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The SAT Math Test: What to expect

An overview of the SAT Math Test.

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Video transcript

The SAT consists of tests in Reading, Writing and Language, and Math – plus an optional Essay. This video focuses on the Math test. The SAT math test is designed to align to the math you’re learning in school. Working hard in your math class and applying those math skills to your science and social studies classes will give you the foundation you need for the SAT Math Test. The Math Test has two portions. In the first, you are given 55 minutes to complete 38 questions, and calculators are permitted. This portion includes questions that involve more complex calculations, so using a calculator might allow you to work more efficiently. Some questions, however, might be easier to solve without a calculator. So, it will be up to you to decide whether or not to use one. The second portion of the Math Test has 20 questions, and you will have 25 minutes to complete it. Calculators are not permitted on this section, which tests your fluency with specific mathematical topics and concepts. About 80% of the questions on the Math Test are multiple-choice. The other 20% are gridded response, which can include non-negative integers, fractions, or decimals. A set of reference information is provided at the beginning of the test. You may find these facts and formulas helpful as you answer some of the questions. To do well, you should make sure you get comfortable working with them. The Math Test focuses on three main areas: Questions from the area we call "Heart of Algebra" require you to create, manipulate, and solve algebraic equations. The second area is Problem Solving and Data Analysis, which asks you to use ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in real-world situations, as well as interpret graphs and tables. The third area — Passport to Advanced Math — requires you to demonstrate familiarity with more complex equations or functions. These are math skills you’ll want to master if you want to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or math. A small number of questions on the Math Test fall outside of the three main areas. These questions, Additional Topics in Math, will focus on certain key concepts, including area and volume, coordinate geometry, and basic trigonometry. Throughout the Math Test, some of the questions will be taken from science and social science contexts, in addition to career and other real-life settings. In some cases, you will be presented with one scenario and then asked several questions about it. You’re in the right place to learn more about the SAT Math Test – right here on Khan Academy. So, let’s get started with some free hands-on practice!