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Todd D. (Southborough, MA)

“We highly recommend Prepped & Polished. My daughter Emily was having a difficult time with the math portion of her SATs having spent months with a different tutoring service. She spent about six weeks with an incredible tutor at Prepped & Polished and learned some incredibly useful techniques, strategies and study habits. She was very well prepared for the January SAT and went in with a lot of confidence. She got the results back and raised her math score by 130 points!! Prepped & Polished was very flexible in offering tutor times and gave her an appropriate amount of prep work for each session. She never felt overwhelmed. With her new test results Emily can now pursue several of the colleges she originally thought were out of reach. Thanks so much to Alexis and everyone at Prepped!”

March 27th, 2013
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Using a Backsolving Technique to Score Higher on the SAT Math Section

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished teaches you a helpful backsolving technique for scoring higher on the SAT Math Section.

Plug-in the answer choices usually starting with choice C because it’s the median of the five answer choices. If your first backsolving attempt doesn’t work, eliminate this answer choice and attempt the other answer choices until you find a match.
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Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hi, everyone. Alexis Avila, founder of Prepped and Polished LLC., here in
Boston, Massachusetts. Now, one way to boost your SAT math score is to back-
solve using the answer choices. So, you can plug in the answer choices into
the problem and not have to worry about setting up complicated equations.

Now, here’s an example of how you can use the back-solving technique to
answer an SAT math question relatively quickly. So if three times quantity
Y minus one over two equals nine over Y minus two, then Y equals what? And
here are the answer choices. So, when you back-solve, you notice the
numbers are going in increasing order from A to E. So, you want to start
with answer choice C because it’s in the middle. Plus, it’s a relatively
easy number to back-solve.

We’re going to plug in one into the answer choices. So, instead of Y, we’re
going to put one to both sides and ask yourself, “Does three times one
minus one, three times zero; does zero equal nine over negative one?” No,
it does not, so you cross out C.

Okay, so answer choice C didn’t work. So, what do you do? Do you go to
answer choice B now and try that, or do you try answer choice D? I’m going
to go to answer choice D because it’s easier to plug in the number four
into the answer choices than it is to plug in negative one. So, if three
times four minus one over two, does that equal nine over four minus two?
So, does three times three over two equal nine over two? Absolutely. It
does. We have a perfect match. You go with answer choice D, and you move on
through the test.

Now, if you wanted to, you could solve this problem the long way, cross-
multiply and get a trinomial, but it will take you longer. Utilize the back-
solving technique with this particular problem, and you’ll solve this
question relatively quickly.

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

Did you find this SAT Math Backsolving tip helpful? Would you consider using this math approach on the SAT test?

Post your tips/comments below.

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January 30th, 2012
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SAT Math
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