When to Plug in Your Own Numbers for the SAT and ACT: PION

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Our very own director was explaining this type of question from SAT and ACT exams for a student last week so we thought we might share it with you guys! Let’s break it down!

First, when you see a question on the math section that mentions a variable like ‘a number’ or ‘an integer’, you most likely need to plug in your own numbers. Here are the steps:

1. Read through the question thoroughly and find LOGICAL numbers to insert. Easy numbers are usually better, so it might be best to go with a number like 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, or 100. Remember that the number 1 only works sometimes, so it is wise to avoid that pitfall.
2. Solve the problem using your numbers.

Here is an example of this type of problem:

First we chose 2 numbers for x and y, 3 and 6. These numbers add to 9 and make the first equation correct.

3 + 6 = 9.

Next we solved the second equation with the same variables.

9 – 6 = 3 and 3 / 3 = 1