3 Strategies to score 800 on SAT Math
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3 Strategies to score a perfect 800 on SAT Math

3 Strategies to score a perfect 800 on SAT Math 

Strategy #1: Understand Your Weakness: Content or Time Management?

Every student faces different problems in SAT Math. Some people aren't comfortable with the underlying math concepts. Others know the math material well, but are not able to solve questions quickly enough within the allowed time limit.

How do I know what part of SAT Math I need to work on?

First, take only the math sections of one practice test. You can download the complete list of SAT Practice Papers with answers and explanations here.

  1. For each section, use a timer and have it count down the time allotted for that section. Treat it like a real test. If time runs out for that section and you're 100% ready to move on, then move on. If you're not ready to move on, keep on working for as long as you need. For every new answer or answer that you change, mark it with a special note as "Extra Time." When you're ready, move on to the next section, and repeat the above until you finish the second math section.
  2. Grade your test using the answer key and score chart, but we want two scores: 1) The Realistic score you got under normal timing conditions, 2) The Extra Time score. This is why you marked the questions you answered or changed during Extra Time.

By marking which questions you did under Extra Time, you can figure out what score you got if you were given all the time you needed. This will help you figure out where your weaknesses lie.

Was your Extra Time score less than 700?

Then you have remaining content weaknesses. You might have weaknesses across a range of concepts, or a deep weakness in only a few topics. Your first plan of attack should be to develop more comfort with all SAT Math topics.

Was your Realistic score a 700 or above?

If yes (both Extra Time and Realistic scores > 700), then you have a really good shot at getting an 800. Compare your Extra Time and Realistic score—if they differed by more than 30 points, then you would benefit from learning how to solve questions more quickly. If not, then you likely can benefit from shoring up on your last content weaknesses and avoiding careless mistakes.

Strategy #2: Solve as Many Practice Papers as Possible and Understand Every Single Mistake

On the path to perfection, you need to make sure every single one of your weak points is covered. Even one mistake on any one of the SAT Math topics will knock you down from an 800.

The first step is simply to do a ton of practice. You can access complete SAT Math practice papers here for free. While solving the papers, look at the questions you got wrong and understand the reason/concept behind it. If you don't understand exactly why you missed that question, you will make that mistake over and over again no matter how many times you practice. 

What should I do to avoid mistakes in the SAT Math?

When practicing, on every SAT Math practice test or question set you attempt, mark every question that you're even 20% unsure about. When you grade your SAT practice paper, review EVERY single question that you marked, and every incorrect question. This way even if you guessed a question correctly, you'll make sure to review it.

In your notebook, write down:

Prepare separate sections by topics and sub-topics (algebra—solving equations, data analysis—experimental interpretation, etc.) When you practice the next set of questions, keep the list of mistakes from last time in front of you. It will in ensuring you don’t repeat them.

Strategy #3: Make sure all your concepts are clear

To get a good SAT Math score, you need to master a lot of topic areas. Here's a complete list of all 24 skills you need in SAT Math:

Basic Algebra

Advanced Algebra

Problem Solving and Data Analysis

Additional Topics

You will most likely have different strengths and weaknesses across these topics. If, from the analysis of mistakes above, you find that you have a content problem, you need to improve your understanding of that concept.