonometry

To understand what is trigonometry, let us look at the following trigonometry examples:

1. Suppose a student goes to visit the Eiffel tower. If the student is looking at the top of the tower from a distance, then we can imagine a right triangle forming between the line of sight of the student, the tower and the base of the tower to a foot of student. Is it possible to find the height of the tower without actually measuring it?

2. A girl sees a hot air balloon in the air at a certain position A. After a while the balloon has moved to position B. Is it possible to find how high above the ground is the point B, considering that again there are right triangles formed between line of sight of the girl, the altitude of the balloons and horizontal distance between the girl and the balloons?

3. A boy is sitting on one bank of a river sees a bird on top of a tree on the other side of the river. Then a right triangle can be again imagined between, the line of sight of the boy, the width of the river and the height of the tree. Is it possible to find the height of the tree or the width of the river without actually measuring it?

For all the above examples, the distance or the heights can be calculated by using a special mathematical technique, which falls under a subtopic of math called “trigonometry”. The word ‘trigonometry’ if split to three parts: ‘tri’ (meaning ‘three’ in Greek), ‘gon'(meaning ‘sides’ in Greek) and ‘metron’ (meaning ‘measure’ in Greek). So we see that the word ‘trigonometry’ is derived from the Greek language. In math, trigonometry tells us how the angles and sides of a triangle are related.

In a right-angled triangle, for each of the acute angles, the ratio of the sides to each other are called trigonometric ratios of that particular acute angle. Though popularly the trigonometric ratios are studied for acute angles only, the knowledge of trigonometric ratios can be applied to other angles as well. The trigonometric ratios of a particular angle also obey some identities, which are called trigonometric identities.

{ Comments are closed }