The new SAT has three math sections: 2 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section.

Each section presents both multiple-choice and ‘grid-in’ questions. Questions are presented in order of difficulty, by type. That means that if questions 1 through 8 are multiple choice and questions 6 through 10 are grid-ins, question 1 will be the easiest of the multiple choice questions, and question 5 the hardest; and question 6 will be the easiest grid-in, and question 8 the hardest.

Review your math skills as necessary

The SAT math sections draw on basic mathematical skills from first year algebra and geometry, plus some basic concepts from second year algebra. If you have not taken calculus or statistics, don’t worry. The SAT does not ask questions that require those skills. See the SAT books section for suggestions if you feel the need to review the math concepts covered in the problem solving section.

A note about the reference data

You may already know that the SAT test writers include reminders of some of the most common mathematics formulas in the test book, such as how to determine the area of a triangle, Pythagorean relationship, etc. These can be helpful references, but DO NOT place too much emphasis on them. If your math skills are rusty, you will still want to do a review on your own, well before you take the exam. There are many other helpful formulas and hints you should know besides those printed in the test booklet – such as the rule that an odd number multiplied by another odd number always equals an odd number, etc.

Where to go from here:

SAT problem solving tips and advice

SAT problem solving practice questions