For 11 years you've been trained to solve math problems the long way. "No shortcuts!" Mrs. Nicholas always said. Mrs. Nicholas was the best math teacher that I ever had, and her advice was correct for math class. But the SAT is multiple-choice, and we can save time and energy by using the answers. Instead of completing a long process of algebraic manipulation, simply test the answer choices to see which one works. This strategy works best when there are **variables** in the question and **numbers** in the answer choices.

**Let's look at this question:**

**Solution:** This question looks pretty tough to some students, but "Use the Answers" makes it EASY! Just plug each answer choice in for m to see which one makes the equation work. Choice A does not work because when we plug –1 in for *m* in the equation, we get Choice D is the only one that works, since

**Correct answer:** D

### Example Problems

### Easy

- If 2
*x*– 3 = 17, then x = ?- –1
- 0
- 10
- 22
- 31

- For which of the following values of p will the value of 4p + 2 be less than 15 ?
- 7
- 6
- 5
- 4
- 3

- If
*j*is a positive integer and what is the value of*j*?- –1
- 0
- 1
- 2
- 3

- If | 3 – n | < 4, which of the following is a possible value of n ?
- 9
- 8
- 7
- 6
- –1

- What value of
*t*would make- –54
- –27
- 0
- 27
- 54

- The cost, in dollars, of production for u units at Max's factory is expressed by the function If Max can spend $7300 on production, what is the maximum number of units he can produce?
- 0
- 1
- 2
- 3
- 4

### Medium

### Hard

### Answers

**C**You can answer this question quickly and easily by using simple algebra and solving for*x*. If, however, that is difficult or daunting, "Use the Answers." Just plug each choice in to see which one makes the equation work. Choice C is correct: 2(10) – 3 = 17.**E**You can answer this question, like #1 above, by using algebra and solving for*p*. Or you can just "Use the Answers." Plug each choice in to see which one makes the equation work. Choice E is correct: 4(3) + 2 < 15.**E**You can answer this question by usingalgebra and solving for*j*, or just "Use the Answers." Plug each choice in to see which one makes the equation work. Choice E is correct: .**D**You can answer this question by using algebra and solving for n, or just "Use the Answers." Plug each choice in to see which one makes the equation work. Choice D is correct: |3 – 6| equals 3 which is less than 4. (|3 – 6| means the absolute value of 3 – 6, which is just fancy language for subtract 3 – 6 and make the answer positive. More on this in Skill 38.)**A**You can answer this question by using algebra and solving for t; however, this "medium" difficulty question requires more involved algebra. "Use the Answers" makes the question EASY! Just plug each choice in to see which one makes the equation work. Choice A is correct since**E**"Use the Answers," makes this easy. Just plug the choices in for*u*in the equation. Each choice yields a result (which represents production cost) less than $7300. So 4 is the highest and thus the correct answer. This question is rated "hard" because it involves functions, fractions, and variables in the exponents; difficult for many students, but easy for you with "Use the Answers."

Go to: Tip #2