Important facts and secondary ideas are often found in sentences that contain certain direction reversal words. By far the most common such word on the SAT is but. Other words include although, despite, except, however, though, and yet.
Whenever you see one of these words in a passage, circle the word - the sentence may come in handy when you reach the questions.
The trouble with formulas is that virtually all students go into panic mode trying to remember some formula or other for a problem. When these same students find a formula, they go on automatic pilot solving it. In short, searching for and solving formulas often short circuits THINKING about the problem in front of you - especially when the problem may not require any formula to solve it in the first place.
To be sure, many SAT questions will require you to use a formula. But before you rush off in a mad dash to find and apply some formula, see how far you can get by applying a few moments of thinking about the question. At the very least, thinking about a question will clarify the issues you need to consider to avoid potential blunders.
The SAT Math Test is what the test writers call a “reasoning test”, but they could also call it a “noticing test.” The SAT Math Test is all about noticing things, which is no surprise since most thinking and reasoning begins with noticing something unusual about a situation, in our case, about a problem.
How does the SAT Math Test reward students who pause for a moment to notice things about each problem before solving it? By allowing such students to solve even complicated-looking questions quickly, sometimes in mere seconds. Students who rush into every problem with their blinders on, however, quickly find themselves mired in lengthy solutions that practically invite errors.