Picking a small number for x in math problems can turn a seemingly unsolvable problem into nothing more complicated than simple multiplication and addition of small integers. While this kind of approach won't work on every SAT math problem, it's always worth considering whether you can pick a number to simplify a difficult algebra problem.
Literary Excerpt passages may sound daunting but they're simply page long selections from novels and short stories.
Remember to read the ITALICS! Here's an example:
This passage is from Henry James's 1897 novel "What Maisie Knew", set in late nineteenth-century England. Here, Beale and Ida are in the midst of a quarrel regarding their young daughter Maisie.
Many students skip the italics that precede literary excerpts the same way they skip the test's directions, but the difference is that the italicized remarks actually serve a purpose: to give you a clarifying sneak preview of what you're about to read. In the sample above, for instance, we're given the setting, time period, and names of the main characters.
Even more importantly, we're given the relationship among the characters and a hint of the conflict - i.e. plot - that we're about to read. Not all of the SAT's italics are as forthcoming, but most of them reveal the setting, time period, and characters, which at the very least gives you a leg up on comprehending passages that feature challengingly antiquated language!
"Learn to take questions step-by-step. Sometimes, the solution does not become apparent until you start taking action, by writing things down or drawing a diagram or translating words into an equation. I can't tell you how many times I've walked over to a student who asked for help only to find that he's already figured it out by himself in the few extra minutes he had to wait while I was helping someone else. It's important to always take action even if you can't visualize the full path to the solution right away.
Every top-scoring student I've seen had a cut-throat intensity when it came to beating the test. They'd rather read the passage again than have to guess. They would underline what questions were asking for. They always labeled their diagrams. Any mistake would be noted and revisited. No question was going to slip through. It's that intense attitude during practice that conditions you for success on test day.
A lot of those students, however, didn't have that attitude when they first started. That intensity was something they improved and developed over time because a high score meant a lot to them, and it's something you too can practice. Yes, you can practice being serious by taking your tests seriously."
After the passage states the main idea, the Main Idea will be elaborated or supported.
The author can Elaborate or Support the Main Idea in various ways including the following: Defining a Key Term, Providing Details, Offering Examples, Comparing a Related Idea, Quoting an Expert, etc.
Here is a problem explanation which shows that actual calculations aren't necessary as long as you understand the basic relationships of the problem. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/2z9Ctow
Sometimes you'll come across a passage so difficult or poorly written that you're confused way before you even reach the second paragraph. You may think that if you continue reading sooner or later the passage will begin to make sense. Unfortunately, what happens is that you become even more confused.
It's absolutely crucial that you come to grips with the main idea of a passage. Until you do, the details won't make much, if any, sense. WHAT TO DO?
Since the author frequently sums up his or her point in the last sentence or two of the passage, go directly to the last paragraph. By reading the last few lines carefully, you should get a much better grasp of the author's main idea. Once you've gotten a handle on the main idea, return to the first paragraph and proceed with the rest of the passage. Now the text should make a lot more sense.
The PREFACE often contains information that can give you clues as to what the Main Idea will be. It can also have information that will help you come up with some correct answers.
What's the Main Idea? Sum up the entire passage in 1-2 sentences.
Why Was the Passage Written? What is the purpose of the passage? To inform? To Entertain? To Explain? To Prove Something?
What's the Tone? Not what was said, but how it was said. Concerned? Explanatory? Expose? Informative?, etc.
By asking yourself these questions, you'll be oriented in the right directions when you begin to look for information you need to come up with the correct answers to the questions.