I’ve spent this week rehearsing the Big SAT Math Ideas with my students. Here’s a list of some of the most important.
Pass these last-minute refreshers along to any high-schooler you know taking the SAT on Saturday, May 1 (tomorrow!)
(And, take a look yourself and see how much you remember)
- An integer is a whole number, including zero and the negatives. Fractions are not integers. Examples of integers: ….-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3…
- Figures on the SAT are drawn to scale unless they tell you otherwise. You can assume that segments that look equal are equal, angles are drawn to scale, etc.
- You get the arithmetic mean (average) of a set of numbers by first adding the numbers together and then dividing that sum by however many numbers there were.
- You get the median of a set of numbers by first putting the numbers in order from least to greatest and then locating the middle number; that’s the median. If there are two number in the middle, take their average (arithmetic mean); that will be your median.
- Often you can use the answer choices to plug into the question and test for which one works. This is called “back-solving.”
- Many right triangle questions call for Pythagorean Theorem (see photo).
- Also remember Isosceles Triangle Theorem: If two sides of a triangle are equal, the opposite angles are also equal (see photo).
- The x and y axis are sometimes called the rectangular coordinate system.
- It’s often helpful to sketch the x and y axes and the lines or other figures in a coordinate geometry problem.
- Parallel lines have equal slopes.
- Perpendicular lines have slopes which are opposite reciprocals. One slope will be negative while the other is positive, and they are also reciprocals (see photo).
- When a fraction is equal to another fraction (this is called a proportion), the cross-products are equal. (see photo).
Good luck! You’ll do fine!