What is the SAT Math Test?
The SAT Math test evaluates your understanding to apply mathematical concepts and skills to different types of problems in college and in real life. There are two portions on the SAT Math test. The first section will be for 55 minutes with 38 questions where one can use a calculator, and the second section for 25 minutes with 20 questions, using no calculator. To know more about what the SAT comprises, read our older blogpost on “What you need to know about the SATs”.
Aiming for a Perfect 800 in SAT Math? Well, It might seem impossible at first but with proper guidance, skills and the right strategy you should be well on your way. While, scoring within the range of 680-750 is acceptable, you may want to raise your scores by answering all the questions correctly and earning an 800 on this section! This is especially key when you’re trying to get into a field of study that requires extensive Math knowledge.
So, why do you need to perfect your SAT Math score?
If you’re planning to get an admission in one of the top universities such as Harvard, Princeton, MIT etc. your score needs to meet the quantitative bar set by them – an 800. You’ll need to be in the top percentile for these highly selective technical colleges as a lower Math score makes you seem underprepared to meet their courses’ rigorous requirements. Another reason why getting an 800 in your Math test is crucial is because it helps make up for the potential weaknesses in other sections, be it reading or writing. The competition is cut-throat and you’re up against some of the best mathematical minds so an 800 will help improve your chances of being considered for admissions.
Before we dive into some of the tips to ace your Math section, remember to keep a positive mindset. The most important tip is to stay calm. Yes, the test is important. Yes, you’re aiming for a perfect 800, but don’t let that pressure get to you. Try to be mentally strong, believe in yourself and know that you can do it.
SAT Math Tip 1 – Find your weak points
Self-analysis is a prime step before you start preparing for your test. This will help you know your flaws beforehand, allowing you to work on it and master them. Here is something you could practice to know your weakness. Take two practice tests, one with the test conditions and another without any time constraints. If you score less even without time limits then you’ll need to work on understanding the content of your test, but if you score good with unlimited time then you know, it’s the time management you need to work on.
Identifying your weak spots and working on bettering them will help you be more strategic about your preparation. Remember, for the most part, the SAT is about studying smartly and mastering the proven strategies!
SAT Math Tip 2 – Master the concepts
The Math test focuses on three major topics:
- Heart of Algebra – 19 questions
- Problem Solving and Data Analysis- 17 questions
- Passport to Advanced Math – 16 questions
The remaining questions will test your understanding of topics such as
Make sure you have a strong and deep understanding of each topic – move beyond the basic level of these topics and practice past SAT questions that are in line with the various concepts. Identify and analyse your content gaps and familiarise yourself even with the topics that don’t come too often in the exams.
Memorise formulae and postulates that will help you move through questions with ease.
SAT Math Tip 3 – Practice, Practice, Practice.
If your target is 800, you don’t have an option to leave anything. Your practice and preparation need to be on point. If you commit a mistake, make it your mission not to repeat it. Just knowing your mistakes is not enough, you need to understand the cause of your mistake and work towards eradicating it from the roots. Make sure you practice different varieties of questions. This acts as an exercise to your brain. There are multiple practice tests you can take on various sites. If you don’t always have the time for full practice tests, then attempt practice questions that’ll help build your prowess.
SAT Math Tip 4 – Avoid careless SAT mistakes
Imagine solving an entire question correctly only to mark the wrong answer on the answer sheet. That would be galling! Always pay attention while marking the answer, especially while bubbling your answer sheet, make sure you mark on the correct question and not above or below it. When using a calculator, check if you’ve entered the correct digits. Careless mistakes are to be avoided at all costs and at all times! Practice presence of mind while doing the SAT test so you’re well aware of what, how and why you’re doing it.
SAT Math Tip 5 – Get help from the experts!
While self-studying is good and commendable, working with an expert will prove to be more effective. You wouldn’t want to give up an opportunity to learn from someone who is highly experienced and could help you earn the scores of your dream. Do you?
An SAT tutor will help you identify your weaknesses and strengths and teach you at your own pace. You’ll receive the guidance you need and access to learning materials you perhaps couldn’t get your hands on before! If you wish to enrol yourself for a prep class or personalized class for your Math SAT prep, read up more about our support here and register here.
Those are a few strategies/ tips that can help you improve your Math score and get that 800! Start your preparation early and most importantly, stay calm and focused.
For tips on the SAT English Reading and writing, check out our blog on “Proven Strategies to Perfect your SAT Score”