How to Prepare Mathematics For the New SAT (Calculator Versus No Calculator)

Mar 23, 2020

The new syllabus of SAT is rolled out in March 2016. Some students and teachers might feel a little uneasy about the new SAT curriculum because of being in the dark. It’s understandable because new syllabus brings a newer variety of tests, terms and other adversities. Therefore, these amended versions do sometimes become a little complicated to understand. We’ll provide an overview of the math section included in the new SAT in this article and will also try to answer the traditional question- should you use a calculator or not?

Overview of the math section of the new SAT

According to our opinion, the most significant change in the new SAT math section is the fact that the weight or importance of its score has increased. If you can perform well in this math section and accumulate a strong math score, you will be in luck because this will contribute to a higher overall SAT score that’ll be highly beneficial for you. The new SAT mathematics section offers multistep problems, a calculator-less portion and some questions based on trigonometry. More emphasis is given on interpretation of data as well as graphics, solving equations, algebra, and other realistic prompts for questions. The new SAT doesn’t stress much on geometry.

The math set contains a total of 58 questions divided into two portions. You can use a calculator in one portion, and the other one doesn’t allow the utilisation of the calculator. You will have an approximate total of 1.25 minutes for each question in the calculator-less portion. This part has a total number of 20 questions.

In the portion where you can use a calculator, you should implement about 1.45 minutes for each question. In this section, you’ll have to solve a total of 38 questions within a time frame of 55 minutes.

The math topics included in SAT are:

  • Heart of Algebra,
  • Passport to Advanced Mathematics,
  • Problem-solving as well as data analysis,
  • Additional topics in mathematics.

Keep a tab on dates

When you are in the midst of your SAT math preparation, you should make a practice of checking the dates mentioned in your study material. This practice will help you to realise the fact whether you are working on a study material based on an older version of SAT syllabus. There are high chances for the study material to be outdated and hence, a proper check’s necessary to keep yourself up to date with the growing trend of the syllabus.

Prepare a study routine and try to stick to it 

You should always have a plan for a mission, and this is no different. Getting a good Sat score is nothing less than a complicated mission and you must plan ahead to get to that finish line successfully and on time. Prepare a study routine and try to follow that to the best of your abilities. You should identify those particular math areas where you have trouble to comprehend and involve those specific areas more in your routine. Face your fears, practice those areas vigorously as per your designed routine and you’ll see a sea-change happening. You may also opt for online private math tuitions to get yourself accommodated to planned study routines tailor-made for SAT. That’ll undoubtedly be pretty beneficial for your preparations.

Calculator or no calculator?

The Math portion of SAT contains two parts, one that allows the use of a calculator and another that doesn’t allow its use. So you should practice adapting to both of these situations. You should practice sums with a calculator and also learn to abstain from its use accordingly. The method of solving math sums without calculator increase your ability to operate with numbers and also makes you more efficient in simple arithmetic operations. That’s pretty beneficial in situations where you are not allowed a calculator. In such circumstances, you’ll also not have unlimited time to solve math problems. In fact, you are always in a hurry to solve sums as much as possible and get them correct at the same time. Ample practice without calculators should increase your efficiency with numbers thereby allowing you to calculate quickly and come to the right result. Practising with calculators do not have many benefits other than improving your efficiency with that specific gadget. But we reckon you should also practice with it because SAT math does allow its use in a particular Math section.

We reckon that you should try to abstain from calculators as much as possible. If you do practice with them, try to use one which you will surely use at the time of your SAT examination. Using a familiar gadget does have its benefits. That should be all from our ends. We wish you the best of luck with your practice. Ciao!

Article Posted in: Academics

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes educational content periodically for MyPrivateTutor Hong Kong and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO and graphic designing.

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