Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

SAT Tip: Re-Read the Question

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video

Nancy read 1/3 of a book on Monday, 1/2 of the book on Tuesday, and the remaining 60 pages on Friday. How many pages of the book did Nancy read on Monday?

(A) 360
(B) 320
(C) 240
(D) 160
(E) 120

The most popular wrong answer is (A). Why? A lot of testtakers go on “autopilot” when working on a problem like this. In other words, they get so absorbed in solving for B, the total number of pages in the book, that they forget the question: How many pages did Nancy read on Monday?

Why does this happen? It happens because students develop most of their problem solving skills in school, and on a typical in-school test or quiz, the final question to a problem like the one presented is likely to be, “How many pages are in the book?”

Thus, when practicing for the SAT, students should develop the habit of quickly re-reading the question before answering and moving on to the next question. It is likely to make a big difference.