Today begins a new series we’ll be running here on the Higher Learning Test Prep blog.  We’ll be sharing just a couple ideas about how to prep for the SAT or ACT.  We’ve asked our SAT and ACT tutors to list the most helpful bit of advice they can think of for improving your SAT or ACT score.  Of course, the best way to improve your score is to meet with your Higher Learning Test Prep tutor using Skype or Google Hangouts.  But, if you’re not quite ready to begin studying online with the best SAT and ACT tutors in the world, here’s a bit of SAT and ACT math advice:

About 1/3 of both the SAT and ACT math sections are algebra questions.  For these questions, it’s important to use the answer choices to help you solve the questions.  Because all the math questions on the ACT, and most of the math questions on the SAT are multiple choice, it doesn’t make sense to approach these questions the same way you would on non-multiple choice questions in school.

How should you take advantage of the SAT and ACT’s format?  If a question has variables in it, and doesn’t explicitly ask you “what does x equal?” or something along those lines, pick numbers for all the variables.  By doing so, you turn an algebra question into an arithmetic question.  If there’s numbers for answers, instead of answers with variables, and if the question asks you directly, “what is the value of x?” try out the numbers in the answer choices, starting with the middle.  The SAT and ACT are predictable.  They’ll always put answers in numerical order, either ascending or descending.   By starting with the middle number, then deciding whether you need a smaller or larger number, you’ll only have to try out a maximum of three answers.

Need a little more help?  Schedule a meeting on Skype with your Higher Learning Test Prep tutor.  We’ll be happy to clarify and further explain the above methods, as well as all the latest and greatest SAT and ACT test prep tricks that can help you improve your score dramatically.  Check out our SAT Tutoring page, or our ACT Tutoring page.  Drop us a line:  or find us on Skype, just look up “higherlearningtestprep”  or simply look for me, Paul Donaldson, the O.G. of Skype tutoring for SAT and ACT prep.

Happy Studying,

Paul Donaldson

Director at Higher Learning Test Prep


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