Many of you would be preparing for Sat/ACT exams to get admission in one of your favorite top college or university. I wish you all the very BEST!

Let me tell you some basic things which will surely help you to land in one of your targeted college or university.

-Register yourself at least one month before exam. But allow yourself ample time if you are first timer so start preparing three months before exam.
-Make a list of top 5 colleges/ universities of your choice. Observe their previous years cut-off scores and based on that target your scores which you need to achieve.
-There is exam either SAT or ACT on almost every other month, so take 2-3 test continuously . On your very first exam you just get to be familiar with the style of answering the questions.
-Don’t take too much time off between two tests so that everything remain fresh in your memory. In your 2nd or 3rd attempt I’m sure you shall ne able to achieve your target. More than 3 tests won’t be much helpful. So don’t waste time and engage yourself in other useful activities.



While preparing for SAT , you can also apply for ACT test as both tests have almost same structure and syllabus.


Here’s the breakdown of time, number of questions, and question types on the two SAT math sections(No calculator and Calculator)

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime
No calculator15 multiple choice, 5 grid-ins25 minutes
Calculator30 multiple choice, 8 grid-ins (including one Extended Thinking question)55 minutes
Total58 questions80 minutes


Topics for ACT math are almost same as that of topics for SAT math concentrating mainly on algebra. You can use a permitted calculator for ACT math. Here is a breakdown of time allotted for each questions and list of topics.

Number of QuestionsMinutes GivenTime Per Question
60601 minute

Math Topics SAT.

Basic Algebra (25-35%)

  • Linear functions
  • Single variable equations
  • Systems of linear equations
  • Absolute value

Advanced Algebra (35-45%)

  • Manipulating polynomials
  • Quadratic equations
  • Dividing polynomials
  • Exponential functions
  • Function notation
  • Solving exponential equations
  • Systems of equations with nonlinear equations

Problem Solving and Data Analysis (10-15%)

  • Ratios and proportions
  • Scatterplots and graphs
  • Categorical data and probabilities
  • Experimental interpretation
  • Medan, median, mode, standard deviation

Additional Topics (30% -40%)

  • Coordinate geometry – lines and slopes
  • Coordinate geometry – nonlinear functions
  • Geometry – circles
  • Geometry – lines and angles
  • Geometry – solid geometry
  • Geometry – triangles and polygons
  • Trigonometry
  • Complex numbers

Math Topics ACT

Pre-Algebra (20-25%)

  • Basic operations using whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers
  • Place value
  • Square roots and approximations
  • The concept of exponents
  • Scientific notation
  • Factors
  • Ratio, proportion, and percent
  • Linear equations in one variable
  • Absolute value and ordering numbers by value
  • Elementary counting techniques and simple probability
  • Data collection, representation, and interpretation
  • Understanding simple descriptive statistics

Elementary Algebra (15-20%)

  • Properties of exponents and square roots
  • Evaluation of algebraic expressions through substitution
  • Using variables to express functional relationships
  • Understanding algebraic operations
  • The solution of quadratic equations by factoring

Intermediate Algebra (15-20%)

  • The quadratic formula
  • Rational and radical expressions
  • Absolute value equations and inequalities
  • Sequences and patterns
  • Systems of equations
  • Quadratic inequalities
  • Functions and modeling
  • Matrices
  • Roots of polynomials
  • Complex numbers

Plane Geometry (20-25%)

  • Properties and relations of plane figures, including angles and relations among perpendicular and parallel lines
  • Properties of circles, triangles, rectangles, parallelograms, and trapezoids
  • Transformations
  • The concept of proof and proof techniques
  • Volume
  • Applications of geometry to three dimensions

Coordinate Geometry (15-20%)

  • Graphing and the relations between equations and graphs, including points, lines, polynomials, circles, and other curves
  • Graphing inequalities
  • Slope
  • Parallel and perpendicular lines
  • Distance
  • Midpoints
  • Conics

Trigonometry (5-10%)

  • Trigonometric relations in right triangles
  • Values and properties of trigonometric functions
  • Graphing trigonometric functions
  • Modeling using trigonometric functions
  • Use of trigonometric identities
  • Solving trigonometric equations


8 point strategy for a perfect math score on SAT/ACT test.

  1. Time Management: Time management, being a most important factor for any test, should be learnt prior to the exam. For that you can practice previous years exams using a time clock just to observe how many questions , you are able to solve in one hour. Target solving more problems on each attempt by managing your time well. Thus work on improving your efficiency each time.
  2. Practice: ‘Practice makes the man perfect ‘ That is very much true . To reach near to your perfect score, you should have lot of practice. Practice make you to understand your mistakes and give you chance to improve them.
  3. Firstly attempt those questions about which you are very sure about. If stuck up at some problem then leave it and move on to next problems. You can come back of these problems when you have some time left towards the end of math section.
  4. Don’t waste your time every time bubbling in your answer after solving each question. You can save your precious seconds spent in flipping the pages. Solve 8-10 questions at a stretch and then bubbling in your answers which also eliminate entry error.
  5. Learn all the math formulas and common math facts. For geometry section you have access to some formulas and reference information but better to memorize them instead of wasting your time in flipping the pages.
  6. Don’t rely too much on calculator. Sometime you can solve a problem faster than your calculator. Take along a calculator which you are already familiar with. You don’t need to buy a brand new or more advanced calculator for this exam. If you have a new calculator with you then you would be lost while using its buttons.
  7. Keep Calm and be optimistic.
  8. Guessing ! yes you can do that since there is no negative marking. Here is a wise word for you. At the end, just have a look at all your answers, choose the one which is most widely used answer choice. Suppose there is option ‘b’ for 60% of your correct answers then fill in option b for all left out problems too. Surely you will get atleast 10% of them right.
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