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5 Best SAT Math Tips and Tricks To Help You Ace the SAT

This article provides valuable tips and tricks to ace the SAT math section. It emphasizes understanding the SAT math format and topics, mastering relevant formulas, practicing mental math, identifying and learning from mistakes, developing effective test-taking strategies and time management skills, and gaining proficiency in using a calculator. It highlights the importance of a robust preparatory phase for a successful SAT math experience.

Are you having a difficult time preparing for the SAT math section? Or are well-prepared but still feel your stomach churn when you think of the SAT math? Don’t worry, with the right strategies, enough time for practice, and a solid understanding of math concepts, we’ll help you feel confident on the actual test date! 

We’ve compiled some helpful tips and tricks to help you breeze through the SAT math section. In this article, we’ll share with you ways to make the most out of your SAT preparation. Feel prepared, confident, and ready with these SAT math tips and tricks!

What Are Some Helpful SAT Math Tips and Tricks?

There are different helpful SAT math tips and tricks that can help you feel more prepared for your upcoming SAT. When it comes to tackling the SAT math section, having a few tips and tricks up your sleeves can make a difference. We know, taking the SAT comes with its ups and downs. You might be feeling the anticipation and apprehension all at the same time. The good news is, we’re here to help!  

Photo shows a senior high student (girl) wearing a red blouse as she presses on the calculator to work on a math test.

SAT Math Tip 1: Know the SAT Math Format and Topics

The first thing that you should do is learn what to expect in the SAT math section. Remember that the SAT math is divided into two parts: the no-calculator section and the calculator section. The first section (no-calculator section) contains 15 multiple-choice and 5 grid-in questions. Meanwhile, the second section (calculator section) contains 30 multiple-choice and 8 grid-in questions. 

Photo shows a table that summarizes the test items and total time (80 minutes) allotted for the SAT Math.

Of course, it is difficult to ace a test without being prepared. One of the most crucial things that you need to know immediately are the topics that are covered in the SAT math. These are the four content areas that the SAT math will test you: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Passport to Advanced Math, and Additional Topics in Math. Here’s a breakdown of the number of questions asked per content area.

If you want a full course list or to learn more about the topics covered in the SAT math, head over to our previous article!

SAT Math Tip 2: Master the Common SAT Math Formulas 

One of the most helpful SAT math tips is to ensure that you have a list of the common SAT math formulas and concepts handy. It is essential that you know the fundamental concepts and formulas before taking the SAT. The math section will contain 12 formulas for you to access throughout. However, you must familiarize yourself with the key concepts across all four content areas.

Image shows AceIt's free SAT formula sheet available for students to download.

Fret not, here at AceIt, we are one step ahead just for you! We’ve listed all the key concepts and formulas that you’ll need for the SAT math. Check this article to get our FREE downloadable SAT math cheat sheet. Whether you’re just at the beginning of your SAT journey or near its end, this formula will make your SAT prep easier.

SAT Math Tip 3: Practice Mental Math Tricks

As we have mentioned, the SAT math contains two parts: no-calculator and calculator sections. If you’re taking the digital SAT, a calculator is allowed throughout the test. There will still be problems, however, that are better solved mentally or without a calculator. 

Knowing how to simplify and manipulate numbers makes a lot of difference especially when it comes to managing your time. Begin by making sure you know your arithmetic basics and look up different strategies to work with numbers smartly. 

SAT Math Tip 4: Identify Weak Areas and Learn From Your Mistakes

Have you taken an SAT practice test and feel that you can still improve your math section? Most of the students preparing for the SAT may have experienced that as well, so you are not alone. The good news is, we can grow through our weak areas. Use the result from your practice test and do your best to identify weak areas. 

Photo shows a notebook with formulas. Beside it, there is a cup of coffee.

Be intentional with each practice test that you take and make sure that you take note of your mistakes. Then learn from them. If you’re making a common arithmetic mistake, snip it in the bud and be mindful of these crucial steps the next time you answer another set of practice questions. Here at AceIt, our SAT prep tool offers unlimited practice questions and adapts the questions based on your weak areas and mistakes. This helps in making sure you address those mistakes, learn from them, and perform better in your next practice test. 

SAT Math Tip 5: Learn Some Test-Taking Strategies and Time Management Skills

When preparing for the SAT, you must equip yourself with the right test-taking strategies and time management skills. Remember that the SAT math questions can be tricky, so first, learn how to read the questions carefully and mark important values as much as you can. The SAT intentionally includes choices that are the result of common arithmetic mistakes, so it helps when you always review your work. These are just some of the many test-taking strategies that you can learn.

Photo shows a multiple-choice answer sheet with a red pen on top of it.

Be mindful of the allotted time per section and ensure that you always practice in timed conditions. Monitor if you’re solving the problems within the allotted section and improve your speed through practice. One way to manage your time effectively is knowing when you should be using your calculator and when you shouldn’t. There are instances when it’s faster to solve the problem by hand and there are moments when you need to pick your calculator and key the numbers in. This becomes an instinct over time, so you must practice and allot time to solve different types of SAT math questions.

SAT Math Tip 6: Learn the Ins and Outs of Your Calculator

Practice using your calculator effectively in the calculator section. If you’re taking the digital SAT, strategize how you would use your calculator and the in-app calculator available for you. As early as possible, know the calculator model that you’ll be using for your SAT. First things first, check that your calculator is accepted by the College Board. From then on, use the calculator that you’ll be using for the SAT throughout your prep time. This allows you to know the ins and outs of your calculator by heart.

Photo shows a scientific calculator placed on top of a book.

Once you have your calculator, check out its manual or download it online. You can even search for exercises you can do on your calculator so you can be more familiar with it. Search for your model online and study key functions that you might be using for the SAT. Learn how to find intercepts by graphing functions, know how to enter arithmetic operations correctly, and practice working on questions with your calculator. 

Acing the Sat Math With Our Tips and Tricks

Acing the SAT math is possible through a strong math foundation, test-taking strategies, and time management skills. By knowing the key math concepts and formulas by heart, you’ll feel confident to tackle different types of questions. Develop smart test-taking strategies and time-management skills as you work on different practice questions. Invest in great practice materials with questions designed as close as possible to the actual SAT.

More importantly, remember that you’ve done your best so take on the SAT confidently and calmly. With our six effective SAT math tips, know that you have what it takes to meet your SAT goals.



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