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:
- 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.
- Solve the problem using your numbers.
- Check your answer with all of the answer choices to ensure accuracy.
- The number that fits is your correct answer choice!
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
The correct answer is (C).
So now you know! Don’t forget to PION when you are asked to come up with your own numbers to find the correct answer choice.