Ten quick facts about the SAT math section:
(1) The math portion of the SAT test is comprised of two 25 minute sections (with the possibility of a third 25 minute experimental section) and one 20 minute section. One of the 25 minute sections includes ten grid-in questions that ask you to solve a problem and bubble in your numerical answer.
(2) You will only be tested on arithmetic, algebra I, geometry, and a small amount (only 3-5 questions) of algebra II.
(3) The first and most important step to solving any SAT math problem is identifying the concept the problem is testing.
(4) Math questions increase in order of difficulty. Over 91% of students get the first question of each section correct, but under 9% get the last question of each section correct. Slow down on the early part of each math section so you don’t make silly mistakes on easy material.
(5) SAT math is different from high school math because the SAT tests relatively easy concepts in a complex, confusing way. Once you recognize the tricks of the question, the math itself is quite simple.
(6) You DO NOT have to take calculus or be amazing at math to do really well on the SAT math.
(7) There is no guessing penalty for the grid-in section. You do not lose ¼ of a point for incorrect grid-ins. Answer all of the grid-in questions, even if you have to guess.
(8) A little bit of test prep can go a long way on the math sections. Your preparation should help you identify the types of problems that will appear on the test and learn strategies for solving them.
(9) You only need a scientific calculator on the math section. If you have a graphing calculator and want to use it, you are more than welcome, but it is not necessary.
(10) The best strategies for the math section are to slow down and write out ALL of your work! Don’t take shortcuts.
Bonus Tip: Do not be intimidated by the math section! Learn the strategies, prepare ahead of time, review the concepts and formulas, and practice, practice practice!