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# 10 Common Mistakes in SAT Probability [2023]

Posted by on May 31, 2023

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Probability questions are a crucial part of the SAT Math section, testing your understanding of chance and likelihood. However, many students fall into common traps and make mistakes when tackling probability problems. By being aware of these pitfalls, you can avoid them and improve your chances of success on the SAT. Quickly, here are 10 of the most common mistakes to watch out for when dealing with probability:

## Misunderstanding the Question:

Understanding each probability question is compulsory. Take the time to carefully read and understand what the question is asking. Misinterpreting the problem can lead to incorrect calculations and answers.

## Ignoring Key Information:

Probability questions often provide important information that should not be overlooked. Pay attention to any given conditions, restrictions, or assumptions.

## Confusing Independent and Dependent Events:

Understand the difference between independent and dependent events. Independent events are not influenced by previous outcomes, while dependent events are affected by previous outcomes.

## Failing to Consider Sample Space:

The sample space represents all possible outcomes of an event. Forgetting to account for all possible outcomes can lead to incorrect probability calculations.

## Forgetting to Simplify Fractions:

Probability is typically expressed as a fraction. Always fractions to their lowest terms to ensure accuracy in your calculations.

## Using the Wrong Probability Formula:

Probability questions may involve calculating the probability of different scenarios. Make sure you select the appropriate formula based on the given situation.

## Neglecting to Multiply or Add Probabilities:

In some cases, you need to multiply or add probabilities to determine the overall probability of an event. Be mindful of these operations and apply them correctly. For example, ‘or' in probability calls for the addition of relevant fractions, while ‘and' calls for the multiplication of relevant fractions [A or B = A + B], [A and B = A * B].

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## Assuming Equal Probability:

Not all probability scenarios involve equal likelihood. Be cautious of assuming equal probability without explicit information.

## Overlooking Complementary Events:

Complementary events are mutually exclusive outcomes that add up to a total probability of 1. Failing to consider complementary events can lead to incorrect calculations. For example, if the probability that an event will occur = 3/5, then the probably that the event will not occur = 1 – 3/5 = 2/5.

## Relying Solely on Intuition:

While intuition can be helpful, relying solely on it without proper calculations and reasoning may lead to incorrect answers. Always verify your intuition with proper probability techniques.

By being aware of these common mistakes, you can approach probability questions on the SAT with greater accuracy and confidence. Practice applying the correct techniques and double-check your calculations to avoid these errors and improve your overall performance.