SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

3 Expert Tips for Using the Unit Circle

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Aug 21, 2018 8:00:00 PM

ACT Math, SAT Math, General Education

If you’re studying trig or calculus—or getting ready to—you’ll need to get familiar with the unit circle. The unit circle is an essential tool used to solve for the sine, cosine, and tangent of an angle. But how does it work? And what information do you need to know in order to use it?

In this article, we explain what the unit circle is and why you should know it. We also give you three tips to help you remember how to use the unit circle.

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The Complete Guide to SAT Math Word Problems

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Jun 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

SAT Math

About 25% of your total SAT Math section will be word problems, meaning you will have to create your own visuals and equations to solve for your answers. Though the actual math topics can vary, SAT word problems share a few commonalities, and we’re here to walk you through how to best solve them.

This post will be your complete guide to SAT Math word problems. We'll cover how to translate word problems into equations and diagrams, the different types of math word problems you’ll see on the test, and how to go about solving your word problems on test day.

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What Is the SAT No Calculator Section? 5 Tips to Do Well

Posted by Rebecca Safier | May 5, 2018 8:00:00 AM

SAT Math

While the prohibition of a calculator on some SAT Math questions might leave you worried, rest assured that you don't need a calculator on this section. In fact, having one would probably just slow you down!

This guide will discuss the third section of the SAT: the Math with No Calculator section. Read on to learn the types of questions you can expect to see and how you can get a high score. But first, let's go over the format of the SAT Math No Calculator section.

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How to Stop Running Out of Time on SAT Math

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Mar 29, 2018 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

The SAT is designed to be taken by every high school student in the country, which means it can only test math concepts that every student has had experience with. The way the creators of the test make it hard is by presenting questions in unusual ways—ways that you never see in your math classes—and by putting you on a strict time crunch.

If you've ever started freaking out at the end of an SAT Math section, unsure how you're ever going to get through the entire section, you know exactly what we mean.

But don't despair! In this guide, we'll walk you through the timing of the test and teach you how to beat the clock and maximize your time on the SAT.

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Circles on SAT Math: Formulas, Review, and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Mar 7, 2018 1:00:00 PM

SAT Math

Though triangles are far and away the most common geometric shape on the SAT, make sure not to underestimate the importance of circles. You will generally come across 2-3 questions on circles on any given SAT, so it’s definitely in your best interest to understand the ins and out of how they work. And this guide is here to show you the way.

This will be your complete guide to SAT circles, including areas, circumferences, degrees, arcs, and points on a circle. We’ll take you through what these terms mean, how to manipulate and solve for various aspects of a circle, and how to tackle the most difficult SAT circle questions you may see on test day.

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Functions on SAT Math: Linear, Quadratic, and Algebraic

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 8, 2017 11:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT functions have the dubious honor of being one of the trickiest topics on the SAT math section. Luckily, this is not because function problems are inherently more difficult to solve than any other math problem, but because most students have simply not dealt with functions as much as they have other SAT math topics.

This means that the difference between missing points on this seemingly tricky topic and acing them is simply a matter of practice and familiarization. And considering that function problems generally show up on average of three to four times per test, you will be able to pick up several more SAT math points once you know the rules and workings of functions.

This will be your complete guide to SAT functions. We'll walk you through exactly what functions mean, how to use, manipulate, and identify them, and exactly what kind of function problems you'll see on the SAT.

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Statistics on SAT Math: Strategies for Mean, Median, Mode

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT statistics questions usually involve finding the mean, median, and/or mode(s) of a set of numbers. You have probably dealt with with these concepts in your high school math classes but, as always, the SAT likes to put their own special twist on simple concepts such as these.

Whether or not you are familiar with these terms and the techniques needed to find a mean, median, or mode, this guide is for you. SAT questions are always tricky and knowing how to handle their version of these types of questions will serve you well as you go through your test.

This will be your complete guide to SAT means, medians, and modes—what they mean, how you'll see them on the test, and how to solve even the most complicated of SAT statistics questions.

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How to Improve Low SAT Math Scores: 9 Strategies

Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 5, 2017 4:24:00 PM

SAT Strategies, SAT Math

Are you struggling with SAT Math scores between 300-500? You're not alone—hundreds of thousands of students are scoring in this range. But many don't know the best ways to break out of this score range and score a 600 or above.

Here we'll discuss how to improve your SAT math score effectively, and why it's so important to do so. Put these principles to work and I'm confident you'll be able to improve your score.

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Complete Guide to Probability on SAT Math + Practice Questions

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 28, 2017 8:31:00 AM

SAT Math

A probability question asks you to identify how likely a particular event is to occur. How likely is it that you’ll pick a red marble out of a bag? How likely is it that a particular person will be chosen out of a lottery? How likely is it that two or more events will both occur? These are just some of the many different types of probability questions you may encounter on the SAT.

This guide will take you through all aspects of probability you’ll need to know for the SAT—exactly what probability means, the typical probability questions you’ll see on the SAT math section, and the steps needed to solve them.

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Heart of Algebra: Key Strategies for SAT Math

Posted by Dora Seigel | Aug 16, 2017 9:00:00 PM

SAT Math, New SAT

On the newly redesigned 2016 SAT, the math section content is divided into four categories by the College Board: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Passport to Advanced Math, and Additional Topics in Math. Heart of Algebra accounts for the largest part of the SAT math section (33% of the test), so you need to be well prepared for it. In this post, I'll be discussing this category's content and question types, working through practice problems, and giving tips on how to ace these questions.

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3 Key Strategies for SAT Passport to Advanced Math

Posted by Vero Lecocq | Feb 17, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

Worried about exponents or coordinate geometry on the SAT? Never fear, this guide is here!

I'll explain everything you need to know about SAT Math's trickiest subject area: Passport to Advanced Math. This topic tests all the algebra skills you must have firmly in place before you move into the study of more complex math, including systems of equations, polynomials, and exponents. Of course, the questions are presented in a uniqely SAT way, so I'll walk you through exactly what you can expect from this subsection of SAT Math.

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7 Most Common SAT Math Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 22, 2016 8:30:00 AM

SAT Math

I spent several years tutoring students in SAT Math, and many found the section frustrating. The first test-takers for the new SAT in March felt the same. Some struggled because they felt their strong suit was English and were irked by the content, mental math, and the pacing of SAT Math. Others found that although they considered themselves excellent math students, they struggled to finish and get the score they want.

No matter what group they fell into, students tended to make the same seven mistakes on the SAT Math section. In this guide, I'll tell you what those mistakes are, give you examples, and let you know to avoid making these mistakes in the future.

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Problem Solving and Data Analysis: Key SAT Math Concepts

Posted by Vero Lecocq | Aug 5, 2016 7:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT Math is divided intro three domains:

  • Heart of Algebra
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis
  • Passport to Advanced Math

It's a good idea to get really familiar with what's going to be on the test, where it was derived, and what the SAT is really testing.

This post will focus on one domain—Problem Solving and Data Analysis. This is an opportunity to get cozy with these concepts, and with the overall tapes of information that test-makers are looking for. Problem Solving and Data Analysis problems are all about applying your math knowledge to practical situations and looking at actual statistics instead of abstract, theoretical scenarios.

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How to Figure Out What SAT Math Questions Are Really Asking

Posted by Vero Lecocq | Apr 6, 2016 7:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT Math questions often hit you with a lot of jargon. Some types of questions are prone to being pretty wordy, and many problems just don't make sense—they simply don't click in your brain.

Well, this state of affairs simply will not do. There's got to be a better way of hammering away at these problems. And, lo and behold, the post that follows has arrived to illuminate this path.

This article will walk you through how to figure out what an SAT Math question is really getting at—what it's truly asking under all that banter.

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Complete Guide to Fractions and Ratios on SAT Math

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Mar 15, 2016 5:00:00 PM

SAT Math

You likely had your first taste of working with fractions sometime in elementary school, though it's probably been a while since you've had to deal with how they shift, change, and interact with one another. To refresh, fractions and ratios are both used to represent pieces of a whole. Fractions tell you how many pieces you have compared to a potential whole amount (3 red marbles in a bag of 5, for example), while ratios compare pieces to each other (3 red marbles to 2 blue marbles) or, more rarely, pieces to the whole amount (again, 3 red marbles in 5 total).

If this sounds complicated to you right now, don’t worry! We will go through all the principles behind fractions and ratios in this guide. If this seems easy to you right now, definitely check out the practice problems at the end of the guide to make sure you have mastered all the different kinds of fraction and ratio problems you’ll see on the test. The SAT likes to present familiar concepts in unfamiliar ways, so don’t let your mastery of fractions lead you to make assumptions about how you’ll see fractions and ratios on the test.

No matter how comfortable you are (or are not) with fractions and ratios right now, this guide is for you. Here, we will go through the complete breakdown of fractions and ratios on the SAT—what they mean, how to manipulate them, and how to answer the most difficult fraction and ratio problems on the SAT.

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