When you buy your first SAT preparation book, the Math practice questions may seem very simple at first glance. But this first impression is rather deceptive. While doing four or five practice questions in isolation may help for a high school exam, it surely won’t help much over here since the key to doing well here is clever problem solving approach and time management.
The right thing to do first up is to attempt a past paper or a sample paper with the time restrictions. After finishing, check how much you got and compare it with the score you want to get in the actual exam. This will give you a good idea about your IQ, time management and problem solving skills. If the scores are relatively good, then you can move straight into more practice. If not, then you must ponder over where things went wrong and how you can improve before your actual SAT Math exam.
SAT questions don’t require intense cramming and/or concept building. You are not required to fill pages of mathematical working to come to a final answer. Sometimes, you can just read the question and calculate the answer mentally while sometimes a little rough work is required. The key is to read the question carefully before trying to come up with an answer.
A common mistake made by some overly enthusiastic individuals is that they look at all the options first and then as soon as one of the options strikes them as right or appears in their rough work, they choose that option and move on to the next question. This is self-destruction. If you are using the right approach, then you should automatically get the right answer. Complete your working first and get your final answer. Upon seeing that your answer matches with one of the options, you can be satisfied and ready to move on to the next question. Remember that the questions are designed cleverly and the wrong options are not there randomly. Mostly they are the answers you might get from incomplete steps or subtle confusions. Using these options to work backwards should be a last resort.
If you get stuck on a question, it is wise not to let your ego get the better of you and instead of wasting more time on a question that you might get wrong anyway, move on to the next question that might be simpler for you to handle. Just remember, it’s all about getting as many correct as possible within the time limit.