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Duke University
UCLA
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What are some good strategies for tackling SAT Math questions?

Math isn't my strongest suit, but I want to make sure I do well on the Math section of the SAT. What kinds of strategies or techniques have folks found helpful in dealing with these kinds of problems? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

a month ago

For the SAT's Math section, there are several strategies that might be helpful.

First, understanding the structure of the SAT math section can be very beneficial. As of spring 2024, the SAT is fully digital and its math section is composed of two 35-minute modules. You have to answer a total of 44 questions, which means you get about 96 seconds, or a little over a minute and a half, per question.

One strategy that's often recommended is to take advantage of the order of the questions. The questions in each module are generally arranged from easiest to hardest. So, you may want to solve the first questions quickly to leave yourself more time for the difficult ones at the end.

Another tip is to consistently practice using your calculator digitally. Since the SAT is all digital now, there isn't a no-calculator section anymore, so get comfortable with operating your calculator efficiently. You'll especially want to know how to use it for complex problems that involve operations like square roots, trigonometric functions, or logarithms.

Familiarizing yourself with the broad categories that SAT math questions fall into can also be beneficial. These categories include: Heart of Algebra (linear equations and systems), Problem Solving and Data Analysis (ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning), and Passport to Advanced Math (complex equations). Each math category has its own content specifics, so knowing what to expect can help guide your studies.

Bear in mind that it's not enough to simply find the right answer; you also need to do it quickly. To improve your efficiency, try to identify and eliminate incorrect answers, a process commonly referred to as answer choice elimination. This is particularly useful in multiple-choice questions where you might be unsure of the correct answer but can identify choices that are clearly wrong.

In spite of the time constraints, refrain from hurrying through problems. Rushing might lead to simple mistakes. Understand each problem before you start solving, read all instructions and questions carefully, and avoid mental computation as much as possible to prevent mistakes.

Practicing regularly with real test questions or full-length practice tests is a top tip. The Bluebook™ app allows you to preview the digital SAT and take a full-length practice test. Remember, consistent practice is the key to success.

Overall, a combination of comprehensive understanding of the topics, proper time management, and careful question analysis will be your key to acing the SAT Math section. Good luck!

a month ago