Tip of the Day

Difficult Math Problems

If you can solve a difficult problem directly, do so. If not, don’t give up. Use good test taking strategies to help you make intelligent guesses.

The most difficult math problems are the last 1/3 ( usually the last seven) in any math section. They are difficult because they require advanced math skills and it is difficult to guess the correct answers. Correspondingly, easy to guess answers will rarely be correct for the most difficult math problems.

Watch for these traps:

1. If a difficult problem asks for the ‚greatest‘ or ‚maximum‘ number, never guess the answer choice that contains the highest quantity. The same logic applies if a difficult problem asks for the lowest number. Don’t guess the lowest answer choice. Those answers would be too easy or tempting and easy to guess answers will rarely be correct for difficult problems.

2. Don’t guess the answer ‚It cannot be determined‘ for a most difficult math problem. This answer is too tempting if the problem was too tough to solve quickly. However, this strategy does not apply to Quantitative Comparison Problems.

3. If answer choices to a difficult problem repeat numbers from the problem itself, eliminate those and guess from the rest.

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