The SAT Math has two separate sections. Math Test - Calculator is the first section where you can enjoy the privilege of using a calculator in this portion of the test. Here, you’ll have to take up 30 multiple-choice questions and 8 grid-in answers which have to be completed in 55 minutes.
Math Test - No Calculator is the second section of the test. Yes, the usage of calculators is not allowed as the name suggests. Here, you’ll have to face 20 questions including 5 grid-in answers, which must be completed in 25 minutes.
What will you be quizzed on?
Your fluency in Math, understanding of concepts in Math, and your application of the concepts to problems are the basic aspects which are generally discussed.
Majorly, the three areas assessed are,
Algebra - linear equations and systems should be given prime focus.
Data Analysis and Problem Solving
Advanced Math - lists down questions that require the usage of complex equations.
Apart from this, you may have to solve questions from geometry and trigonometry as Additional topics in Math.
10 Tips to Top Your SAT Math
Start to concentrate and focus
It is always recommended to know how to start and focus. Whether you are preparing for an SAT or other exams, it is always good to start studying with a formative assessment. For beginners who haven’t tried the SAT, it is suggested to take the free College Board Official Practice SAT to have an idea about the SAT and that helps you to fix plans and goals. For students who have appeared for the SAT already, you will get complete information about your performance in the score report. This score report will help you to set up your focus and ability.
To maximize your effort and plans, initially, you must identify how you are going to proceed and should know your strengths and weaknesses.
You should also identify the content areas where more questions are tested for the exam. This will help you to keep an intensified focus on those specific areas. In the history of the SAT, the following areas have contributed more than 50% of the SAT:
Scatter plots and graphs
Solving quadratic equations
Coordinate geometry of nonlinear functions
Solving single-variable equations
Define and interpret the linear function
Ratios and proportions
Solving systems of linear equations
Ensure you are aware of the available resources!
The only standardized test which allows you to utilize references during the test is the SAT. A reference sheet is usually attached at the top of the booklet for the students to access whenever it is needed throughout the test. Instead of spending your valuable time on the day of your day going through the reference sheet, it is better to land at the test location with a concrete understanding of what you might find on the reference sheet, including the usage of equations and diagrams during the test.
With the reference sheet, you will be availed of a calculator throughout the math section. Borrowing an unused calculator from someone on the day of the test is not a good idea. Bring your calculator which you’ve been practicing with. Most importantly, check the battery life of your calculator, revise the formulas and features and keep them at your fingertips.
Separate questions that you find difficult
One of the best skills to maximize your score is by utilizing your test time efficiently. When you are unsure about answering a difficult question, it is best to mark and separate the question to be focused on later. This helps you to utilize your time effectively and you will get time to focus on the question which you find easier and less time-consuming. Once you are done with the easy question, you can move on to the questions which you found difficult. Also, you should always keep in mind that, if you are unsure or believe you can’t answer a question correctly, you must select answers randomly and should move on to manage your time efficiently.
Avoid making careless mistakes
When appearing for these kinds of tests, you often may make or commit plenty of careless mistakes due to improper attention to the questions or the way you answer. Later while reviewing, you will find that you have made this simple mistake due to carelessness. So, it is highly recommended to follow a good speed for all your questions.
Carefully read questions and work out the problems by moving forward with essential steps to arrive at an answer. Always keep note of the main steps. In case your answer mismatches with the option provided, you can check the steps of the problem and you can correct it wherever you’ve committed a mistake. If you fail to note down the steps, then you’ll have to start again from the initial step which again consumes your valuable time and that’s where you end up frustrated proceeding with your test confidently.
Small mistakes will cost you valuable points, so always be mindful of maintaining a good pace for every question and eliminate careless mistakes.
Stay away from traditional Algebra
Variables seem daunting sometimes. This will make you follow the long process to solve and will consume much time. Whenever you come across a variable in your question, follow the easy way to solve it. First, you must be very clear with variables. So, what is a variable? A variable is just a quantity that can be changed in the place of numbers. Here is the alternative strategy to keep in mind. In all instances wherever you see a variable such as x, y and z, instead of following the traditional way, you can directly replace those variables with the numbers and arrive at the answer.
Proceeding this way is one of the best strategies to avoid confusion and can be timesaving. Also, keep in mind that you should avoid using 0 and 1 because these numbers are treated as dummy variables and will affect the answer or outcome expected.
Diagrams Helps At Times
It is not always necessary to solve all the questions in your head. Draw and label a diagram, if described. Doing this can help you visualize many complicated math questions.
Practice With Top-Quality Tests
The more you practice with high-quality tests, the better you get at SAT Math. We have plenty of them available online. Practicing with low-quality material has a chance of lowering your score as it provides wrong information at times and does not provide a proper solution for the question you are solving.
Highlight the Key Parts of the Question
For those who commit careless mistakes and get wrong answers even if they know the solution, this is the best trick one should remember. Once you read the question, highlight what you are asked to find, so that you’ll be focused on what is asked. This will keep you anchored during the calculation process.
Rarely, a few questions ask you to find a value that is associated with the original value. These are kind of trickier questions. Once the mid-value is found, the student might accidentally assume it to be the end value and finish it. Highlighting the key part of the question can save you from falling into such a trap. This will keep you on track to finding what is originally asked in the question.
Always Keep an Eye on the Time
One major issue you might face during the SAT Math is the effective usage of time. This might leave you pressured at times when you have spent a lot of time on the trickiest questions and lack time for the ones needed. However, it is important to keep track of time because not attending to all the questions can cost you a score.
Plan your time wisely. You will have 25 minutes to attend 20 No - Calculator questions. So, you will have to complete a question in 75 seconds. Then, you will have 55 minutes to answer 38 questions from the Calculator section. Don’t forget that the grid-in questions might require some time to complete them. The more you practice, the faster you get at solving the questions. Frequent practice will keep you aware of the style of the questions.
Have a positive mindset
Above all the practice you do, it is very important to have an optimistic mindset towards the test. However, the SAT Math is demanding, you should trust your brain that it can thrive in math. Strong perseverance will make you get better and better every day. So, put aside your laziness and start today. Never stop until you’ve gained confidence in yourself. Your destination is just around the corner.