The SAT Prep Black Book

SAT Math

The Two Critical Components of SAT Math Success

Since the SAT Math section is all about basic math ideas presented in strange ways, there are two key areas of knowledge we’ll need to do well on the test:

oBasic knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, and algebra (including some basic graph-related ideas)

oA thorough understanding of the SAT’s unwritten rules, patterns, and quirks.

So you will need some math knowledge, of course, but you won’t need anything like trig, stats, or calculus, and you won’t have to memorize tons of formulas. Like I keep saying (and will continue to say), it’s much more important to focus on how the test is designed than to try to memorize formulas.

In a moment we’ll go through the “Math toolbox,” which is a list of math concepts that the SAT is allowed to incorporate when it makes up questions. After that, we’ll get into the SAT’s unwritten rules of math question design.