As race car drivers say, slow is fast. If I was captured by College Board demons, handcuffed, and told I could only offer one SAT Math tip to all the good students of the world, I'd say Slow Down!
Seriously. Slowing down in the math may seem counter-intuitive. There are so many questions and not a lot of time - but it may be the simplest, most effective strategy for SAT Math, especially for people who make careless errors. Which, by the way, is all of us.
Most students are so worried about getting through the questions that they screw up on a lot of easy questions that they completely understand and could have gotten right- if they had only taken another 20 seconds to make sure they read everything properly.
And here's another thing you must know about the Math section. The College Board test-makers figure out any careless mistakes you could possibly make, and then account for them in the answers. So there you are, moving through the questions, thinking it's going swimmingly because you see your answer in the choices. But little do you know that, in your haste to finish, you forgot that the question asked you to solve for 3x - 1, not x alone, like you're used to doing in school. You got x = 3, and voila! There it is, answer choice (B). So you bubble in (B), thinking it's all good.
Then, when you get your scores back, you're left wondering how they could be as low as they are. It's because you raced through the test, my friends. Please slow down, and watch your score rise like fresh bread in the oven. (Mmmm.... I'm hungry)
In race car driving, there's a saying: "Slow is smooth; smooth is fast." It's true on the SAT as well. Go smoothly and steadily, making sure you are accurate along the way. No, you can't dawdle, and you want your pacing to allow you to answer as many questions as you are able. But racing through it will drive you right off the track. Shooting for accuracy keeps your mind clear, and a clear mind moves more quickly than you might think.
Try this on your next practice test, and check out the results.**