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Last-Minute SAT Math Study

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)

  1. 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…
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Often you can use the answer choices to plug into the question and test for which one works. This is called “back-solving.”
  6. Many right triangle questions call for Pythagorean Theorem (see photo).
  7. Also remember Isosceles Triangle Theorem: If two sides of a triangle are equal, the opposite angles are also equal (see photo).
  8. The x and y axis are sometimes called the rectangular coordinate system.
  9. It’s often helpful to sketch the x and y axes and the lines or other figures in a coordinate geometry problem.
  10. Parallel lines have equal slopes.

  11. 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).
  12. 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!

Last-Minute SAT Math Study

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."

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APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2010). Last-Minute SAT Math Study. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Apr 2010
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