Often my students are so thrilled when they solve a math problem, they jump right to the answer choices to see if they can find the answer. Sometimes it’s not even a “mistake” – the question asks for x+1, my students solve for x, circle x in the answer choices and are dumbfounded when they get it wrong.
Slow down, Speed Racer!
The SAT is tricky. The wrong answers aren’t just random numbers; they are answers you would get if you made a common mistake in solving the problem.
So, AFTER you solve the problem, but BEFORE you look at the answers, go back and RE-READ the problem. What did they want you to find? Once you have verified that you have in fact, found the answer they were looking for, then – and only then – look at the answer choices.
My students will often draw in their own speed bump – an arrow drawn to the right of the answer choices pointing back up to the question – to remind them to slow down and double check the question.
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