**Draw Your Own Figure**

Today I would like to remind you of a very simple but effective strategy for solving math problems on standardized tests such as the ACT, SAT, and GRE.

If a math problem does not have a figure above it, then do not hesitate to draw your own. Sometimes drawing a quick picture of a situation makes a problem very easy, or at least easier. This is especially helpful with geometry problems.

**Example: **Segment *PQ* has midpoint M. If the length of *PM* is *t*, what is the length of *PQ* in terms of *t *?

Try to solve the problem yourself before checking the solution below.

**Solution: **Let’s begin by drawing a picture

From the picture, we see that *PQ* has twice the length of *PM*. Thus, the length of *PQ* is 2*t*.

Here are a few more problems for you to try. Try to draw a picture. I will provide solutions to these over the next few days.

1. What is the area of a right triangle whose sides have lengths 14, 48, and 50?

2. If line *m *is perpendicular to segment *PQ* at point *R,* and *PR* = *RQ*, how many points on line m are equidistant from point *P *and point *Q *?

A) One

B) Two

C) Three

D) More than three

3. Point *A* is a vertex of a 6-sided polygon. The polygon has 6 sides of equal length and 6 angles of equal measure. When all possible diagonals are drawn from point *A* in the polygon, how many triangles are formed?

4. In rectangle *PQRS*, point *T *is the midpoint of side *PQ*. If the area of quadrilateral* QRST* is 0.8, what is the area of rectangle *PQRS* ?

**More Problems with Explanations**

If you are preparing for the SAT, ACT, or an SAT math subject test, you may want to take a look at the Get 800 collection of test prep books.

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