# SAT Prep – How to Approach SAT Math Questions

## How to Approach SAT Math Questions

The 2023 SAT Math Test is an assessment that evaluates problem-solving abilities in a variety of contexts. Knowledge of math is obviously important, but Math Test scores can benefit from test-taking approaches that make strategic use of memorization, time management skills, and familiarity with the test. The best possible student performance results from preparation that incorporates both subject-matter study and regimented practice with exercises that are specific to the SAT Math Test.

## Targeted Memorization and Time Management

The 2023 SAT Math Test includes a reference section with 12 standard mathematical formulas (e.g., the formula for finding the area of a circle, the circumference of a circle, the area of a rectangle, etc.). Students would be well-advised to consult practice tests and memorize all formulas in this reference section, as the more familiar students are with these formulas, the more time they will be able to save when taking the test. It is a good idea to practice solving problems using these formulas to sharpen these computational skills. The more comfortable students are with these particular types of problems, the less stress they will experience when encountering them, making them more likely to solve the given problems correctly and earning themselves an impressively high score.

Memorizing the format of the SAT Math Test in terms of number and types of questions, time allotted, and division of skills will allow students to carefully proceed according to individual math strengths and weaknesses when taking the test. With 80 minutes given for a student to complete a total of 58 questions, a literal interpretation would allow approximately 1 minute and 23 seconds per question. However, all questions on the SAT Math Test are not equal in terms of the effort required both from the general student population and in terms of the specific background of a given student. Test-takers should allow additional time for questions on mathematical skills with which they have more difficulty. Students should also anticipate devoting extra time to the gridded response questions, which take longer to answer due to the fact that a numerical response must be provided along with filling in the appropriate circles.

Here is an overview of the type of questions that comprise the SAT Math Test, as well as the number of each type of question a student will be asked to solve:

• Heart of Algebra: These questions focus on a student's mastery of linear equations and systems. There are 19 such questions.

• Problem Solving and Data Analysis: These questions focus on how quantitatively literate a student is and involve using ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems set in real-world scenarios. There are 17 such questions.

• Passport to Advanced Math: These questions require the manipulation of complex equations or functions such as might be used in a career involving science, technology, engineering, and/or math. There are 16 such questions.

• Additional Topics in Math: These questions involve topics including but not limited to geometry, trigonometry, radian measure, and complex numbers. There are 6 such questions.

The more students know about the SAT Math Test, the more targeted they can be in their preparation, spending less time on areas they are already strong in and more time practicing the types of problems they are less skilled at or comfortable with.