The SAT Math section can seem like a huge, looming challenge, but it doesn’t have to. We’ll tell you what you need to know. Here are 6 reasons the SAT Math Section isn’t as difficult as you might think.
1. Around 60% of the Questions Are Algebra I
No, seriously. Sixty percent of the questions on the SAT Math sections are Algebra I, just dressed up a little. Most of it isn’t new, scary math, or even geometry. Sixty percent of the SAT Math Sections will be stuff that you probably learned in freshman year. As long as you’ve got the basics of Algebra I down, and can apply them to word problems, sixty percent of this test is yours.
Beyond that about 25% of the SAT Math is Algebra II. Geometry? Less than 5%. Sure, reviewing the higher level math won’t hurt, but you can handle an 85% algebra test.
2. The Math SAT Loves Systems of Equations
The Math SAT has an ongoing love affair with systems of equations. Seriously, one-eighth of the problems on Math No-Calculator section are usually systems of equations problems. Don’t know how to solve systems of equations? Then you know exactly what to study in order to make your SAT score jump several points!
3. The SAT Might Be Timed, But Your Studying Is Not
If you spend time working through the harder problems when you’re studying, and really take your time to figure them out, the actual test will flow much easier. Practice with the SAT test will go a long way. Keep calm, take your time studying, and the math section shouldn’t have too many surprises.
If you want to study more efficiently, consider using our SAT Math Mastery guide.
4. Common Mistakes Tend To Cost Students the Most Points
Most of the mistakes made on the SAT can be attributed to small errors between steps of a problem. However, if you write out your work at every step, most of these errors will vanish. Practice being careful and reap the results on testing day.
5. Elimination Works on the SAT
If worst comes to worst, try plugging things in, or eliminating. Sometimes, you might not know where to start, so try working backwards. No one’s going to judge you on your path to a good answer.
There’s also no penalty for guessing, so if you can get it down to two answers… those are pretty good odds.
6. Your SAT Score Won’t Make or Break Your Life
At the end of the day, a high SAT score is very nice to have, but there are many factors that go into college acceptance, like your essay, extracurricular activities, and so on. Even if this goes the worst it could for you, you can bounce back, and find a good path through life. Weird stuff happens, and while having a high SAT score can mean a lot in terms of financial aid, scholarships, or acceptance… it isn’t everything. Life goes on.
And, hey, there’s always the ACT.
Thanks for reading! We hope this helped make you a little more comfortable with the SAT Math Sections! If you want more SAT and ACT prep advice sure to join our mailing list for a free 27-item checklist and 30-day free SAT email course.