About SAT® Math Section
The SAT® Math section only tests your proficiency in some aspects of mathematics. It focuses on topics that prove math readiness for future college math courses. In this section, you will find multi-step problems with math scenarios in science, social science, work environments, and other real-life situations. To solve these questions, you need math problem-solving skills, conceptual understanding, and general fluency in math. This comprehensive guide will provide everything about the SAT Math syllabus, format, scoring, and question types. We will also discuss the level of math that you may see on the test and share some review tips to help you prepare better.
SAT Math Format and Syllabus
The paper and pencil SAT Math test is divided into two parts, lasting 80 minutes. However, with the SAT going digital, several changes regarding format, question types, and test duration will be seen. Click on the tabs below to understand the structure of the Math section on both paper and pencil as well as the digital SAT.
On the paper and pencil format, the SAT Math Test is divided into two parts – a “calculator” portion and a “no calculator” portion, with a total of 58 questions to be completed in 80 minutes. A 5-minute break is provided between the calculator and no-calculator portions of the math test. Here is a breakdown of the number of questions in each portion and the time allotted to answer them.
What type of math questions are on the SAT?
You will find two types of questions in the SAT Math section – Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) and Grid-in Questions for which students have to produce their own responses. Out of 58 questions, 45 are MCQs with four answer choices and 13 are grid-ins that require students to produce their own responses.
What topics are on the SAT Math?
The math section on the paper and pencil test will focus on four key areas highlighted in the table below:
|Key Areas||No. of Questions||Percentage of Test|
|Heart of Algebra||19||33%|
|Problem Solving and Data Analysis||17||29%|
|Passport to Advanced Math||16||28%|
|Additional Topics in Math||6||10%|
Let’s learn about each of these key areas in detail.
Heart of Algebra
These questions focus on systems of linear equations and functions asking you to solve equations which represent a situation plus establish connections between different representations of linear equations.
Problem Solving and Data Analysis
These questions focus on ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning asking you to analyze graphical and statistical data, evaluate reports, make inferences, and draw conclusions.
Passport to Advanced Math
These questions focus on the level of math that you will study in higher education courses such as science, economics, math, technology, and engineering.
Additional Topics in Math
These questions focus on geometry, trigonometry, radian measure, complex numbers, and applications of surface area and volume.
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SAT Math Review Tips
We know that preparing for the SAT Math test can seem overwhelming, but with the right guidance, you will be ready to take the test with confidence. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Learn what is on the Math test. It is important to know the format, question types, and duration of the test. Knowing all the basics is a good way to kickstart your test prep.
- Practice as much as you can. There is no better way of improving your math skills than practicing. Learning how to apply all the formulas and developing a thorough understanding of the topics on the test are essential for a strong performance. You can find a compiled list of all the formulas useful for solving the math questions on our SAT Math formula sheet.
- Time yourself. You must practice time management. When you time yourself, it will also help you determine your concentration and testing endurance level while under pressure. This may help decrease test day anxiety as well as boost your performance.
- Focus on your weak points. By analyzing which areas you are struggling with, you can study efficiently. Improving your weaknesses and locking down your strengths will increase your success on the math SAT section.
Lastly, it is crucial to make an effective study plan to complete your preparation on time. Our SAT Math study guide can help you with this and also give you tips on approaching different questions on the test. You can perfect your math skills by using UWorld’s SAT Math practice test. Our in-depth answer explanations and performance-tracking tools will help you get closer to your targeted score.