5 Must-Know SAT Math Tips

Your SAT Test Day is fast approaching, and you need our top 5 tips–last-minute SAT Math tips and strategies to maximize your score. Don’t panic; we’ve got you covered. Remember that your SAT Math subscores will reflect how you perform on specific questions tied to The Heart of Algebra, Passport to Advanced Math, and Problem Solving and Data Analysis concepts, and don’t forget to learn the details of the SAT Math section.
[ See also: the Top 5 SAT Writing Tips ]
[ And here’s: the Top 5 SAT Reading Tips ]

SAT Math Tip #1: Use our proven SAT Math approach to answer every SAT math question.


Step 1: Read the question, identifying and organizing important information as you go

• What information am I given?

• Separate the question from the context.

• How are the answer choices different?

• Should I label or draw a diagram?

Step 2: Choose the best strategy to answer the SAT Math question

• Look for Patterns

• Pick numbers or use straightforward math

Step 3: Check that you answered the right question

• Review the question stem

• Check units of measurement

• Double-check your work

SAT Math Tip #2: Use the Kaplan Method for Multi-Part Math questions.

Step 1: Read the first question in the set, looking for clues

Step 2: Identify and organize the information you need

Step 3: Based on what you know, plan your steps to navigate the first question

Step 4: Solve, step-by-step, checking units as you go

Step 5: Did I answer the right question?

Step 6: Repeat for remaining questions, incorporating results from the previous question if possible

SAT Math Tip #3: Translate words into math.

Translate the words in the question into math so you can solve.

Translation Table
English Math
equals, is, equivalent to, was, will be, has, costs, adds up to, the same as, as much as =
plus, added to, and, sum, combined, increased by +
minus, subtracted from, smaller than, less than, fewer, decreased by, difference between
times, of, multiplied by, product of, twice, double, by ×
divided by, per, out of, each, ratio ÷
a number, how much, how many, what  x, n, etc.

SAT Math Tip #4: Master linear equations.

Linear equations pop up frequently on the SAT Math Test. You can expect to encounter straightforward linear equations, as well as linear graphs and word problems involving linear equations. Once you have the basics down, move on to systems of equations.


SAT Math Tip #5: Make sure your calculator is allowed on Test Day.

Check the official SAT website to make sure the calculator you plan to use on the SAT math section is allowed. Your test day proctor will follow these guidelines, so check it out for yourself and don’t rely on the advice of a friend or teacher (no matter how well-intentioned they may be or how much anecdotal experience they may have).

Ready to test your knowledge? Try some practice questions!