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SAT Math Prep help


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My kids have taken a SAT prep class online. They ahve watched the Chalkboard SAT math videos. They have taken a bunch of practice tests. Their math scores are not improving. They know their math. But they don't seem to get how to look for the "tricks" in the questions and all the math shortcuts. Is there any other program out there that can help them with this?

 

I can work through all the problems they miss to show them how it is done, but they don't seem to be able to remember them.

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You say that they know their math- but at the same time mention that they miss problems.

If the know the math, they should be able to get every single question right if you remove the time limit. The tricks and shortcuts are useful to do the problems fast and to get them all done in the allotted time frame, but all those problems are solvable by straightforward math.

What I would do is have them do a practice section without time constraint and see what happens. If they can't solve them all, then they are missing concepts, not shortcuts. If the can solve them all and just need a bit more time, they need working on the shortcuts.

However, the test specific tricks and shortcuts can be learned only after the actual material is mastered because otherwise the student will not understand what exactly they are looking for wit the "trick".

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For every problem that is wrong, you must read the commentary that is with the correct answer. That helps to "crawl into the test makers heads" and help you know that if they put something seemingly obviously right, it may be a trick. I know Princeton Review and Sparks Notes SAT prep books have good commentary, I don't have experience with any others.

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College Prep Genius(www.collegeprepgenius.com) may be of help in giving them strategies for reasoning what the question is asking.

 

I agree with the previous poster. If time limits are taken away and they can do the math then they understand the concepts.

 

College Prep Genius helps w/reasoning that sometimes a problem can be done in a shorter way.

 

Also for review of the questions, don't forget the khan academy website.

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I think part of the problem may be that you're showing them how to do the problems they miss. I think more learning happens when they have to figure it out on their own. Let them know it's wrong, and then let them try again. If they still can't get it, or don't remember how, let them use their texts to reference the problem and re-learn that concept. Then let them work the problem again. Once they get the right answer, then let them read the explanation in the test prep book, and it will make much more sense to them. Just my opinion.

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I agree with those that say to distinguish between the concepts and the tricks or shortcuts.

 

MANY kids can do a math curriculum just fine by learning to parrot what has been done, but they don't really know the math. They just know how to follow steps. It works well when the test is on recently learned material, but falls short on tests like the SAT/ACT where problems can be mixed. It's also generally not so good once they reach Calculus or other college level math as they need most of those concepts there. If your kids aren't so good with the concepts, try to pinpoint where they are falling short and redo that area perhaps with a different curriculum.

 

However, many kids CAN do the math, but can't do it quickly. Their brains just don't process it all that fast (there's no shame in this). Practicing with SAT Prep programs can sometimes help here, but sometimes not. Another option is to try the ACT as many people feel there is less trickery on that one and more straightforward math.

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