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Keep It Simple, Smarty

As I’ve discussed elsewhere, the SAT and ACT will try to intimidate you, especially when it comes to harder Math questions.

While these questions may sometimes require tricky calculations, esoteric formulas, and challenging leaps of logic, often these questions can actually be answered in a simpler, more direct way.

My instinct when answering any question – but especially hard ones – is to look for ways to simplify the problem. Here’s an example from the 71G April 2013 ACT. This one is a #41, so we’re just on the edge of entering the medium/hard questions. (Even if you are taking the SAT, I recommend trying this question since it’s one you might see on your test!)

Try this one on your own first:

no 41

Then watch the video for my simplifying approach & overall strategy for solving this question:

About the Author:

I’m Rob Schombs, the founder of Reason Prep, creator of these videos, and your test prep tutor. I earned a BA in Chemistry (2006) and an MA in Science and Technology Studies (2009) from Cornell University. In 2010 I started tutoring SAT, ACT, math, chemistry, and writing full-time, and Reason Prep followed shortly after!