Good Bad Answer

A blog about preparing for the SAT® the 1600.io way

Calculators for the SAT: Tools of the Devil

The SAT has a Math - Calculator section, so naturally, students want to take advantage of that option to maximize their score and minimize the time needed to complete the section. Why do the math yourself when the calculator will do it for you? We're going to explain why that logic is simply...

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Micro-Cheating on SAT Practice Tests: You’re Stealing From Yourself

Here’s an all-too-common scenario: a student is scoring well on practice test after practice test, but when they take a real SAT, their score is hundreds of points lower. Yes, there are several legitimate reasons this can happen: test anxiety, physical illness, a terrible testing environment,...

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Announcing SMTEx™: The SAT Math Topic Explorer

If you've ever wondered how often a particular math topic shows up on the SAT, or you've struggled with a math problem from a practice test and you weren't sure what concept you needed to study (and where to find it in our Orange Book), we've got you. Announcing SMTEx, the SAT Math Topic...

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If This Isn’t Your Last SAT, Why Are You Freaking Out?

“In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” wrote Alfred, Lord Tennyson (stop groaning -- you came here to learn something). Obviously, old Alfred did not hang out with today’s high schoolers, because their spring thoughts are focused on the SATs, and “love” is...

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“I’m Getting the SAT Out of the Way Early,” or How To Score Below Your Potential

Every week or so, some bright young student posts on Reddit that they have come up with the brilliant plan of taking the SAT before junior year to “get it out of the way.” Many of these students plan to take the test during sophomore year or even as freshmen. The reasoning always goes like...

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Legends of the SAT: The Cousin Who Scored 1550

There’s a strange figure who inhabits many students’ lives; an ethereal, ever-present spectre whose influence can be pernicious. It’s the cousin who scored 1550. You know who we mean; that relative (or maybe it’s a neighbor, or a classmate) who supposedly scored a 1550 (or got into Stanford,...

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Why Cramming for the SAT Doesn’t Work

Students are used to cramming for tests; it’s a routine practice to stay up late the night before a school exam and memorize facts, figures, formulas, names, dates, and so on. It would seem to make sense, then, that it would be productive to cram for the SAT the day before the test, and even...

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SAT Preparation Fallacies: Testing Reading Isn’t Learning Reading

You’ve taken dozens of practice tests and worked through a hundred reading passages, yet your score in the reading section isn’t rising. How can this be? You’re practicing and practicing, and practicing is how you get better! Does this sound familiar? It does to us; we see laments like this...

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1600.ioU SAT Math Micro-Lesson: Proportion Control

You almost certainly know what a proportion is in math; it’s just an equation with a ratio (expressed as a fraction) on each side of the equals sign. Proportions are commonly used to represent a relationship between two quantities. For example, we can express the relationship between feet and...

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When Should You Take the SAT?

For the typical student, we recommend planning to take the SAT twice, with a third sitting as a backup. We suggest taking your first SAT during the spring or early summer of your junior year after a significant preparation effort. This is the trial run, and you should not expect to get your...

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