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How to Raise Your SAT Math Score… Without Learning Any More Math

by Jeff Bergman

in Inner Game, Tutorials

Do you want to know how to increase your SAT Math score without learning any more math than you already know?

Do you think it’s possible?

Before I start, I want to be clear that I think if you’re taking the SAT and you don’t already know how to answer all the math questions correctly, you should learn as many SAT math concepts as you can in the time you have to prepare.

There’s a limit to how high your score can go if you don’t know the handful of basic math concepts that that SAT is testing for. That’s why when I tutor a student one on one, I always make sure she’s learning the math.

If you don’t know how to do a math problem, you can’t get it right. On the other hand, if you do know how to do the problem, you can certainly still get it wrong.

Which leads us to this:

The way to improve your SAT Math score without learning any more math is to answer correctly every single question that you know how to do.

Eliminate the “careless mistakes.”

It’s a simple and obvious answer, but I’ll bet that the overwhelming majority of students who take the SAT are getting several, if not many, questions wrong on the Math section when they know perfectly well how to do the problem.

Now you might say, “Well, if it happens to everyone, it’s not a big deal.”

You’d be right, too, for a lot of things. But not for the SAT, not when your chances of admission to the college of your choice are riding on your score.

Because the SAT Math section is so steeply curved, when you get a few extra questions wrong, it’s killing your score.

If you’re great at math, and you know to do all the questions right, and you do get them all right except for 3 that you just made a little mistake on, your score could drop from an 800 all the way to a 730.

If you’re an average math student, 3 extra questions wrong that you really knew how to do could drop your score from a 600 to a 560.

The worst thing about it is that I bet a lot of people would be happy if they made only 3 careless errors out of the 54 questions on the Math section. A lot of people make more than that.

Talk about frustrating.

So what can you do about it?

The first thing is to stop thinking of them as careless mistakes. The issue isn’t carelessness, it’s focus.

What’s really went on is that you lost your focus for a moment. That’s good news, because focus is a lot easier to correct than “carelessness”.

I’ll tell you how to do it soon.

In the meantime, watch my recent student Jeremy talk about how learning to focus helped him dramatically raise his score.

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