What’s Tested On the SAT Math Section?
It’s almost time for another round of SATs. Many students are nervous about the SAT math section. Even if you think your math teacher was competent at teaching you, and you aced your math class, you may be worried that there are items that haven’t been covered and that could affect your grading.
Taking a math SAT can help to support your high school grades. It can also display your willingness to be skilled enough, and to have an interest in taking a math-based program in college or university. There are many fields that require excellent math skills, including economics, engineering, science, and technology. If you’re interested in any of these fields, good SAT scores will set you apart from other students for admission.
Here’s a rundown of what exactly is on the SAT math section so you can be confident while you prepare for testing.
You’ll have 60 minutes for your test, and have to answer 50 multiple choice questions. You can be expected to be tested in four main types of math skills. They are 1. Numbers and operations; 2. Algebra and functions; 3. Geometry and related measurements; and 4. Data analysis, statistics, and probability.
If you’re a bit worried about what that all means, we can be a bit more specific. For each of these 4 sections, they can be broken down into parts. Numbers and operations will involve about 10-14% of the test, while algebra and functions involves 38-42%, geometry and related measurements involve 38-42%, and geometry and related measurements for 8-12%.
For numbers and operations, you’ll need to have a good understanding of the complex numbers, counting, elementary number theory, operations, ratio and proportions, matrices, and sequences.
The study of algebra and functions will require you to understand equations, expressions, inequalities, modeling and representation, and the properties of functions such as exponential, linear, polynomial, and rational.
For the geometry and measurement component you’ll need to know what the plane Euclidean is, and be able to coordinate the following: Lines, parabolas, circles, symmetry, and transformations. You also need to understand three-dimensional objects such as solids, surface area, and volume, including cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, and prisms. The most important part of trigonometry is to know right triangles and identities.
The last part of the SAT involves the data analysis, statistics, probability, and mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, graphs and plots, least squares regression (linear), and probability.
For the math SAT you’re allowed to use your calculator. However, don’t rely on it to solve all the questions. If there are questions you can solve in your head, do so, as this will be a lot quicker and can gain you extra time on more difficult questions. You may also be able to solve the first half in your head, then use your calculator for more difficult parts of the question.
Go through every math topic you need to know and do practice example questions. By making an effort you’ll be able to achieve the best SAT score possible.