The “SAT” (Scholastic Assessment Test) is an entrance exam created and administered by the College Board that assesses high-school students for their reading, writing, and math skills. The SAT score is a key component of college admissions in the US. Many students, who take the SAT for the first time, find it overwhelming to prepare for it, especially the math section. This is because some students regard mathematics as a tough subject. Furthermore, according to a Gallup Youth Survey, 29 percent of teens in the United States believe math is the most challenging course offered in school.
If you are planning to take the SAT for the first time, you might be wondering what the test is, how it is scored, and what type of math is tested in the test. Therefore, we have put together a list of practical study tips dedicated to the math section of the SAT. Our free study tips for the preparation of the SAT’s math section will help you know where to start and exactly what to study. This way, you can make the most of your valuable study time and focus on the most important math topics.
What Is the SAT and Who Administers It?
The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a standardized test administered by the College Board, a private, not-for-profit organization in the United States. It is part of an integrated system of tests known as the SAT Suite of Assessments; the other tests in the suite are PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9.
Why Is the Test Important?
The goal of the SAT is to assess high school students’ preparation for college and give colleges a single point of comparison for all candidates. Your test score demonstrates your proficiency in English and math. However, it does not ensure admission to your dream college. It is only one component of the college admissions process; admission commissioners also evaluate high school grades, references, essays, financial aid, and a variety of other factors.
What Is on the SAT Exam and How Is It Scored?
The SAT is a three-hour test with three components: (1) the Reading Test, (2) the Writing and Language Test, and (3) the Math Test. The math component of the SAT is graded on a range of 200 to 800 points. The sum of your reading, writing, language and math scores is your overall score. Most of the questions are multiple-choice; however, some math problems need you to write the answers in grids. There is no penalty for guessing on any question.
|Component of the SAT||Time Allotted (minutes)||Number of Questions/Tasks||Score|
|Reading||65||52||200 – 800|
|Writing and Language||35||44|
|Math||80||58||200 – 800|
|Total||180||154||400 – 1600|
What Is the Structure of the Math Section of the SAT?
The math section comprises two sections. One of the math sections allows you to use calculator, whereas, during the other section, you are not allowed to use calculator. Both math sections begin with multiple-choice questions with four answer choices. The rest of the questions are “grid-ins” that require the participants to fill in their responses in some grids on the answer sheet.
|Section||Number of Questions||Time|
|No calculator||15 multiple-choice questions; 5 grid-in questions||25 minutes|
|With calculator||30 multiple-choice questions; 8 grid-in questions||55 minutes|
|Total||58 questions||80 minutes|
What Are the Topics for the SAT Math Test Preparation?
The SAT Math Test is divided into four parts: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Passport to Advanced Math, and Additional Topics in Math.
What Math Concepts Should I Practice for the SAT Test?
Here is a breakdown of the math concepts you should practice for the math section of the test:
|Content Area||Number of Questions||Description|
|Heart of Algebra||19 questions||The Heart of Algebra questions focus on creating, solving, or interpreting 1-variable and 2-variable linear equations, inequalities, graphs, and systems. The questions also focus on establishing connections between algebraic and graphical representations.|
|Problem Solving and Data Analysis||17 questions||The Problem Solving and Data Analysis questions focus on working with ratios, percentages, proportional reasoning, graphs, and analyzing statistical data.|
|Passport to Advanced Math||16 questions||The Passport to Advanced Math questions require you to understand the structure of expressions and analyze, manipulate, and rewrite those expressions. These questions also include reasoning with more complex equations and interpreting and building functions.|
|Additional Topics in Math||6 questions||The Additional Topics in Math cover geometry, trigonometry, radian measure, and complex numbers.|
How Can I Achieve a Great SAT Score in Mathematics?
The maximum possible SAT score in mathematics is 800, while the lowest possible score is 200. Out of the millions of students who take the test every year, only about 500 get the highest possible SAT score, which is 1600. According to a press release from the College Board, around 1.5 million students in the high school class of 2021 took the test, and the average score happened to be 1060.
Achieving a high score in the math section of the SAT is important for two reasons: you are planning for a math or science major, or you aim for a highly selective technical school.
You can achieve a great SAT score in math by following these tips:
- Attempt practice tests available on the College Board website.
- Instead of reading many books and consuming every single math lecture available online, be selective with your learning approach. If you are not sure which study material is the best for you, hire a math tutor for the SAT math test preparation.
- Review your answers and identify your mistakes while doing your practice tests. If you don’t understand why you missed that question, you will make that mistake over and over again.
- While doing the practice tests, try to solve one question in as many different ways as possible.
- Find your weaknesses and drill them to perfection.
- Eliminate careless errors by reading the questions twice. Double-check that you are answering the right question.
- Maintain effective study habits to achieve a high score on the test.
- If you don’t improve your math score in your practice tests, then find extra support in form of math tuition to expedite the learning process.
If you want to improve your SAT math score but don’t know what to study, take help from Math Project. Math Project offers one of the best math enrichment programs to help you ace your math score. Call us to book a FREE consultation!
SAT Suite of Assessments – www.satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat
Why Math Is More Difficult for Some Students – https://www.thoughtco.com
Math Problematic for U.S. Teens – https://news.gallup.com/poll
SAT – https://en.wikipedia.org
College Board – https://www.collegeboard.org
Do SAT Scores Matter? – https://www.valuecolleges.com
How the SAT Is Structured – https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat/whats-on-the-test/structure
Types of Math Tested – https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat/whats-on-the-test/math/types
Passport to Advanced Math – Official-sat-study-guide-passport-advanced-math.pdf
SAT Program Results Capture Impact of COVID on Class of 2021 – https://newsroom.collegeboard.org