What Is The Level Of Math On The SAT?

What Is The Level Of Math On The SAT
Students Studying For The SAT Exam

The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a standardized test taken by high school students to determine their college readiness. An important part of the SAT is the Math section, which tests knowledge in arithmetic and algebra.

So, what level of math is on the SAT? Generally, the math level on the SAT includes high school Pre-algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and Geometry. To score on the SAT exam, you will need to understand that pre-calculus and trigonometry. Additionally, understanding calculus will help you with algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, increasing your chances of scoring higher on SAT Math.

Read on to find out what type of mathematics you can expect to see when taking this exam. If you are taking the GED and wonder what math level is on the GED, I wrote a whole article sharing helpful tips for passing the exam.

What Is The Level Of Math On The SAT?

The Math section of the SAT exam generally concentrates on your problem-solving skills and tests your ability to make real-world connections through questions requiring multiple steps and conceptual understandings. The Math test consists of a no Calculator section and a calculator section. 

You will see four types of math on the SAT Math Test (Source: College Board)

  • Heart of Algebra focuses on systems of linear equations, linear equations, and functions.
  • Problem-Solving and Data Analysis test students on how to use percentages, ratios, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in real-world problems.
  • Passport to Advanced Math concentrates on the math you will need to pursue further study in a discipline, including advanced courses in statistics, science, or economics, and for career opportunities in the STEM fields of science, engineering, technology, and math.
  • Additional Topics in Math may include geometry, radian measure, trigonometry, and complex numbers.

The table below contains an overview of the types of math tested on the SAT, their content, and the number of questions.

Type Of Math Tested On The SATOverview Of The ContentNumber of Questions
Heart of Algebra– Form, solve, or interpret a linear equation in 1 variable and linear inequalities in 1 variable.
– Create a linear function modeling a linear relationship between 2 quantities.  
– Develop, solve, and interpret systems of linear inequalities in 2 variables and systems of 2 linear equations in 2 variables.  
– Algebraically solve linear equations (or inequalities) in 1 variable and systems of 2 linear equations in 2 variables. 
– Fully understand and interpret connections between algebraic and graphical representations. 
– Analyze the variables and constants in expressions for linear functions. 

19 Questions
Problem-Solving and Data Analysis– Using rates, ratios, proportional relationships, and scale drawings to solve single and multistep problems.  
– Solving single and multistep problems involving percentages, measurement quantities, units, and unit conversion.  
– Using scatterplot, quadratic, linear, or exponential models to explain how the variables are related.  
– Expect to approximate linear growth with exponential growth.  
– Use 2-way tables to summarize categorical data and relative frequencies and calculate conditional probability. 
– Use the relation between 2 variables to analyze key features of the graph. 
– Make hypotheses about population parameters based on sample data.  
– Use statistics to analyze measures of the center of data. Investigate shape, center, and spread.  
– Explain conclusions, and define the appropriateness of data collection methods consisting of tables, graphs, or text summaries. 
17 Questions
Passport to Advanced Math– Construct a quadratic or exponential equation or function that models a context. 
– Select the most suitable format of an expression or equation to indicate a particular trait, given a context. 
– Construct equivalent expressions, including rational exponents and radicals, which you might be expected to simplify or rewrite in other forms. 
– Develop an identical form of an algebraic expression using form and fluency with operations.  
– You are expected to simplify the result by adding, subtracting, and multiplying polynomial expressions. 
– Solve an equation in 1 variable containing radicals
Solve a system of 1 linear equation and one quadratic equation.    
– Understand the relationship between factors of polynomials and zeros and sketch graphs.  
– Comprehend a nonlinear relationship between 2 variables by connecting their algebraic and graphical representations.  
– Use structure to isolate or determine a quantity of interest in an expression or isolate a quantity in an equation.  
16 Questions
Additional Topics in Math– Solve problems utilizing volume formulas.  
– Use the Pythagorean theorem and trigonometric ratios to solve applied problems containing right triangles.  
– Add, multiply, subtract, divide, and simplify complex numbers. 
– Expect to convert between degrees using radians to determine arc lengths and using trigonometric functions of radian measure.  
– Find arc lengths, angle measures, chord lengths, and areas of sectors by applying theorems about circles 
– Using congruence, similarity concepts, and theorems to solve problems involving lines, angles, and triangles.  
– Use the relationship between right triangles, similarity, and trigonometric ratios. 
– Use the relationship between the cosine and sine of complementary angles.  
6 Questions
The Table Displays An Overview Of Types Of Math Tested On The SAT, Their Content, And Number Of Questions (Source: College Board)

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Wrapping Up

The math level required to do well on the SAT is nothing to stress over; it’s just basic Math 1 and Math 2 and some geometry and trigonometry thrown in there too.

With proper practice and preparation beforehand (in addition to doing well in school), you should feel confident that you know enough material to succeed on exam day.


I am Altiné. I am the guy behind mathodics.com. When I am not teaching math, you can find me reading, running, biking, or doing anything that allows me to enjoy nature's beauty. I hope you find what you are looking for while visiting mathodics.com.

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