During class 2 of our program, we teach a lesson entitled Math Refresher. I thought it would be fun to share one of the problems with you and talk through two things: (1) the actual algebra (real math) we would need to solve the problem, and (2) the standardized testing skills that allow us to solve the problem much more easily.

First, try this problem (© Manhattan Prep). Note: there are no multiple choice answers: you have to come up with a number on your own!

Sarita and Bob together contribute to the cost of a $40 gift. If Bob contributes $12 more than Sarita does, how much does Bob contribute?

How did you do it? Did you write some equations? Try out some numbers? Find some other cool shortcut?

On this one, the best approach is a very neat shortcut that I’m going to show you “ but only after I show you the actual algebra. It’s important to know how to do the algebra, just in case you don’t know or can’t find any good shortcuts.

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