What is a good strategy for math free response sections?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,391
    Laura Rheinauer, Associate Director of Educational Connections, gives some pointers on answering free-response math questions.

    Host: What is a good strategy for math free response sections?

    Laura Rheinauer: There will be one section on the SAT for math that doesn't give you answer choices. It's not multiple choice. Instead, it's the math grid-in where you are going to be asked to supply the right answer. So what you need to do is solve the problem and put down what you think is the right answer into these boxes. When you come up with an answer and you have to grid it in yourself, you can see that you can either left justify it, let's say I come up with 42 as the answer, I can left justify it or it doesn't matter, I can right justify it, 42. Whichever is easiest for you, just pick away and stick with it. You will also notice that there is no way you can get an answer that's more than four digits. If you do, you know you got it wrong. You also have no opportunity to grid-in the answer that's a negative number. So if you get a negative number, it's also automatically wrong. If you get an answer such as 2/4ths, you don't have to simplify it. You can just write 2/4 like that. You could also do 1/2 as the answer or you can even do 0.

    5. it does not matter how you present your answer just as long as you present it. don't forget to put it in. The grid-in is scored differently than the regular math multiple choice. You do not lose any points for incorrect answers so I really encourage you, even if you are not a 100% sure, put the answer down; you are not going to lose any points.