This is the fourth part in a series of how to conquer SAT and ACT Math by utilizing a Math Toolbox. For the complete list of the tools in the Math Toolbox and Part 1, visit here. Your pencil, calculator and mental math tools will help solve math problems on the SAT and ACT more quickly and accurately. But there are more tools to add to your toolbox. This post is dedicated to the translation tool.
Your translation tool will help you work through word problems and other math problems that contain a bit of reading. Truth be told, these types of questions are more reading problems than math problems. If the test writers were to provide the equation along with the word problem, the work would be easy. Since the equation is not provided, the challenge with these types of problems is sifting through the words to come up with the equation. Thus, your translation tool will come in handy. The translation tool is the tool that helps you convert words or written expressions into mathematical expressions. For example, if the problem says “the total” or “increased by”, then this would likely be an addition problem. If there is an expression like “amount per serving” the “per” means division (amount divided by servings). Words like “was” or “yields” means equals. Many reputable SAT or ACT guide books include a table of the mathematical operations that correspond to specific words. If you struggle with word problems, it may be a good idea to spend some time learning how to translate certain words into mathematical expressions. For further assistance, contact CROSSWALK. Our tutors work in SAT, ACT, PSAT, SSAT and other areas to help students feel more confident and comfortable.