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# Tip #48 to Get a Top SAT Math Score

By McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Sep 10, 2011

You've now learned the 47 skills that you need for the SAT. The Math Mantras remind you what to do when, what that girl who got an 800 does automatically. In Skills 48 and 49, let's make sure you've memorized the 47 SAT Math Mantras. Cut out the flash cards provided at the end of this book, and drill them until you are ready to teach them. Then do that. Once you're sure you've got 'em, check off the box next to each mantra.

• Skill 1. When you see variables in the question and numbers in the answers, "Use the Answers."
• Skill 2. "What is m in terms of p and q" is just a fancy way of saying "solve for m" or "use algebra to get m alone."
• Skill 3. When you see the word "average" on the SAT, use sum = (average) × (# of items).
• Skill 4. When you see vertical angles, a linear pair, or a triangle, calculate the measures of all angles.
• Skill 5. When you see two parallel lines that are crossed by another line, eight angles are formed, and all the bigger–looking angles are equal, and all the smallerlooking angles are equal.
• Skill 6. When you see a triangle with two equal sides, mark the two opposite angles as equal, and when all sides of a triangle are equal, mark all angles 60°.
• Skill 7. An exterior angle equals the sum of the two far away interior angles.
• Skills 8 and 9. Anytime you see a math vocab term, underline it.
• Skill 10. Don't be intimidated by fancy vocabulary terms.
• Skill 11. The slope of a line measures its steepness; the steeper the line, the biggerthe slope.
• Skill 12. Parallel lines have equal slopes, like and . Perpendicular lines have negative reciprocal slopes, like and – . And lines reflected over the x axis or y axis have negative slopes, like and –.
• Skill 13. The key to understanding tables and graphs is to read the headings and the legend if there is one.
• Skill 14. f(3) means "plug 3 in for x."
• Skill 15. f(m) = 9 means "What did we plug into the equation for x to get a result of 9?"
• Skill 16. When you see variables in the question and variables in the answer choices, especially for word problems, use "Make It Real."
• Skill 17. The SAT only expects you to use formulas provided in the question or in the info box at the beginning of the section.
• Skill 18. The area of a donut equals the area of the big guy minus the area of the donut hole.
• Skill 19. 4 boys to 5 girls could also be expressed 5 girls to 9 students. Also a ratio can be a reduced version of the real numbers.
• Skill 20. When you see a proportion on the SAT, cross–multiply.

Let's look at this question:

Solution: The legend tells us that each ♥ represents 10 votes. Therefore, Superbad received 50 votes and Borat received 15, and 50 – 15 = 35. Remember that half a symbol represents 5 votes, not half a vote.