### A+ Test Prep & Tutoring Blog

# Posts about Test Prep Math

One of the best-kept secrets to mastering math word problems can be summed up in three words: *do the opposite*.

**Consider the following:**

"The Bunbury Community Center has 480 flyers for an upcoming job fair to deliver. The after-school program director distributes one-half of them. The office interns give out one-third of the total. How many remaining flyers are left for the three administrative staff members to distribute themselves?"

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Ask any student what type of math problem he or she finds most challenging and the answer is invariably the same: a groan, followed by “Word problems!” (You may have had this reaction yourself!)

Rarely, if ever, does a student leap to his or her feet declaring that life would be bleak without these mini-mysteries.

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Walk into any classroom in Pennsylvania and ask who looks forward to curling up in a comfy chair and doing word problems all night.

Not seeing many hands? Not surprising. Word problems tend to be low on most students’ lists of fun ways to pass an evening.

The math portion of the SAT (or ACT) also tests reading skills. Remembering this point can help with all the questions, but is particularly relevant to deciphering word problems.

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This week we’d like to spotlight A+ tutor Tom Spencer. Tom is a software development management consultant, with a bachelor's degree in math from Bucknell University.

Tom works with our ACT and SAT prep students on the math portions of the test. He also tutors our Philadelphia-area students in Algebra, Calculus, Geometry, Probability & Statistics, and Trigonometry.

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This week we'd like to spotlight A+ tutor Bob Wolpert. Bob, a full-time math teacher for more than 40 years, who specializes in geometry and algebra tutoring for our Philadelphia area tutoring students. He also works one-to-one with our ACT and SAT test prep students on the math sections of the college admissions exams.

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Math test scores soar if students are given the chance to struggle.

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Sanjoy Mahajan, an engineering professor at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) can come up with an extremely close estimate of almost any quantity you can think of. For example, do you know how much money a Brinks truck can carry? Or the annual budget for the State of Delaware? Professor Mahajan discusses how he comes up with spot-on estimates when starting with almost no information. Click here to read the full article, in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Steven Strogatz, a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, has a wonderful series of essays in the Opinionator section of the New York Times website. Strogatz attempts to explain some of the more fundamental concepts of mathematics in terms understandable to those of us not pursuing our Ph.D.s in the subject.

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January 25, 2018 By Dan Ascher