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5 Key Math Tips

October 26, 2010

If you’ve signed up for the November 6 SAT write date, you don’t have much time left to study, so let’s get right into this!

The SAT math section is a total of 54 questions (44 multiple choice, 10 grid-in) and tests you on arithmetic, geometry, algebra, statistics, and probability. This section of the test should take you 70 minutes. The good news? You won’t have to memorize any trig formulas and you can use a calculator.

Here are some other tips to help you through this often stressful section.

  1. Stay calm. Panicking will only cause you to make reckless mistakes, costing you marks. If you feel panic rising, close your eyes for a moment, take 3 deep breaths, then resume your work.
  2. Recognize the different types of math problems. Don’t try to use probability reasoning to answer a statistics questions. Read the entire problem first and be sure what the question is asking you to solve.
  3. Write it out. Use whatever scrap paper is available to help you work out the problem visually. Writing out your rough work can help you keep track of your thoughts and see possible solutions. Just make sure you write to correct answer in the question space!
  4. Don’t stay stuck. When you come across a question you can’t answer, move onto the next one. Completing the easier problems first will help improve your confidence on the math section and make you less likely to run out of time.
  5. Think logically; then guess. If you’re really stuck on a problem, use your reasoning skills, logical, and process of elimination first then simply take your best guess – you’ve got a 50% chance of being right.

Got those down? Now put those tips to good use with a practice test

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