What Level of Math Is Tested on the SAT® Exam?

Open book with mathematical formulas

As you prepare for the SAT Math exam, you may be wondering what level of math is assessed in this part of the test. You should know that the SAT exam is based on the high school curriculums, so the topics covered should not be new to you. 

It is more than likely that you will have studied the topics and skills assessed throughout the SAT exam. You can use the test as an opportunity to display what you have learned in your high school career while demonstrating the potential to deepen your understanding of the topics in your college career.

You should also know that the Math section of the SAT exam focuses on your problem-solving skills. The exam will evaluate your ability to make real-world connections through questions that require multiple steps and conceptual understandings.

The Math test consists of two sections: a No Calculator section and a Calculator section. You will find questions that fall under the categories of Heart of Algebra, Passport to Advanced Math, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Additional Topics.

Heart of Algebra questions will test your understanding of algebraic structures and concepts. You will work with linear equations, linear inequalities, and linear systems. Expect to solve, analyze, and produce expressions, equations, and inequalities. 

The most complicated questions in this category will require you to assess relationships between equations, expressions, or inequalities, and graphic data. You may also find problems that are complicated by requiring conceptual understandings.

Passport to Advanced Math questions require your ability to understand, manipulate, and edit expressions. The more difficult problems in this category will test your skills with complex equations and polynomials. 

Problem Solving and Data Analysis questions will test your skills with proportional relationships. This includes topics with ratios, rates, percentages, patterns, deviations, and measures of center. This section will focus on your ability to analyze data sets to describe relationships, make comparisons, and make inferences about variables, units, ratios, and rates.

Additional Topics questions focus on your skills with geometry and trigonometry. You should know how to apply the formulas provided in the SAT test booklet to solve for volume, arc length, area, and more. 

The type of question that students have the least experience with is function questions. If you have not been exposed to functions in your high school curriculum, practice is critical. These questions are not especially difficult, but you can avoid stress on test day by being prepared for each question type.

You can practice for the SAT Math test by using UWorld’s SAT Prep Course. Our practice exams, detailed question explanations, and performance tracking tools can provide you with the tools and strategies you need to succeed. Try it out to practice the skills tested throughout the SAT Math test.

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