Tip #8 to Get a Top SAT Math Score
Students come into my office and say, "I can't do this question because I don't know what 'consecutive' means." I get to say, "Oh cool, it just means numbers in a row, like 4, 5, 6." Then the question becomes easy. In fact, for some questions, the only hard part is knowing the vocabulary, and once you know the terms, the questions are easy. That's why I love this strategy; memorize these terms and practice using them in the drills, and you will absolutely gain points, guaranteed. Also, once you know the terms, watch for them and underline them when they appear. That will eliminate many careless errors.
Here are the first nine math vocabulary terms:
Real number—any number: –3, –2.2, 0, , π
Constant term—this term really throws some kids, but it just means a letter in place of a number, kinda like a variable, except that it won't vary.
Integer—number without decimals or fractions: –3, –2, –1, 0, 1, 2, 3,… This is the single most common SAT math vocab word!
Even/odd—even numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8,… ; odd numbers: 1, 3, 5, 7,…
Positive/negative—positive numbers are greater than 0; negative numbers are less than 0.
Consecutive numbers—numbers in a row: 7, 8, 9, 10.
Different numbers—numbers that are… ummm… different.
Prime—a number whose only factors are 1 and itself. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17,… are prime.
- Note: The number 1 is NOT considered prime, and the number 2 is the only even prime number.
Units digit—just a fancy term for the "ones" digit in a number, like the 2 in 672.
Let's look at this question:
Solution: List the primes: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23. Only the number 2 is prime and even. No other primes can be even, since every even number (besides the number 2) has factors other than 1 and itself.
- If 2 consecutive integers have a sum of 9, what is the larger number?
- How many different integers satisfy the equation x2 = 9 ?
- How many positive integers less than 100 have a units digit of 3 ?
- If 2 consecutive prime numbers have a sum of 60, what is the larger number?
- Two consecutive even integers have a sum of –26. Which of the following must be true?
- Both numbers are negative.
- The lesser number is –12.
- The lesser number is –14.
- I only.
- II only.
- I and III only.
- II and III only.
- I, II, and III.
- Let S equal the set of all positive integers less than 12. How many members of S are not consecutive odd prime numbers?
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