# Why You Should Study Math First When Preparing For The SAT

Jun 22, 2022

## You Have To Know The Rules To Win The Game

I like to divide the sections of the SAT into skill and concept sections. Of course, there are testing strategies that apply to ALL the sections of the test, but some sections require you to know specific concepts, like the Math sections. You need to know basic rules of grammar and some specific rhetorical skills for the Writing and Language section, but in my experience questions on the Math sections are based on the broadest range of topics. You need to give yourself enough time to master these topics in order to score well on the test.

## You Have To Know The Vocabulary

To be successful on the math sections of the SAT you have to understand what the question is asking. This means you have to know some basic math vocabulary: function, y-intercept, solution (this one is not as simple as it sounds), inscribed, mean, median, mode and standard deviation. The Writing and Language section contain specific vocabulary like gerunds, dependent clauses or parallel structure. You have to apply these concepts but you are not asked to identify them and they are not used in the question prompts. This is another example of the SAT being an exercise is opposites. Vocabulary is math but not English!

## You Need Time To Review and Practice The Math Concepts

The SAT tests specific math concepts: functions (linear, quadratic, and exponential), systems of equations, basic statistics and probability. It may have been a long time since you have used some of these facts. You will need time to review them and time to practice applying them in a manner appropriate to the SAT. Make sure you allow 20 - 30 minutes 4 to 5 times each week to complete practice problems and apply the skills you are learning. Just like getting ready for a big game, practicing for the SAT is fundamental to success.

## You Want To Make The MOST Of Your Time

Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result. So many of my clients want to take practice test after practice test. They want new material each time. The key to improvement is getting the questions you previously missed correct. If a baseball player keeps striking out, he has a coach watch his swing and tell him what changes to make. If a musician is having trouble playing a piece, they focus on the trouble spots and practice them until they are as natural as the rest of the song. REVIEW THE QUESTIONS YOU MISSED!!!!! That is where your opportunity to improve is. Make a list of math facts you need to know. Put is somewhere you will see it several times a day.

## You Make Time For Things That Are Important To You

There are 24 hours in a day. That is a fact. If you are a student, 5 days a week 7 or 8 of those hours are spent in school. Add 2 hours for homework, an hour for dinner and 8 hours for sleep (I know few of you get this much sleep but wouldn’t it be nice?) that leaves 3 hours Monday through Friday for everything else. If you leave your SAT practice for “when you have time,” it won’t happen. Schedule it. Even if it is only 15 minutes. Everyone can find 15 minutes in your day, and if you schedule 15 minutes 4 to 5 times a week, after a month you have done 4 hours of practice. If you leave practicing for the margins of your life, you can expect a marginal score. Harsh but true.