SAT Math

The third and the fourth sections on the SAT test the math skills of the students. The third section is the shorter one and doesn’t allow the use of calculators. The fourth and the longer section allows calculator usage. Together these sections contribute towards the 200-800 Math score. The SAT Math section requires the students to apply the math skills they have learnt in high school in real life situations like their job or personal life and also in College Math, Science, and Social courses. The topics tested include Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry and Data Interpretation.

Different Sections on the SAT Math

The two sections on the SAT Math Test are:

No Calculator Section:

This section has 20 questions that need to be answered in 25 minutes. This section assesses the students’ math fluency and understanding of concepts. The problems in this section of course do not require the use of calculators.

Calculator Section:

This section has 38 questions to be answered in 55 minutes. According to the College Board, the student should decide when and how to use the calculator on this section. Not all the questions will require the use of calculators. The students who use their problem solving skills may complete the section faster than those who use calculators.

The major topics covered in SAT math could be classified as:

1. Heart of Algebra:

The questions in this area include linear equations, graphs, inequalities, and functions. The topics covered are Solving linear equations and linear inequalities (in these expressions, x is a constant or the product of a constant), Interpreting linear functions, Linear inequality and equation word problems, Graphing linear equations, Linear function word problems, Systems of linear inequalities word problems, and Solving systems of linear equations.

2. Passport to Advanced Math:

These questions test on non – linear equations like quadratic expressions, word problems, polynomials, and exponents. The topics include Solving quadratic equations, Interpreting nonlinear expressions, Quadratic and exponential word problems, Radicals and rational exponents, Operations with rational expressions and polynomials, Polynomial factors and graphs, Nonlinear equation graphs, Linear and quadratic systems, Structure in expressions, Isolating quantities, and Functions.

3. Problem Solving and Data Analysis:

These questions test on ratio, units, percentages, rates, and data from charts and graphs. The topics include Ratios, rates, proportions, Percent’s, Units, Table data, Scatterplots, Key features of graphs, Linear and exponential growth, Data inferences, Center, spread, and shape of distributions , and Data collection and conclusions.

4. Additional Topics:

This includes Geometry, Trigonometry, and Complex Numbers.

SAT Math Scoring Pattern

The raw score on the math section is equal to the number of questions the student gets correct on both the sections. This raw score is then converted into a scaled score ranging from 10 to 40. Say if the student gets all the 58 questions correct, then the scaled score is 40. This is called the Test Score. This Test score is further converted into the section score that ranges between 200- 800.

Different Question types in SAT Math Test

1. Multiple Choice Questions:

45 questions on the math section are multiple choice questions with four answer choices each.

2. Grid in Questions:

13 questions in the math sections are grid in questions which do not have any answer options. The student has to solve the question and enter the answer in the grids in the answer sheet.

Section No. of questions Multiple Choice Questions Grid in Questions Time allotted  Scores
Calculator 20 15 5 25 minutes 200 to 800
No Calculator 38 30 8 55 minutes

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About SAT Test


What is a good score on SAT math?

A good score on the SAT math depends on the course and the college the student wants to apply to. While a 780-800 could mean 99th percentile, a 750 on the math section corresponds to 96th percentile. The student should plan to score more than the average requirement mentioned by the university to be on the safer side.

What is an SAT superscore?

If the student has taken the SAT multiple times, then Colleges that use superscore would choose the best of the scores from the EBRW and the Math sections even if these scores come from different tests.

Is 800 possible on the SAT Math?

It may be difficult to score 800 on math but a perfect score is possible. You may have to get all the questions correct for the perfect score. 

Should I necessarily use a calculator in the Calculator section?

The use of the calculator in the last section depends on the discretion of the student. With practice, the student will understand when to use the calculator. Too much dependence on the calculator could be time consuming.

Does SAT test on Calculus?

No SAT Math Test does not include Calculus.

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