As the wheel turns

All this talk about the new SAT is interesting and all, but we’ve still got two years to live with the old one, so let’s get back to our regularly scheduled PWNing. Here’s a minorly important circle fact that I find a lot of students don’t know: when a wheel is rolling—without slipping—it makes travels (more…)

Better late than never!

So the question writing contest I proposed a few weeks back didn’t exactly explode onto the scene like I thought it would, but I still think it’s a fantastic way for you to improve your skills, so just FYI: it’s still open. I got the question above in an email the other day. The writer (more…)

Counting: Oh, the possibilities

Source. One technique-able counting problem type that you might come across on the SAT is what I’ll call a “possibilities” problem*. It might involve cards (but not playing cards – the SAT doesn’t like those), or pictures being lined up on a wall in different orders. Your job will be to determine the number of (more…)

The counting questions that are really just listing questions

An unfortunate truth about the SAT is that while many questions can be answered with snappy tricks (many of which can be found on these pages), not all of them can. Most “counting” questions (and probability questions, for that matter) fall into this category. Yes, I’m serious. Most. Basically, if you don’t see within 15 (more…)

One kind of counting question

The SAT will throw two common kinds of “counting” problems your way. I’ll handle one of them in this post. The other kind, well, I’ll get to it when I get to it. 🙂 I like to call this kind of problem a matching problem. It’ll usually involve a bunch of people who all need (more…)

Working in 3-D on the SAT

It’s not uncommon for a question or two involving three-dimensional shapes to appear on the SAT. Luckily, most of the time these questions either deal directly with the simple properties of three-dimensional shapes (like surface area and volume), or are just 2-D questions in disguise. It’s pretty rare to come across a truly difficult 3-D (more…)

Median and Mode on the SAT

Like the average (or, as some say, the arithmetic mean), the median and the mode are useful properties of a set of numbers and can give statisticians great at-a-glance insight into the nature of copious data. When the SAT gets its hands on them, though, they are usually stripped of any analytical utility and instead (more…)