Work and rate problems make me so happy. I mean, epic happy. I mean, like, I wish my audience was full of adults instead of kids because the words I want to use are definitely not rated-R when I describe how happy work and rate problems make me.
Why are rate problems so crescent fresh? Because they allow for one of the most amazing SAT tricks available. I know we spend a lot of time talking about knowledge and how important it is to have the knowledge necessary to do well on the SAT. I mean, if you cannot add, not amount of backsolving or plugging in will save you. Seriously. But, if you can take the time to learn this neat-o rate trick, I promise work problems won’t be issues for you.
Why Are Work Questions So Dang Hard?
It’s simple young one. They deal with fractions and decimals. And if there is one thing you should have learned from power rangers and care bears, it’s that humans hate decimals and fractions. I mean, 1/6 of an hour is like, 10 minutes, but what does that MEAN!?!? That is some insane rate and work question! I couldn’t tell you, because ten minutes is not even valid. 4 Minutes might be super hot, but it does nothing for my understanding of math.
So watch this video and learn the secrets, okay?
SAT Math (work and rate) and Slow Carb Diets
I once mentioned a diet I was working through to one of my students. I was planning a beach trip and decided to cut down on like 90% of my simple carbs – sugars, bread, rice, tortillas, beer, margaritas – in an effort to replace those with protein and get all kinds of buff. Not only did it work, but my six-pack attracted beautiful women from at least 3 continents. The thing is, I just mentioned my diet in passing, because he was asking why I carried a gym bag and smelled like garlic. I never expected him to take my insanity seriously.
But he did. Two days later his mother emailed me very concerned. He decided to go full-on with my crazy slow-carb diet and had severe headaches and issues at school. He was in ROTC and two sports clubs, and basically decided that slow carb meant anorexia, and just didn’t eat anything except hot dogs and water for those two days!
I lost it. I mean, I am a tutor, not a fitness coach. And even when I tutor, I give methods and advice, not scripture. He fell into a trap that I have come to realize is common among students and parents alike. What works for one person will not necessarily work for everyone. My method for adding fractions or getting six-packs worked for me, because I fundamentally understand arithmetic and my own metabolism. Plus, I’m closer to 30 than 20 (editors note: I’m 31 now :(), whereas this boy was 16. Our bodies couldn’t be more different.
Take advice as it is. Advice. But don’t just follow a method without understanding the principles. I learned a lesson with this student. And I hope you can learn vicariously through him (the lesson being that six-packs are absolutely worth the effort!!!) and take advice as advice, but never commit to something without doing your due diligence.
Nothing can replace hard work, smart work, and dedicated determination. Nothing.