Why do I suck at geometric visualization?

<p>For example, question 4 in page 582 of the Blue Book (it talks about cutting the vertical edges off a rectangular box). I cannot even BEGIN to answer this question. It's supposedly an Easy-level question, but it absolutely baffles me as to how to solve this. Are you supposed to re-draw the figure to meet the specifications of the problem? Or are you supposed to do it all in your head? What if you're terrible at drawing 3D shapes, should this be something I practice?</p>

<p>It's ****ing me off because I'm generally an intelligent kid except for spatial reasoning questions like this(i got composite 99th percentile all three times I took the ITBS, took an IQ test when i was younger and got 99th percentile in logic, vocabulary, etc but 15th percentile in spatial reasoning) and I thought I would be able to avoid my spatial weaknesses since it really doesn't matter like logic or regular mathematical skills do, but noooo the SAT has to bring this up.</p>

<p>Or are these questions kind of unlearnable and I just need to pray I don't get any of these on the real SAT, since they don't show up that often?</p>

<p>Spatial visualization is definitely one of my weaknesses, too. I can't draw to save my life. I would recommend getting some basic 3-D drawing lessons and re-drawing a figure to match the specifications. For example, in your problem above, I would first draw a box. Then, I'd draw another without the vertical edges (either by drawing it or by drawing a full box then erasing those edges).</p>

<p>i'm not really sure how to explain this, but just picture yourself doing the instructions. If you were to cut a paper rectangular box along the vertical edges, what pieces would stick out? Its E. Try it with a piece of paper, tape, a writing utensil, and scissors; just be sure to label things.</p>

<p>
[quote]
It's supposedly an Easy-level question, but it absolutely baffles me as to how to solve this. Are you supposed to re-draw the figure to meet the specifications of the problem? Or are you supposed to do it all in your head? What if you're terrible at drawing 3D shapes, should this be something I practice?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Some will see this problem through what you call visualization. Have you ever build a cube with paper? If not, that is OK. This is NOT needed for this type of problem.</p>

<p>FORGET the visual "construction part". Just look for simple clues. </p>

<p>How hard would it be for you to answer the following two questions?</p>

<ol>
<li>What is the area of the base of the box?<br></li>
<li>What is the shape of one of the sides of the box?<br></li>
</ol>

<p>I'm sure you will find the answer in about 5 seconds (4x3 and rectangle.)
Now look at the answers. Three have a base of 4x3. But look at A and B ... are the sides rectangles?</p>

<p>It's nothing more than a flattened box.</p>

<p>does this book have an isbn? if so, i might have access to it and be able to give you a better response!</p>

<p>Ah thank you! I guess my method isn't the best then; I have the same issue.</p>

<p>A couple of good things about these "visualization" problems -- </p>

<p>-- there are not too many of them on the SAT</p>

<p>-- missing one particular specimen does not mean that you have a major problem and that you won't get the next one right. </p>

<p>-- As Xiggi's approach suggests, you don't have to look at the big picture. You can just focus on key details. That's how I do the ones like: which of these will you get when you rotate the figure 90 degrees CCW?</p>

<p>But if you want to work on your 3d visualization while wasting a lot of time and pretending that it's productive, go online and find a game called 3D Blockout and then play it with the extended piece set. It's like tetris, but the pieces are these crzy 3d shapes and in addition to sliding the pieces left and right and up and down, you can also rotate them on 3 different axes. Your goal is to make complete layers on the floor as the pieces fall. (I haven't played in many years so I can't say how easy it will be to find. But it is pretty fun. Definite time sink though.)</p>