Posts Tagged ‘Math’

How to Solve Complex Math Questions Quicker on the New SAT

SAT Instructor Dan M. shows you three examples of complex SAT Math problems that can be solved quickly using math strategies.
Things you will learn include:
1. Look to simplify and cancel out like terms
2. Remember your exponent rules and always try to get bases the same
3. Don’t overanalyze graphs
4. When roman numerals are involved, answer one roman numeral at a time and eliminate as you go.

What was your biggest takeaway from these strategies? Do you have any SAT math questions for Dan and Alexis Avila?

Post your comments below:

SAT Prep

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June 14th, 2016
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Episode 97, Avoid These Four Common SAT and ACT Math Exponent Rule Mistakes

You will need to learn the exponent rules in preparation for the SAT and ACT tests. http://www.preppedandpolished.com Alexis Avila Founder of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts, teaches you the exponent rules and shows you the four common mistakes many people make with exponent rules.

Episode 97, Avoid These Four Common SAT and ACT Math Exponent Rule Mistakes

For more information, visit: Prepped and Polished.com.

Please rate, review and subscribe to the show on iTunes!

What was your biggest takeaway from this podcast? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?

Post your comments below:

SAT Prep

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October 6th, 2015
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ACT, Alexis Avila, Featured, Podcast, SAT, SAT Math
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Which Should I Take, The SAT Math Level 1 or Math Level 2?

SAT Math Level 1 or Math Level 2

Prepped & Polished SAT Math Tutor

By Alexa M., SAT Math Tutoring Instructor, Prepped & Polished, LLC

This question comes up regularly, and the short answer is: it doesn’t matter. Take whichever test you feel you can do well on. Really. Even MIT does not require that you take the Math 2, though they do insist you take one of the two math tests. Unless you claim on your application that you intend to be a math, physics, or other math-intensive major, your choice of test is unlikely to make a significant difference to your application.

The College Board’s official statement on the matter is: “If you have taken trigonometry or elementary functions (precalculus) or both, received grades of B or better in these courses, and are comfortable knowing when and how to use a scientific or graphing calculator, you should select the Level 2 test. If you are sufficiently prepared to take Level 2, but elect to take Level 1 in hopes of receiving a higher score, you may not do as well as you expect. You may want to consider taking the test that covers the topics you learned most recently, since the material will be fresh in your mind.”

Test Preparation

It is useful to be aware of the fact that scores on the two tests are not comparable. Because the Math 2 is taken primarily by those who would describe themselves as “math people”, the overall scores tend to be higher. A 700 on the Math 2 will put you at around the 50th percentile. Fortunately, colleges know this, but it can be a bit of a shock when you receive your scores (especially if you are a self-described “math person”)!

What are the differences between the two tests?

• The Math 1 directly covers plane geometry, which the Math 2 doesn’t cover at all.
• The Math 2 emphasizes a number of major topics that aren’t covered on the Math 1:
o Series
o Vectors
o Properties of complex numbers, not just their arithmetic
o Logarithms
o Parametric equations
o Polar Coordinates
o Coordinate geometry in three dimensions
o A great deal more trigonometry (graphs of trigonometric functions, radians, Laws of Sines and Cosines, trigonometric equations)
o Standard deviation

If you’ve covered the topics on the Math 2, you may want to sign up for the more advanced test. You can change your mind (and your tutoring!) up to two weeks before the test, so there is no harm in starting to prepare for the Math 2 and then deciding you are not ready for it.

Below is a more detailed chart of the differences between the two tests:

Difference between the SAT Math Level 1 and Level 2 Test

Alexa graduated from Reed College and earned a Master’s degree in math from the University of Pennsylvania. She has tutored students at every age and level from 10 to adult and from basic math through AP calculus, multivariate calculus and beyond.

Are you gearing up for the Math Level 1 or Level 2 Test?

Post your tips/comments below.

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April 12th, 2013
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Posted in
Featured, SAT Math, SAT Subject Tests
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The One Crucial Mistake You Do NOT Want to Make on the SSAT Math Section

Mistake to avoid in the SSAT Math Section

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts shows you on his whiteboard one crucial mistake you do not want to make on the SSAT Math section.

After you do your math steps, make sure you go back to the question and answer exactly what the question is asking.

Test Preparation

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hey everyone, Alexis Avila, founder of Prepped & Polished LLC, here in
South Natick, Massachusetts. If you want to do well on the SSAT math
section, you have to wipe out those careless errors, and do steady, careful
work on the SSAT math.Time and time again, whether you’re a lower level or upper level student, I
see the same student make the same careless mistake on this particular
problem. So let’s go to the board. I’m going to show you this problem. This
is a relatively easy problem, but almost 75% of students get this one
wrong.”A $15 shirt is on sale for 20% off. What is the sale price of the shirt?”
Students get really happy and excited, because they think to themselves
that this is an easy and manageable problem. So, what they do is they’ll
take $15, get the 20% discount, so they’ll multiply it by .2, and then they
will get $3. Knowing this is a time-pressure test, they’re going to
instantly go to choice ‘A’, and circle $3. However, you don’t want to go
with ‘A’. You don’t want to go with $3. You went for the trap answer.You have to re-read the question every time. After doing the math, go back
to the question and make sure you’re answering what the question is asking.
They want what the sale price of the shirt is. You got the discount. Now
you have to subtract 3 from 15. The new price of the shirt is $12. You go
with choice ‘C’ and you move on to the next question on the test.

So just remember, you could be a really good math student, but not do well
on the SSAT math if you keep making careless mistakes. Avoid careless
mistakes and you’ll do well on the SSAT math section.

I’ll talk to you soon. Good luck.

How do you avoid making careless mistakes on the SSAT Math Section? Have you fallen trap to this type of question before?

Post your tips/comments below.

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December 4th, 2012
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Avoid This Common SSAT Math Mistake

Common SSAT Math Mistake

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished, LLC demonstrates on his whiteboard what not to do when solving an SSAT math problem.

Make sure that you pay attention to the units of measurement on a math question, and when necessary, make sure you convert the units of measurement.

Test Preparation

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hey, everyone. Alexis Avila, founder of Prepped and Polished, LLC, here in
South Natick, Massachusetts. Now, half the battle to doing well on the SSAT
math section, pace yourself well and to avoid making careless mistakes.
Now, I often see students make the same careless mistake over and over
again with this particular problem, so I’m going to show you this problem,
so you don’t make the same mistake. Let’s go to the board.”Nick buys a piece of licorice 150 inches long. If he plans to give away
all of the licorice by giving each of his 5 friends an equal piece, how
long should he cut each piece?” So the math is really easy with this
problem. We’re simply going to take 150, which is the total length of the
piece of licorice, and divide it by the 5 friends that he shares it with.
That is going to give us 30. Now this is where students get the problem
wrong. They’re going to say, “Oh, well, I solved the problem. I got 30.”
They’re going to go to answer choice ‘B’ and circle it, which says 30 feet.
But they didn’t convert their units of measurement correctly.They forgot that they have to take 30 inches, because 150 inches divided by
five gives each friend 30 inches of licorice, and now we got to convert 30
inches into feet. So don’t forget to do your units of measurement. 30
inches, we’re going to divide it by 12 inches, and that’s going to give us
how many feet is 30 inches. 2.5 feet. The answer is ‘E’, 2.5 feet, not the
trap answer ‘B’. Just make sure you notice the units of measurement on math
problems and convert them when appropriate. And overall, don’t make
careless mistakes on the SSAT math section, and you’ll do fine.

Do you make careless mistakes on the SSAT math section? How do you avoid making careless errors on this section?

Post your tips/comments below.

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October 25th, 2012
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Summer Learning Lunch Sessions

Book Now!
Email: summer@preppedandpolished.com
Call: 781-753-9951

Summer Tutoring and Test Preparation

July 1st, 2012
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SAT Math Workshop

Alexis Avila, Founder/President of Prepped & Polished, LLC will provide students with a review of the types of mathematical problems found on the SAT and offers test-taking strategies for the exam. We will review algebra and geometry, focusing on students’ specific needs and areas of difficulty, and utilize actual SAT practice test problems. Emphasis will be placed on what to practice in preparation for the exam, how to practice, and strategies to help maximize your score. Students are encouraged to bring questions. Please bring a calculator, pencil, and notebook to class.

Register Here

September 24th, 2011
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Cameron N. (Boston, MA)

“As someone who worked with clients of Alexis, I know that he always made certain that I was as well prepared as I could be to deliver the best tutoring services possible. His tutors reflect his level of organization, dedication, and excellence.”

April 20th, 2011
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How to Avoid Careless Mistakes – Tips for SAT Math Mistakes

Tips for SAT Math Mistakes

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished offers advice on how to avoid careless mistakes on the math portion of the SAT test.

Underlining or circling the key words in the math question will help you to avoid careless mistakes by forcing you to read the problem carefully and know exactly what you are looking for.

Test Preparation

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hi everyone, Alexis Avila, founder of Prepped and Polished LLC. Now many
SAT students, even top level SAT students, make careless mistakes on their
SAT, especially on the math section.

Now remember if you make ten careless mistakes on the SAT math section,
that can cost you between 100 and 150 points, so you want to avoid careless
mistakes and this is how you do it. You’re going to underline and circle or
box key words in the math question.

For example, if A equals 2 x 4 x 6 x 8 and B equals 6 x 8, what’s the
remainder when A is divided by B. So what’s important in this question,
well, we need to know A so we’ve underlined that, and B is 6 x 8, what is
the remainder? I’m going to circle the remainder when A is divided by B.
Now you’re going to solve the question really carefully.

You’re going to clearly take A and divide it by B. So we’re going to say 2
x 4 x 6 x 8 divided by 6 x 8 which is B, we’re going to cancel and then
we’re going to solve and see that when A is divided by B you get 8. Now
this is where a lot of students make a mistake, even top level students.
They’re going to get so excited and wrapped around the fact that they
solved the question that A is 8 that they are going to circle E.

We’re going careful work and so we know that we are looking for the
remainder, and the remainder is clearly zero, there is no remainder when A
is divided by B. You’re going to circle A and move on. We’ve done careful
work. Now what you’re going to do to avoid careless mistakes in the math
section is you’re going to underline or circle key concepts, key words in
the math question. And then you’re going to reread the question and know
exactly what to look for in the SAT question.

I wish you good luck, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Did you find this SAT Math tip helpful? What are some other ways to avoid careless math mistakes on the SAT?

Post your tips/comments below.

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April 20th, 2011
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SAT Math
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Lori M. (Wellesley, MA)

“My son and daughters have been working with Prepped & Polished for eight years now. The most amazing thing is that our kids truly look forward to sessions with their tutor. They are completely engaged and find it ‘fun’. Prepped & Polished has developed my children’s confidence in Math, Science, Study Skills and ISEE prep, and they have therefore become more eager participants in school.”

February 3rd, 2010
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