College PrepSATSAT Math

Strategies To Prepare for Heart of Algebra Questions: SAT® Math

What are Heart of Algebra Questions?

The Heart of Algebra questions in the SAT® Math test will include questions about solving linear equations, graphing linear equations, solving linear inequalities, solving systems of inequalities, solving systems of equations, and determining absolute values. These questions make up one-third of the questions in the SAT Math exam.

Strategies

Slow Down for Complicated or Multi-Step Problems 

If you come to an algebra question that includes many steps, it is important to slow down. Taking your time on complicated problems will keep you from making silly mistakes or missing a step. We recommend showing your work and detailing the process you used to arrive at an answer in order to ensure legitimate confidence while bubbling in your choices.

Build up Your Toolbox

To be more specific, learn your formulas! This is crucial. For questions that focus on linear equations, absolute values, and graphs, memorizing the formulas is necessary. According to the College BoardⓇ, you will need to know how to:

  • Solve and evaluate linear expressions
  • Solve and evaluate linear equations
  • Solve and evaluate linear inequalities
  • Produce a linear function to show a linear relationship between two variables
  • Solve and evaluate systems of linear inequalities
  • Solve and evaluate systems of two linear equations
  • Solve linear equations that require multiple steps
  • Solve systems of two linear equations
  • Evaluate connections or real-life relationships between variables and constants in expressions for linear functions
  • Make connections between graphs and linear equations

It is essential to take time to review the formulas and rules each of these questions will require. As you take practice exams, note any questions that require formulas you do not have memorized and be sure to study them.

Check Your Work

You can check your work on multiple-choice questions by testing your answer choice in the given formula. Testing the options given in the answer choices is a great strategy for solving tricky equations and inequalities. You can eliminate any answer choices that do not solve an equation or inequality by testing them in the given equation, expression, or inequality. If you don’t have time to use this strategy as you work, you can keep it in your toolbox as a way to check your work on any questions you are unsure of at the end. You may be able to use this strategy to determine the correct answer if you get stuck!

As you prepare for the Math section of the SAT exam, spend some time applying these strategies to the Heart of Algebra questions. They will count for one-third of your score, so maximizing your potential through these steps will make a difference! Try them out with UWorld’s SAT Prep Course,  where you will find practice exams, detailed question explanations, and performance tracking tools. You can find out about your weak points and gain valuable experience through these resources.