Prep Step: Get to Know SAT Math!

Today our guest contributors are some amazing mathematicians from right here in St. Vrain! They’re going to help us get better acquainted with our dear friend, SAT Math.

Paige Gebert of Longmont High School and Greg George, K-12 Mathematics Coordinator

Greg George, K-12 Mathematics Coordinator: What You’ll see on the SAT

You might be thinking this test will contain multiple items of concepts you haven’t yet studied in high school. WRONG! In fact, 33% of the SAT Math questions focus on Algebra 1 content, which is familiar to all high school students!

There is a calculator and a non-calculator section: 

You’ll also see, of the total 58 questions, 45  multiple choice questions and 13 “grid in” responses.

Here’s a breakdown of the the topics:

Now: What exactly does THAT mean? Click here to find a DOCUMENT outlining the concepts and skills associated with each domain. Take a look at the list and rate your comfort with each topic. Could you match each to a practice test and find examples yourself? How do you do?

For a detailed analysis of each test and how each question is labeled, see the practice tests HERE and look at scoring guides.

Paige Gebert, Math Teacher at Longmont High, on her favorite strategy: 

If you come across a problem on the test that you have forgotten how to solve, sometimes it works to use the answers to help you! This also might be a faster option in some situations if you are running short on time.

Below is a problem where this strategy works. In order to solve this problem, you would need to remember how to solve a quadratic equation (by factoring, using the quadratic formula, completing the square, etc.)

If you haven’t seen quadratic equations in awhile and have forgotten how to solve them, you can use the answers to help you. Instead of actually solving the problem, you can plug in the x values given in each answer to see which ones make the original equation true.
If you plug x = 3 in for x in the equation and simplify you get 0=0 so you know this is one of the solutions. If you also plug x = -1 in for x the same thing happens so you know that it’s the other solution.





This strategy can help you out if you’re in a bind!