What Does the SAT Math Test Measure?

the SAT logoThe SAT Math Test is designed to measure a range of math proficiencies, with an emphasis on problem solving, modeling, using tools strategically, and using algebraic structure. The Math Test is divided into two sections: Math Test–Calculator and Math Test–No Calculator.

Questions on both sections are mostly multiple choice, but some Student-Produced Response questions or “grid-ins” require test takers to bubble in specific answers rather than select a given answer choice.

SAT Math questions evaluate quantitative fluency, conceptual understanding, problem solving, and calculation ability across four primary math areas:

  • Heart of Algebra questions focus on the mastery of linear equations and systems.
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis questions focus on quantitative literacy.
  • Passport to Advanced Math questions focus on the manipulation of complex equations.
  • Additional Topics in Math questions focus on the geometry and trigonometry most relevant to college and career readiness.

The timed nature of this section also rewards mental math ability and creative problem solving along with critical test taking skills like focus, endurance, and answer awareness.


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