SAT (scholastic aptitude test or scholastic assessment test) is a globally standardized test that evaluates a person’s skills in reading and writing, quantitative aptitude and other subjects. SAT measures the candidates’ skills to analyze and solve problems. The SAT test pattern has three sections i.e. evidence based reading and writing and math and one optional essay section.
The first step while preparing for the test should be getting familiar to the test i.e. the pattern, the topics and skills tested on the math section of SAT.
The skills required for the math test are of basic math learned till class tenth. The candidate doesn’t need to learn up new formulae but they need to increase their speed and thinking process to score good in this section.
This section is divided into two parts: Math test with calculator and Math test without calculator. It has 58 questions comprising of 45 multiple choice questions and 13 grid-in (free response) questions. The total duration of this test is 80 minutes.
- The math test- no calculator part has 20 questions with 15 being multiple choice questions and 5 being grid in questions.
- The math test- calculator past has 38 questions with 30 multiple choice and 8 grid in questions. All scientific and graphing calculators are allowed but mobile phones, smart phones and other gadgets are not permitted.
Not much emphasis is laid on geometry problems in the math section. The main focus is on algebra, solving equations and data analysis. These three categories are the main 90% of the test and the remaining 10 % is called the additional questions which include geometry, trigonometry and basic numbers.
Algebra: This category consists of linear equations, functions and graphs.
Linear equations and linear inequalities and word problems:
1) If 6x = 42 and xk=2, what is the value of k?
2) 3 + 10x – 5 = (a+1) . x – 2
In the equation shown above, a is a constant. For what value of a does the equation have infinitely many solutions?
3) James is budgeting his time to think about the number of classes c he will take this year. For every class that he takes, he believes that he’ll spend 2 ½ hours each week working on homework. He believes that he’ll spend an additional 6 ½ hours each week completing the reading work for all of his classes together. If james has 19 hours free every week to finish homework and reading work for his classes, which equation best models this situation?
- 2.5c – 6.5 = 19
- 2.5c + 6.5 = 19
- 6.5c – 2.5 = 19
- 6.5c + 2.5 = 19
In such questions, underline or circle the key words while reading the statement. It is important to carefully understand the statement and look for what exactly the question is asking for.
4) Which of the following is not a solution of the inequality 3x – 5 ≥ 4x – 3?
5) g = 15 – m/32
Alice fills up the gas tank of her car before going for a long drive. The equation models the amount of gas, g, in gallons, in Alice’s car when she has driven m miles. What is the meaning of 32 in the equation?
- Alice uses 32 gallons of gas per mile
- Alice’s tank can hold 32 gallons of gas
- Alice can drive 32 miles on a tank of gas
- Alice’s car can travel 32 miles to the gallon.
Advanced Math: Advanced Math questions are of nonlinear expressions or expressions in which a variable is raised to an exponent that’s not zero or one. These questions will ask you to work with quadratic equations, exponential expressions, and word problems.
1) g(x) = ax2 + 24
For the function g described above, a is a constant and g(4) = 8. What is the value of g(-4)?
2) 4x2 = 52
What is the value of x?
- x = 13
- x = -13 and x = 13
- x = √13
- x = -√13 and x = √13
3) Which of the following is an equivalent form of the equation of the graph shown in xy- plane above, from which the coordinates of vertex A can be identified as constants in the equation?
- y = (x + 3) (x – 5)
- y = (x – 3) (x + 5)
- y = x(x – 2) – 15
- y = (x – 1)2 – 16
Problem solving and data analysis: the third category is related to rates, ratios, percentages and data from graphs and tables.
1) If an object travels at five feet per second, how many feet does it travel in one hour?
2) A cubical block of metal weighs 6 pounds. How much will another cube of the same metal weigh if its sides are twice as long?
3) Mr. X raised all of his students’ scores on a recent exam by 10 points. What effect did this have on the mean and median of the scores?
- The mean increased by 10 points but the median remained the same.
- The median increased by 10 points but the mean remained the same.
- The mean increased by 10 points, and the median increased by 10 points.
- The mean and the median remained the same.
Additional topics: This category includes geometry questions and trigonometry and complex number questions.
1) In a right triangle, one angle measures x◦, where sin x◦ = 4/5. What is cos(90◦ - x◦)?
2) 1 + i + i2 + i3 + i4 + i5
Which of the following is equivalent to the complex number shown above?
i = √- 1
- 1 + i
- 1 – i
To score good in SAT math test, you need to practice a lot and increase your speed and accuracy.