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SAT Math: Algebra

SAT Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is an Algebra question that tests your ability to solve equations.

Read the question carefully:  In this case you really only have one block of information.  You have been given the fact that a - b = b - 3 = 6. 

Identify the bottom line:  a = ? 

Assess your options:  You cannot immediately solve for a, but you can solve for b and then use the value of b to solve for a.   

Attack the problem.  You know you have to do this problem in two steps, so break up the equation.  You know that both parts of the equation equal 6. 

a - b = 6     and     b - 3 = 6

You can easily solve the second equation by adding 3 to each side. 

b - 3 = 6

b = 9

Now plug the value for b back into the first equation that you isolated.

a - b = 6

a - 9 = 6

a = 15

Notice that you can solve this problem in seconds without the use of a calculator. 

Loop back:  You solved for your bottom line, a (not b), so look down at your answer choices. 

The correct answer is  (D).

On sat.collegeboard.org, 60% of the responses were correct.

ACT Question of the Day

The ACT question of the day is a Geometry question that has already been addressed on this blog: click here to see an explanation.

To get help preparing for the SAT, PSAT, or ACT exam, check out the Knowsys College Readiness Program.

For help with the SAT Vocabulary, check out our flashcardsflashcard apps, and iBook activities.