SAT Math Cheatsheet: Essential Formulas and Strategies

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SAT Math Cheatsheet: The SAT Math section is designed to assess your analytical reasoning and problem-solving abilities. It’s widely considered the most demanding portion of the SAT, and dedicated preparation is crucial for success. While the initial impression might be daunting, with focused study and practice, you can approach this section with confidence. This is why, to help you out with your SAT math preparation, we have meticulously prepared an SAT Math cheat sheet for you. In this blog, you will get to learn about the most essential math formulas, concepts and tips required to score better. 


Top 10 Essential SAT Math Formulas You Must Know in 2024

The SAT provides a formula sheet at the beginning of both math sections, so strict memorisation isn’t essential. However, familiarity with these formulas can save you time and mental strain on test day. Here are 10 essential SAT math formulas to focus on:

  1. Slope-intercept form: y = mx + b (m = slope, b = y-intercept)
  1. Distance formula: d = √((x2 – x1)² + (y2 – y1)²) (to find distance between two points)
  2. Midpoint formula: M = [(x1 + x2) / 2, (y1 + y2) / 2] (to find the midpoint of a line segment)
  3. Pythagorean theorem: a² + b² = c² (for right triangles)
  4. Special right triangles: Ratios of sides in 30-60-90 and 45-45-90 triangles 
  5. Exponent rules: (a^n) / (a^m) = a^(n-m),  a^n * a^m = a^(n+m), (a^n)^m = a^(n*m)
  1. Average (mean): Average = (Sum of terms) / (Number of terms)
  2. Percentages: Percent Change = [(Final value – Initial value) / Initial value] x 100%
  3. SOH CAH TOA: Sine (opposite/hypotenuse), Cosine (adjacent/hypotenuse), Tangent (opposite/adjacent)
  4. Circle equation: (x – h)² + (y – k)² = r² (where h,k is the centre and r is the radius)

While memorising these formulas can be helpful, focus on understanding the concepts they represent. This will allow you to apply them effectively on the SAT, even in unfamiliar contexts.

SAT Math Concepts: Strong mathematical fundamentals are essential for success on the SAT in 2024. A thorough understanding of core math concepts, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis, is paramount for achieving a competitive score. This foundation will bolster your candidacy for admission to your preferred graduate program abroad.

The following outlines the most frequently tested areas of mathematics on the SAT:

  • Number and Operations: This encompasses working with various numerical systems, including fractions, decimals, and percentages, along with understanding their properties and performing operations on them.
  • Algebra and Functions: This domain emphasises manipulating algebraic expressions, solving equations and inequalities, and understanding the concept of functions and their properties.
  • Geometry and Measurement: This area covers geometric figures, their properties, spatial reasoning, and the ability to use formulas to calculate area, volume, and other geometric measures.
  • Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability: This section focuses on interpreting and analyzing data presented in various forms, such as graphs, tables, and charts. You will also need to understand basic statistical concepts like mean, median, mode, and probability principles.

By solidifying your grasp of these fundamental mathematical concepts, you will be well-equipped to tackle the quantitative section of the SAT with confidence and increase your chances of achieving a score that reflects your academic potential.

SAT Math 1 Month Study Guide: Master the Section in 30 Days 

SAT Math Preparation: One month might seem like a short time to prepare for the SAT Math. However, with efficient planning and focused execution, you can achieve significant improvement. When time is limited, a strategic approach is essential. Refer to the data given below to get a solid idea about how you can prepare for the SAT in the limited time available. 

Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses (Week 1)

Solve as many SAT math sample questions as possible.  Official College Board practice tests or those from reputable prep companies are ideal. Identify areas where you struggle and topics you find easy. Understand the areas where you lack and work on them. 

Build a Study Schedule (Weeks 1-2)

Dedicate 4-6 hours per week for SAT Math.  Aim for consistent daily or every-other-day practice sessions of 45-90 minutes. Structure your preparation sessions. Focus on weaknesses for at least half the time. Practice mixed problems to simulate the actual test in the remaining time.

Take a full-length practice test every weekend. Time yourself and simulate test-day conditions as much as possible.

Focus on Key Concepts (Weeks 2-3)

Here are some of the core SAT math concepts that you should be familiar with. 

  • Heart of Algebra: This is the most heavily tested area. Sharpen your skills in solving linear equations and inequalities, understanding linear functions and their graphs, working with systems of equations, and manipulating exponents and radicals.
  • Problem-Solving and Data Analysis: Hone your ability to apply math to real-world situations. Practice working with ratios, rates, proportions, data analysis (interpreting graphs and charts), percentages, and basic statistics (mean, median, mode, range).
  • Other Important Areas: While less frequent, be prepared for questions on quadratic expressions and equations, other functions (like exponential), and basic probability.

Practice (Weeks 3-4)

Use official College Board resources: Practice tests, Khan Academy’s free SAT prep course. Explore prep books and online resources: Many offer topic-specific practice problems and explanations. Focus on understanding, not just memorisation. Learn the “why” behind the formulas.

Review and Analyse (Weeks 3-4)

  • Review all practice tests thoroughly. Don’t just check answers, understand why each answer choice is correct or incorrect.
  • Identify patterns in your mistakes. Are there specific concepts you keep struggling with? Revisit those areas and practice more problems.
  • Learn from missed questions. Analyze explanations and find alternative methods to solve similar problems.

How to Score 500+ in SAT Math? 

Securing a 500+ score in SAT Math can be a challenge for many. This is why, in order to help you score higher in the stated section, we have shortlisted and curated some of the top SAT math tips and tricks that you must keep in mind. 

Familiarise Yourself With the Syllabus

The College Board publishes a detailed syllabus outlining the specific mathematical topics covered on the SAT. This will give you a clear understanding of the question types, difficulty levels, and time allotment for each section. Common areas include basic and advanced algebra, data analysis, geometry, and trigonometry (rare).

Strengthen Your Foundational Skills:

While the SAT provides a formula sheet, familiarity with the core formulas will save you valuable time and mental effort during the test. Focus on mastering formulas related to linear equations, inequalities, exponents, radicals, percentages, and basic statistics.

Solve Practice Tests

There’s no substitute for real-world experience. Take full-length practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the actual test environment. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, manage your time effectively, and build test-taking stamina.

Target Your Weaknesses

 Don’t just skim over incorrect answers on practice tests. Take the time to understand why a specific answer choice is correct and how it compares to the incorrect ones. This will help you solidify your understanding and prevent similar mistakes in the future. Furthermore, you should not waste time rehashing concepts you’ve already mastered. Identify your weaker areas through practice tests and dedicate focused study time to strengthen them.

Develop Time Management Strategies

 Practice tests will help you develop a pacing strategy to ensure you complete all sections within the allotted time.

Learn to Estimate Answers

 For some questions, you can save time by eliminating answer choices that are unreasonable based on the problem.

By following these steps and dedicating consistent effort, you’ll be well on your way to conquering the SAT Math section and achieving your desired score. Remember, the key is to develop a strong foundation in core mathematical concepts, practice applying those concepts to real-world problems, and refine your test-taking strategies.

SAT Math Questions PDF (Free Download) 

SAT Math Sample Questions: The SAT Math section can present a significant challenge for many test-takers. To ensure success, familiarisation with the commonly asked questions is paramount. Click on the link below to download the SAT math sample questions (pdf) to commence your preparation. 

So that was all about the SAT Math Cheatsheet. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

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Q1. What is the duration of the SAT maths section? 

Ans. Students attempting the maths section of the SAT exam are given 80 minutes to complete the section. 

Q2. What is the total number of questions asked in the SAT maths section? 

Ans. The SAT maths section comprises 58 questions, including MCQ questions and grid-based questions. 

Q3. How can you improve your maths for the SAT?

Ans. You must identify and work on your flaws. It is recommended that you invest in a reputable teacher who will help you through your SAT exam preparation and increase your chances of scoring higher. Set time limits for yourself while taking practice tests to increase your overall speed and accuracy. To speed up the problem-solving process, remember formulas and shortcuts. 

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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