Top 10 Tips to ACE the SAT Mathematics

Many colleges require ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process. Your SAT score is a major component of your college programs. The SAT is an entrance test used by most universities and colleges to determine admission. This test is a pencil and paper, a multiple-choice test created and administered by the College Board. The SAT consist of three main sections:

  • Math
  • Evidence-Based Reading
  • Writing

The SAT Math is broken into two sections. Initially, you will complete 15 multiple choices, 5 grid-ins questions in 25 minutes, during which time you cannot use the calculator. Then you will complete 30 multiple choices, 8 grid-ins (including one extended thinking question) questions in 55 minutes. You can use the calculator in this section. In general, you should answer 58 questions in 80 minutes.

If you are preparing for the SAT, you may be having stress about the math section. Here are some important tips to help you succeed in SAT math. So join us!

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1- Underline key parts of the question

This is one of the best SAT math tricks if you have made careless mistakes and getting questions wrong even though you know how to solve them. For every question, underline what you need to find in the question so that you do not get confused in the calculation process.

2- Memorize key facts

In the no-calculator portion, knowing “Math Facts” can help you solve questions faster and more efficiently, especially since you will probably at least use a pencil and paper to find the answer. Some of the facts that recommend students review and brush up consist of exponent rules and the common squares and cubes of numbers.

3- Review working with fractions

This one is especially important for students who are accustomed to solving any question with a calculator. Calculators allow you to easily work with decimals, so many non-calculator questions use fractions specifically. You should feel comfortable rewriting fractions, finding the least common denominator, and how to divide fractions.

4- Don’t confuse equations and inequalities

Many SAT problems involve equations, but word problems deal more with inequalities than equations. Phrases like “at most” or “at least” indicate that you are facing inequality and you need to see if the end of the range is included in the answer as defined in the problem. For example, if the question states that a value can be “no more than” a certain number, then you should choose the next lowest number, rather than the number that would yield equality.

5- Don’t overuse your calculator

Almost every question in the calculator section is solved without a calculator. It is recommended that you try to solve any number of questions on your own before you take out the calculator, to discover the remaining questions. Like many tips, you have to do this without time to be able to see your solution without a calculator. Not only does it sharpen your math thinking, but it also helps boost your confidence in the no-calculating section.

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6- Plug and chug

It is a tried-and-true test-taking method, and because it works, we refer to it here. This type of strategy should only be used when you think it’s the fastest way to solve the problem, or when you have no other idea to solve the problem.

7- Slow down with percent

More than ratios or rates or its related concepts, percent trip students up. Most of this is because you have to convert percentages to decimals and then return percentages, which can lead to careless errors.

8- Not all questions require math

The SAT calculator includes questions related to statistics, but many of these do not require explicit calculation at all. Instead, test your reasoning skills as it applies to statistical concepts such as sampling techniques, the margin of error, standard deviation, and reasonable conclusions that can be drawn. These problems usually put a lot of information in a few short sentences, so pay attention to what is and isn’t included.

9- Familiarize yourself with circles

Although circles, graphs, and equations are some of the more advanced topics covered in the SAT, there is usually at least one question in the SAT that deals with circles. You must be able to recognize and interpret the equation of a circle and rewrite the equation in different ways. If you want a high score, this is a must.

10- Be aware of your time

Time pressure is something that almost everyone who uses the SAT should be aware of, and this can be a particular issue in SAT math when it is easy to lose track of the number of minutes that have ticked past as you work to solve a tricky equation. However, keeping track of time during the exam is very important because not getting all the SAT math questions can make it difficult for you to get the desired score.

The best way to get faster in SAT Math is to do a lot of exercises. As you answer more practice questions, you will become familiar with the style of questions asked in SAT Math and the types of tricks that test authors try to use.

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