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# Tip #41 to Get a Top SAT Math Score

By Brian Leaf
McGraw-Hill Professional

On average, after memorizing and practicing Skills 41 and 42 for avoiding careless errors, most students gain 20 to 30 points! So learn these strategies.

### Most Common SAT Math Careless Errors

1. Practice being focused, yet relaxed. You don't need to be tense and a wreck to excel on the SAT or in life. You can be intense and work quickly, yet be relaxed. Be fully present with each question: focused, relaxed, awake, and mindful. See "A Yoga Posture for the SAT," page 60.
2. (2x)2 = 4x2, not 2x2. Square both the 2 and the x.
3. –2(3x – 3) = –6x + 6, not –6x = 6.
4. Remember to distribute the –2 to both the 3x and the –3.

5. , not x + 20
6. Remember that the 5 is under not only the 5x, but also the 20.

Let's look at this question:

Solution: Nice functions review! This is SAT function question type I. The f(2p) just means plug 2p in for x. So f(2p) = 3(2p)2 = 3(4p2) = 12p2. Careless error buster: Remember that the 2 gets squared. Also remember order of operations: multiply 3 by 4 after squaring 2.

### Medium

1. If f(x) = –2x3, which of the following expresses f(–p) ?
1. –2p
2. 2p3
3. –2p3
4. 8p3
5. –8p3
2. When m = –1, which of the following is equivalent to m(2x2 – 2) ?
1. –2x2 – 2
2. –2x2 – 2
3. 2x2 – 2
4. 2x2 + 2
5. x2 + 2
3. If, find y when x = 3.
1. a – 15
2. 9a – 15
3. 9a – 5
4. a – 5
5. a – 3

### Hard

1. If m = 2p, then which of the following is equivalent to (m + 4)2 ?
1. 2p + 4
2. 4p2 + 4
3. 2p2 + 8p + 16
4. 4p2 + 8p + 16
5. 4p2 + 16p + 16
2. If f(x) = x(2x2 – 2), find f(–2p).
1. –16p3 + 4p
2. –8p3 + 4p
3. –8p3 – 4p
4. 16p3 – 4p
5. 8p3 + 4p
3. f(x) = x(x – 2)

g(x) = 3x

4. For functions f and g above, if g(m) = 27, find f(–2m).

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