How may I obtain a good mark in SAT math section? Is calculator allowed?

Exam: Test Prep SAT Test - Scholastic Assessment Test: Reading, Writing and Language, Mathematics


Every student aims at scoring high marks in their exams. Here are the top best tips to help you score high marks.  Take your time to read these tips and then put them in practice. When taking a math test, note the following:

Always do not get yourself fooled

SAT math section is always a bit easier than other math tests, but certainly not simple. The SAT math section always tries to trick those students who rush and fail to read questions carefully. According to Carroll, the tricks are not intricate but by those students who are not attentive to detail are likely to overlook them. As a smart student, you should be sharp and make sure that you have paid attention in order to understand what you are supposed to answer.

Make use of your resources

During the day of sitting for the test, you will have a number of additional resources at your disposal; resources such as a calculator, scratch paper and formula sheets. You should be prudent and not forget to use them. Why is it that you should use them? For example, when you are using your calculator, you will be able to avoid careless mistakes, and you will be able to move quickly through the questions. You should always write down the key information on that scratch paper because that way; you will be in a position to avoid re –reading. Another important resource is the formula sheet that helps you save time! As you take your time studying, try to familiarize yourself with the formula sheet. It will help you save that precious minute you would take trying to remember the formula that has escaped you.

Get to know what to expect

SAT mathematics section tests you in the following topics: algebra, statistics, geometry, arithmetic and probability. Therefore, as you start your preparations for the mathematics test, it is important to review all of these concepts in detail: Algebra, geometry and numbers.  They constitute 60 percent of the test. Having a solid understanding of triangles will also be necessary because it helps you to do well on geometry questions. Triangles form the backbone to most geometry questions. After hard work during preparation for the SAT math section, you will come to realize that when that day arrives you already have a clear sense of weaknesses and strength too. All that will help you keep time and in a position that you can choose those questions you should skip and the ones to take first.

Be able to pace yourself

When taking SAT math section, you should learn how to pace yourself and be aware of time. Take those familiar and easy questions.  In most tests, the first ten questions are always easy. Solve those questions using your scratch paper as you mark your chosen answers in the test booklet.  Later, transfer them to the answer sheet. Follow the same procedure for question 11 to 15 but for the remaining questions, answer them one by one.

Approach every SAT math question using the same method

You should read the question carefully, look for information provided in the question, and make choices as well.

  • Back solve in order to save time
  • Pick number to avoid complication in algebra
  • Make sure you check that you provide an answer suitable to a specific question

Other tips that are of much help

  • Always translate words in questions to math in order to solve easily, for example, “of” meaning to multiply.
  • In order to save your time on test day, recognize that numbers’ properties rules include odd and even, prime numbers and others.
  •  Understand SAT relationships such as the difference between ratios—a ratio being a relationship between the number— values and percent. If you understand these details, you will be able to move easily between percentages, fractions and decimals.
  • Also, make sure that you can use a calculator on the test day.

How do you tell if you can use a calculator or not?

When solving SAT math questions, you realize that it is possible to solve all the mathematics questions without a calculator. However, you should carry a calculator that you are accustomed to using. In most cases, a graphical or scientific calculator is the best. You should only use calculators for Mathematics Subject Tests and not any other SAT subject test. When taking other SAT tests, keep the calculator away.

Some tips about calculators that you should now.

  • Always bring with you a calculator, even if you are not sure whether you will use it or not because test centers do not provide calculators.
  • If you are among those who do not use calculators regularly, you should start practicing on simple SAT Mathematics questions prior to sitting for the test.
  • Do not buy those expensive or sophisticated calculators just for the sake of the test. Although you can use them during the test, very sophisticated calculators are not a must-have during the test. Remember that it is possible to answer all the questions on SAT without using a calculator.
  • Always remember that the calculator is meant to aid you when solving problems that you have selected and not for every question. First, you should decide how to solve the question and then decide whether to use a calculator or not.

Before you start your test, always make sure that your calculator is in good working order, and its battery is fully charged. Failure to confirm this, your calculator could break down when you do not have a backup, and you will end up completing the test without it.


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