# Arithmetic

## Arithmetic

Words of “Wiz-dom”: Most of the concepts on the math section of the test were taught to you by the end of middle school. In fact, a lot of the test is about math facts and mechanical skills (adding, subtracting, etc.) that you learned in elementary school. Many students at first don’t believe me and then, realizing it is true, wonder why the math section is so hard. (Remember you only have to get half the possible points to get an above average score!)

It’s because you aren’t being tested on what you know. This is a reasoning test that measures your understanding of math.

So we are going to look at the math concepts from a different perspective. We aren’t going to consider ALL math concepts, only the concepts that are important for the SAT. For example, you won’t be wasting time on imaginary numbers, the quadratic equation, or congruent triangles. They are never on the test. We are going to focus our attention only on concepts that are on the test. We will do a brief review of them. Most of the time will be spent on understanding how the concept is important in the mind of the test writer. To get you started, I’ve developed a few sample questions to show you how the test writer thinks the concepts are important. Then you should practice by using actual SAT questions. However, you’ve got to keep working on the things we go over by practicing. Ultimately, your ability to excel on math problems will be determined by how much time you spend developing your skills through practice.

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