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SAT Math: Tips for Solving Algebra and Functions Problems


To help students stay on track with their SAT prep and prepare for the upcoming exam dates, here are some key tips for solving Algebra and Functions problems in the SAT Math section.

Solving Equations

When solving algebraic equations, treat each equation like a seesaw; what you do to one side of the equation, you must also do to the other side of the equation to keep it balanced. For example, if you square one side, you must also square the other side.

When solving for an expression (as opposed to a variable), quickly manipulate the equation to get the expression you want.

For two expressions set equal to each other, you will need to cross-multiply or multiply through by the common denominator.

When multiplying or dividing through by a negative number, don’t forget to switch the direction of the inequality sign.

Solving Simultaneous Equations

To solve simultaneous equations, first try subtracting or adding the given equations. If you’re not able to find what you want, try to multiply one of the equations through by selecting a number first. Make sure you a choose a number that will eliminate one of the variables when you add or subtract the equation.

Evaluating Functions

To evaluate a function, f(x), for a particular value of x, just substitute that value everywhere you see an x.

For many functions, you can solve it by plugging the given values into the function.

Functions and Graphs

When approaching a function, make sure you know how to use the graph of the function to find the value of y or f(x) for given values of x. For the reverse, know how to use the graph functions to find the x value or f(y) for given values of y.

When you are asked to identify the graph of an equation or to determine the equation of a graph, use y = mx + b for linear graphs and y = x2 for parabolas.

SAT Functions

To solve SAT functions with special symbols, look for how the function is defined in an equation. Plug the values into the functions by replacing the strange symbol and solve it.

Following the above tips to approach algebraic and function problems will help you have greater success on the SAT Math sections. Options Solutions can assist you with your SAT Math prep on an individual basis to get you ready for your next SAT exam. Give us a call at 604-922-8456 or email us at info@optionssolutionsed.com for more information. Follow this blog for weekly SAT tips and strategies!

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