SAT Math Section Breakdown and Tips

Every year millions of high school students take the SAT Reasoning test in a bid for acceptance by the college or university of their choice. The pressure to score well enough to get into the right school can cause tremendous stress on young men and women dedicated to seeking a higher education. In order to help you avoid this worry, we present here what you need to know about the SAT Math section and some tips to help you succeed.

The SAT Math test is comprised of three separate sections. Two of the sections are entirely multiple choice; the third section includes 8 multiple choice questions and 10 questions requiring an original response, also called “grid-in” questions for the format in which responses are recorded. On all three sections you are allowed to use a graphing calculator, and while the authors of the test recommend you use one, none of the responses requires a calculator. The SAT Math section is scored on a scale of 200-800.

Some hints to help you score your best on the SAT Math:

First, if you are unsure of the response on a multiple choice question and decide to plug in the various options to see which works, always start with the answer marked “C.” The options are arranged in ascending order according to the value of the number offered. If you plug in “C” and it is correct, you can move on. If it is too high, you can immediately eliminate “D” and “E;” if it is too low you can do the same with “A” and “B.” Thus you should, at most, only have to plug in two choices before determining the correct response. This saves valuable time and can mean the difference between leaving questions blank or responding to them all.

Second, know what is on the test so you can properly prepare. Online test prep help you with this by going over the most important areas covered. These include functional notation (and significant digits), exponents, absolute value, linear and tangent line functions and their properties as well as general number sense. Basically if you have gotten through algebra and done well enough to be considering a four year university you should be in good shape. Some refreshers from can help make sure you are in the very best shape.

Finally, just like the proctor says – always check your work! If you have time left at the end of the section, go back to the beginning to the section and check both your calculations and your marking of the answer sheet. Even better, begin by checking those questions you were most unsure about and then go back to the rest.

Whatever you do remember that no test is life-or-death and despite all the pressure you may be feeling now, as soon as you get accepted to a college you are done with this test forever and it will only come up as gossip. Keep a proper perspective and you’ll be sure to succeed!

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