One thing is for sure, the problems on the SAT are not like your everyday classroom problems in math. It’s not that you need to know SO MUCH math to do well on the SAT. Actually it only covers Algebra and Geometry, nothing higher. The problem is the wording of the problems is totally different than what most students are used to.
You will get a few straightforward questions, maybe two or three. I’m not kidding. The rest of them? You better be prepared to think! That is why students who have set a goal of attaining a certain score usually take the SAT more than once. Once you get used to the way questions are asked your score will go up significantly.
I worked with a student on his SAT prep last night for his first time. I call it sticker shock. He was shocked at the way questions were phrased. He looked at me puzzled over and over. We read, analyzed, and talked through what the questions really meant. “Oh!” , he said. “I would never have known that’s what they wanted me to do.” Well, after we practice for awhile he will know.
If you or yours are not a blazing, top of the heap, lovin’ it up math student (even if they are a wonderful person), get them some practice help so they won’t be hit cold. Or take it once just for “the experience” and plan to do it again later. The less time a student spends on each problem reading and re-reading and trying to decypher the meaning, the more time he will have to actually work and check his solution.
PS: All my Easy Algebra I videos are free right now. Geometry videos are cheap but not free. Download them to your computer if you have anybody who has a hard time with math. They are very basic and will help those who REALY struggle.