Estimating continues to be effective on the new SAT. Many problems require you to solve for the exact answer – but not all of them.

This question is from the Official SAT Practice Test 7, Section 4, Question 15.

First, draw a picture to visualize the problem.

Hmm.. 3 7/8 is pretty close to 4. If I doubled 4, I’d get to 8. So the 50 coins would double to 100.

Hmm..is there an answer choice that’s a little under 100?

Yes! It’s B by a mile.

I could have solved directly for the exact number, but I didn’t need to.

I saved myself a minute or so that I can use to answer another question and potentially score another point.

SAT/ACT math tip: Estimating can save you TIME and BRAIN CELLS. Both of which you can use to answer MORE questions.So before you jump in with both feet to solve for the precise answer, glance at the choices to see if estimating the answer might work instead. Every second you can save on answering a question quickly, you can apply to getting another question correct. Every right answer translates into another 10 points* in your scaled score.

*It actually depends on where you are on the curve. Right answers are worth between 5-15 points in your scaled score.

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