a year ago

HELP: raise math SAT!!!

I'm a rising junior and I just took the SAT on june 3rd and I got a 1330, 750 english and 580 math. My english score I'm super happy with!! I've always been really good at reading and stuff in school. I am really bad at math and I took a Khan Academy prep tutoring class over the summer ( I don't think it helped that much) and I was wondering if there is anything anyone on here has done to raise their math score substantially or main topics I have to focus on. I always feel like I do alright then I get it back and my math just sucks even though I thought I knew it. Any tips? Thanks!!!!

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a year ago[edited]

Hello @peytonfwright! Welcome to CollegeVine!

My last SAT (in 6th grade) was 1290 (800 math, 490 English). (I haven't taken the SAT for almost 5 years now, but I'm a rising junior, so I should probably retake the SATs again.)

My first SAT practice on Khan Academy (in 3rd/4th grade) was 900 (580 math, 320 english), so I have experience struggling around your range in math.

I used Khan academy to boost my score up to around the mid-600s. Everything level 4, no misses, no careless mistakes, SAT practice tests on there to 800 Math (or well, very close to it at least, but ideally perfect). This reflects my first SAT I took in Grade 5, with 1080 (660 math, 420 English).

From here, know your weaknesses. That boosted me up to the early-700s in math. In my case, I sucked at graphing quadratic equations. So I spent 3 weeks x 1 to 3 hours solving problem after problem until I could get it perfectly. Then I moved onto avoiding calculation errors with and without calculators for 3 weeks x 1 to 3 hours. Practice. Practice. Practice perfect makes perfect.

Once you try to get above the early 700s in math requires a lot of perfection. Make sure you know everything from Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus (Yes. You've heard that right. Do not just stop at Algebra 2, this is one of the big reasons people don't hit the 730+ mark, or even 700, as far as I've seen).

For Under 650 Math, I recommend perfecting every question you learned so far. Don't just stop at 10 questions or so. Strive for 95% accuracy on any math topic you've learned until you can keep that consistency for 20-30 questions (or 50-200, if you're like me and is a try-hard when put my mind into it). It will feel annoying, but trust me, it helps. If you're concerned about not being very good at math, 1. Don't put that mental lock in, and while idk what topics you know or don't know, but 2. Make sure you master basic concepts of algebra and geometry, such as basic substitutions, knowing that the interior angles of a triangle sum to 180 degrees, etc.


Main topics to review (and eventually perfect) (650+):

Advanced Polynomials (e.g. Graphing Quadratic equations, Synthetic division, Advanced Factoring)

Trigonometry (e.g. Law of Sine and Cosine. Areas, angles and lengths using sine and cosine)

Advanced Geometry (e.g. Heron's formula for computing areas of triangles from only side lengths, very useful short cut on some rare problems, Power of a Point, etc.).

Main topics to perfect:

Hand calculating problems involving imaginary numbers.

Remembering Trig functions at basic angles 30, 45, 60, 90, etc.

System of equations (2 and 3 variables).

Again, this is how I did it to raise my score from Khan Academy 580 SAT to the real SAT 800 math. But each person has a different strategy as to how they improved. Just take my advice as a grain of salt, as you are not me. Ultimately, it comes down to your own effort.

Hope this helps.


SilverDragon (Japan, 10th-rising 11th)

P.S. Out of curiosity, how do you get your English score so high? I'm struggling around 550-700 in English on practice tests and PSAT NMSQT (it's not very consistent). Some people just tell me to read but idk, it relies too heavily on intuition. I'm not from an English-speaking country so I need a consistent 750+ in english to get into university.

🎤a year ago

oh my god thank you SO much, SERIOUSLY. so unbelievably helpful. and i honestly lucked out with being good at english, or so i'm told because apparently english is much harder to raise. but i truly don't know, i don't have a phone so i read a ton in my free time and i've been doing so since i could read. i think if grammar is an issue, if i don't know i just base it off of context clues for the most part, but i have a pretty wide vocabulary (or so i would say) which comes in handy when you have to pick out synonyms and stuff. just curious, are you a native english speaker? if so, i might have different tips. and congrats for doing so well so young!! props to you for getting ahead 👏👏

a year ago

Hello, fellow rising junior here! Just wondering, how difficult is the no calculator math portion of the SAT? What type/s of math does it it include?

a year ago

I was raised speaking both English and Japanese. So maybe? Neither of my parents speak English, but I learned a lot of English during school, so very fluent, I would like to say I'm native, but it depends on the POV (since I was 1 or 2 years old, pre-school). As for the tips, I would like to have some tips, thanks!

Oh, and I found a blog post that used some tips I did for math: student-tutor.com/blog/10-no-calculator-tips-sat-math/

a year ago

It's definitely easier than the calculator section (kind of obvious), it covers similar problems as the calculators except it's easier and doesn't require rigorous hand calculations.

It's hard to "describe" what problems there are as I'm not allowed to discuss SAT problems (CollegeBoard's policy), but I'll give you a general overview of topics (there are ranges because it depends on the year and test):

Algebra: 8-10 questions

Trig: 0-2 questions

Geometry: 2-4 questions

Advanced Math (CollegeBoard will call this "Passport to Advanced Mathematics"): 6-10 questions (These questions are mostly Advanced Algebra, with some Advanced Geometry and Pre-Calc).

There are 15 MCQ (Multiple choice questions) and 5 "grid-in" questions.

a year ago

Key tip I forgot to mention. SHORTCUTS!

1. No Calculator

Remember formulas even if it seems very minute. E.g. the vertex formula comes in handy! (-b/2a, (b^2-4ac)/4a)

2. Calculator Section

Use a TI-83 or TI-84 seriously (I have used the TI-84 since 2nd grade and it's amazing, the best calculator that you're allowed to use in the SAT, latter versions like TI-89 are banned in the SAT due to having a CAS, computer algebra system). You can program complex equations (I have programmed it to be able to factor simple quadratics, quickly solve the quadratic formula by only inserting the a, b, and c of the ax^2+bx+c=0, etc.)

🎤a year ago

thank you so so much!! i was just wondering because if you're not a native speaker, grammar and vocabulary is usually difficult. i would've said reading up on all grammar and punctuation rules covered would be your best bet (albert.io/blog/10-essential-grammar-rules-for-sat-writing/)

and when it comes to vocabulary, just taking practice tests, seeing if you can narrow down synonyms and stuff by utilizing prefixes and all the parts of a word. other than that, learning question types and reading super difficult texts in your free time, seeing if you can use context clues and understand it, then looking it up if you were right after might be helpful. i honestly suck at advice myself and i wish i could be more helpful 😭. i think prepscholars blog covers a ton of the english tips tho!!!! good luck to you :)

a year ago

Thank you so much! I found this helpful as well!


a year ago

Hi! I highly agree with everything @SilverDragon mentioned. One thing I would add as someone who did well on English (720) and horribly on math (490:) would be to make sure that you understand the material. You can do example after example, but plain memorization of formulas won't help, because the SAT is designed with questions that try to trip you up. Delve deep and make sure that you really understand the concepts. I used the College Panda's math prep book (and read his website) and both had great strategies that base off this concept. I also went on Schoolhouse.world- they offer free 6 week SAT peer tutoring virtually as part of a research study. They have tutors who have taken the SAT recently and have done well, and are great teachers! They review concepts and go through examples. Plus the groups are small- like ten people each. I would definitely recommend.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

🎤a year ago

i actually did schoolhouse haha, my tutor tried his best and was super super smart, but couldn't quite get his ideas across as he thought them! he did say he used the panda book so i was going to get that :) thank you so so much for the tips!!!

a year ago

Oh my. Yep I feel like you need to get lucky with the tutors...


What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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