Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13-MILLION-digit prime number. It took a network of 75 computers to discover the number. To read more about this humongous number click here. The article is brief, but pretty interesting.

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Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13-MILLION-digit prime number. It took a network of 75 computers to discover the number. To read more about this humongous number click here. The article is brief, but pretty interesting.

Most students know the distributive property:

a(b + c) = ab + ac

Here’s an example that involves distributing, however, that I’ve seen many students mess up.

The wrong way:

(x + 3) - (3x + 4) = x + 3 - 3x + 4 = -2x + 7

The right way:

(x + 3) - (3x + 4) = x + 3 - 3x - 4 = -2x - 1

For some reason, when there is a negative outside the parenthesis, many students (under the pressure of a timed test) forget to distribute the negative. If you stay conscious of this common pitfall, you are sure to avoid an “avoidable” error on the SAT. Good luck!

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.

I would like to briefly share my thoughts with you on guessing on the SAT math problems and geting you prepared for the SAT math prep. There are a lot of experts out there who say that if you can eliminate at least one wrong answer it is to your advantage to guess. I think that is pretty good advice but I have a different philosophy. My philosophy is when you think about SAT math questions it is black and white; there is a right answer and a wrong answer. (more…)

Do you remember the scene in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker is trying to “feel the Force” by blindfolding himself while practicing with his lightsaber? Unfortunately, that trick doesn’t work on the SAT test, particularly on the SAT math questions. You cannot trust your brain to work through problems. Rather, you need to leave a body of evidence in the test booklet on your way to showing yourself the answer. (more…)

This might seem like common sense, but don’t underestimate your ability to confuse basic concepts such as “even” and “positive”. Join me in this prepcast as we discuss the potential SAT Math problems pitfalls and how best to avoid them. Click on the “Play Now” button below to get going. (more…)

I can’t tell you how many students I’ve tutored over the years blame their incorrect answers, particularly in the SAT math section, on having missed school “on the day the teacher reviewed that material”. Don’t blame the Chicken Pox. The fact is most SAT math questions test your tenacity and ability to problem solve more than basic math principles. In this prepcast video, I explain the strategy of envisioning your SAT math problems. (more…)

The SAT test is coming up this Saturday, October 14! For those of you taking this test and want to prepare for th SAT math questions, I’m going to try to post a few test-specific prepcasts to help you during this final week. First up….Math! It happens to be my favorite subject, but even I get a little worked up when reading through those tough SAT math questions. Stick with me and you can build confidence in how to attack the math section. (more…)

As a teenager, percent math problems were the bane of my existence. I always seemed to get them wrong on the SAT test. I will share my strategy for mastering percent problems, so you can apply the strategy to your areas of weakness on the SAT. It’s an easy way to help maximize your SAT score…. (more…)

The valedictorian at Princeton University almost every year is a student who majored in math, engineering or one of the sciences, not a student who majored in the liberal arts. Why? The answer makes sense if you think about it.

The subject matter of math, engineering and the sciences tends to be more objective, or black and white, than that of the liberal arts. In a math class, for example, every homework, quiz, test and final exam problem will have a single correct answer. All a student needs to do is calculate and record the correct answer (more…)