It's entirely possible to train for the SAT Math section. The more you understand how it works, the better you'll perform on test day. Here, we'll give you absolutely everything you'll need to know to master SAT Math.
This is the best, most comprehensive guide for SAT math prep available. We've scoured all the resources we could find and put them together for your convenience. If you are dedicated to doing your best on the SAT and are ready to commit your time and energy to improving your Math score, this is the guide for you. (And best of all, it's entirely free!)
This guide will serve as a directory for all the SAT Math articles and guides we've written. We'll start by going through the SAT Math section at the high level and giving you access to free practice tests and problems. After, we'll dive into the larger SAT tips you'll need for the test before finally getting into individual math topics you should know.
With that said, it's a good idea to go through each guide we've linked roughly in order, at least for the first time. You can then come back to any of the guides you need in order to give yourself a refresher.
So let's dive in!
High-Level SAT Math Section Overview
Now that you've (presumably) decided to study for the SAT Math section, let's talk big picture. These guides will lay the foundation for your SAT studies and give you an idea of how the Math section works as a whole as well as how to master it at the high level.
The first step to understanding how to master the SAT Math section is to learn exactly what you'll be tested on. After all, you wouldn't want to waste your time studying a topic that will never show up on the test! So take a look at what this section covers and focus your studies there.
SAT Math has two subsections: a No Calculator part (on which you may not use a calculator) and a Calculator part (for which you may use a calculator). This guide introduces the format of the No Calculator section, the various skills it tests, what the questions look like, and tips for doing well.
The SAT Math section consists of three major topic areas: Heart of Algebra, Passport to Advanced Math, and Problem Solving and Data Analysis. These guides go over in detail the different content areas on the section as well as the types of math questions you'll get and how to approach them.
Not all questions on the Math section are multiple choice—you'll also have 13 student-produced response questions (commonly known as grid-ins). You must fill in your own answers for these. Get the lowdown on what these questions look like and when to expect them on test day.
This guide will take you through the grading structure of the SAT Math section and show you just how you can use it to your advantage. If you've already taken a practice test and are currently scoring below 600 on Math, then it's time to learn how you can boost your score to get you to where you want to be.
For those of you who are already doing well on the Math section and aiming for perfection, this is the guide for you. Here, our resident perfect scorer will help you take your scores to the very top.
Free SAT Tests and SAT Math Practice Problems
Mastering the SAT is a combination of arming yourself with knowledge of the test and taking time to practice with real practice tests and problems. In this section, we've linked the best free SAT Math materials you can find online and use in your studies.
If you haven't yet taken a full-length practice test, set aside some time to sit down and take one of these free, real SAT tests. Doing this will give you a starting point to work with and will show you how your Math score fits into the larger picture of your overall SAT score.
This article goes over the very best (official) SAT Math tests and practice questions you can get for free online. We also give you a handful of tips on how to use these resources effectively.
Beyond full SATs, there are many math SAT problems available online. We've linked them all here and offer tips you'll need to know in order to master them.
From all the real SAT Math problems available, we've compiled the 13 hardest questions (for both the No Calculator and Calculator sections) along with answer explanations. Take a look if you're ready to test yourself against the most difficult problems the SAT Math section has to offer.
You already have access to SAT Math practice problems, so it's a good idea to learn how to best use them to effectively raise your score. We show you how to do just that in this guide.
SAT Math Tips and Tools
So far, you've learned what the SAT Math section looks like, taken a look at the high-level strategies for earning and improving your Math score, and discovered the best sources for SAT Math practice problems. Now, let's look at the specific skills and tools you'll need to successfully tackle the SAT Math section.
One of the most important requirements for mastering SAT Math is having a solid understanding of the key formulas and knowing how to apply them. We'll show you what math formulas you'll need to remember, what formulas you'll be given on the test, and what formulas you can get away with not knowing.
Not sure where to begin with your SAT Math prep? We lay out 16 essential hacks for acing SAT Math in no time.
There are no penalties for wrong answers on the SAT Math section, but this doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a reliable strategy for guessing on questions you don't know the answers to. This guide goes over how to raise your chances of guessing correctly.
SAT Math questions are notorious for being confusing, wordy, and overly complicated. It can be difficult to see through the fluff at what's really being asked. Once you learn the trick though, you'll see that most SAT Math questions are actually much easier to answer than they first appear. This guide shows you how.
Everyone makes mistakes—but there are ways you can avoid making them on SAT Math. In this guide, we introduce the most common mistakes students make and go over exactly how to fix your approach so you can avoid careless errors.
A good (and approved) calculator on the SAT Math section is indispensable. Learn which calculators are allowed on the test, and get the inside knowledge of which calculators the SAT experts prefer.
Running out of time on the Math section? You're not alone! We'll take you through the steps you'll need to overcome this common problem, reach your best score, and beat the clock.
SAT Math questions are designed to be tricky, and you may struggle even if you're confident in all the math skills the section tests. This article explains each of the ways SAT Math tries to trick students over and over again--and what you can do to see through the tricks and find the correct answer.
SAT Math Topics Guides
Now that you've got a solid grasp of the most important high-level SAT Math strategies, it's time to take a look at each and every SAT Math topic. We've written several informational and strategy guides for every topic on SAT Math and offer practice problems with detailed answer explanations.
Strategies for Multiple Types of SAT Math Problems
Many SAT Math problems can be solved in multiple ways, and there are two different strategies that can apply to many math problems on the test. Understanding these strategies allows you to answer questions on math topics you're wary of—even topics you don't understand much at all!
Instead of actually solving the math problem, you can use the structure of the test against itself by plugging in answer choices one at a time and seeing which one yields the correct answer. Learn how to do this here!
For complex algebra problems, nothing beats working with real numbers instead of variables. In this guide, we'll show you exactly how to do this on the SAT Math section.
Individual SAT Math Guides
Now, let's look at each math topic on the SAT by subject.
Plane and Solid Geometry
The Takeaways: Studying Effectively for SAT Math
There's a lot of information here, so take your time with it and balance your studies over a period of several months if possible. The SAT Math section is complicated, and there's much to study and understand if you want to do really well on it.
But always take to heart that it is possible for you to do well on SAT Math. It takes dedication and discipline, but mastering the Math section is completely doable. Taking the time to work through these guides is a great first step!
If you're still feeling overwhelmed, it might be a good idea to work with a prep program. Our PrepScholar SAT program learns your strengths and weaknesses to tailor your study materials and lessons to the areas where you need it most. We also show you how to balance out your time over the course of your SAT prep so you can get the most for every hour you study.
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Courtney scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT in high school and went on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology. She is passionate about bringing education and the tools to succeed to students from all backgrounds and walks of life, as she believes open education is one of the great societal equalizers. She has years of tutoring experience and writes creative works in her free time.