The SAT covers most of the same topics every single test. There are some topics that occur with greater frequency than others. If you focus on mastering these question-types, then you can add 100 to 200 points to your score in a short amount of time.

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Below is a simple toolkit for seeing these quick increases. We chose each item in the toolkit by selecting a random sample of College Board SAT tests and determining the question types that appeared most frequently. The topics that we selected, collectively, account for approximately 25% of all tests, or between 38 and 39 questions. The breakdown is as follows:

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Math: 28-22 questions

Writing and Language: 10-13

Evidence-based Reading: 6-7 questions

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Click each link below for a different element of the toolkit.

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Math

Writing and Language

Evidence-Based Reading

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Math

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Coordinate Geometry

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1. Slope-Intercept Form

Lines in a coordinate plane are defined by the following generic equation:

y = mx + b

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Â· x and y define points on the line

Â· m is the slope

Â· b is the y-intercept, where the line intersects with the y axis.

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As long as you understand what each part of the equation represents, then you have a powerful tool for manipulating and solving many problems that deal with lines on a coordinate plane.

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2. Slope Formula

You can think of the slope as how steep the line is. Use the following formula to calculate the slope of a line:

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m = (y2 â€“ y1)/(x2 â€“ x1), where (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) are points on a line.

The value of the slope itself offers very important information. Keep in mind the following scenarios:

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Â· If the slope is positive, then the line goes on an incline:

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Â· If the slope is negative, then the line goes on a decline:

Â· If the slope is positive, the greater it is, the steeper it is. The closer the slope is to 0, the more level it becomes.

Â· If the slope is negative, the closer it is to 0, the more level it is. The more negative it becomes, the steeper the line will be on the decline.

Â· Horizontal lines have a slope of 0.

Â· Vertical lines have an undefined slope, owing to the fact that all the x coordinates are the same, making the denominator 0â€”constituting an undefined fraction.

Â· Lines with the same slopes are parallel. E.g.: y = 5x + 2; y = 5x -17. These lines will never touch in space.

Â· Lines with slopes that are negative reciprocals are perpendicular. E.g. y = 2x + 3; y = -Â˝ x â€“ 7. These lines will intersect at exactly one point in space to form four right angles.

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*Tip 1: If a line does not conform to the slope-intercept form, solve for y to get it there!

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*Tip 2: Draw a coordinate plane or use your graphing calculator.

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Sometimes, coordinate geometry problems can be difficult to visualize. For the trickier problems, donâ€™t hesitate to make a quick drawing of a coordinate plane, or simply plug in all the information into your graphing calculator. Visually representing a problem is usually the first step to understanding, and ultimately, solving it.

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Practice

1. A line in the xy plane passes through the point (1,3) and has a slope of -2. At what point does the line intersect with the y-axis?

A) (-5,0)

B) (5,0)

C) (0,5)

D) (-2,0)

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Try this problem on your own first before you review the explanation.

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Explanation to question 1

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1. Find the equation for the line whose slope is perpendicular to y = 4x - 6.

A) y = 4x

B) y = -4x + 6

C) y = -1/4x -1

D) y = x - 4

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