For every SAT Math word problem, there are two things to consider.The first is what we discussed above, which is to figure out what type of problem you’re dealing with to best identify what you need to do.
For these problems, you are often asked to interpret what a variable or a constant means in the situation described, or you might be asked what kinds of conclusions can be drawn from a survey.
These types of problems often have no “math” involved, and instead ask you to think logically about a situation.
Being able to identify problems by type on the SAT is a useful prep exercise and can help you on the day you take the test.
You may want to use the Math section from a free practice SAT test and circle all of the word problems.
The method of solution for "work" problems is not obvious, so don't feel bad if you're totally lost at the moment.
There is a "trick" to doing work problems: you have to think of the problem in terms of how much each person / machine / whatever does Since the unit for completion was "hours", I converted each time to an hourly rate; that is, I restated everything in terms of how much of the entire task could be completed per hour.
One of the pipes' times is expressed in terms of the other pipe's time, so I'll pick a variable to stand for one of these times. Since the faster pipe's time to completion is defined in terms of the second pipe's time, I'll pick a variable for the slower pipe's time, and then use this to create an expression for the faster pipe's time: Then I make the necessary assumption that the pipes' contributions are additive (which is reasonable, in this case), add the two pipes' contributions, and set this equal to the combined per-hour rate: Note: I could have picked a variable for the faster pipe, and then defined the time for the slower pipe in terms of this variable.
If you're not sure how you'd do this, then think about it in terms of nicer numbers: If someone goes twice as fast as you, then you take twice as long as he does; if he goes three times as fast as you, then you take three times as long as him.
In these problems, you’ll be given some information about a scenario and asked to come up with an equation or formula that represents that scenario.
In fact, looking for the word “represents” in the question might tip you off that you’re dealing with a problem of this type.