SAT Basic Info PPT - Central Columbia School District

About the SAT
What is it?
Reasoning and problem-solving test which
colleges use as an alignment tool with how
well you will do in college.
 This along with teacher recommendations
and your high school records are key
factors for you to get in to college.
 Not a measure of your ambition, desire,
motivation, perseverance, courage,
character, creativity…etc.
What is on it?
There are 10 sections on the SAT.
1)Three math sections
2) three critical reading sections
3) three writing section
4) One experimental section
The math sections
Section 1: 25 minutes to complete 20 multiple
choice questions
Section 2: 25 minutes to complete 8 multiple
choice questions and 10 student produced
Section 3: 20 minutes to complete 16 multiple
choice questions.
Range of score: 200-800 points
Calculators should absolutely be used but
try to not over use them. Unnecessary
time spent with the calculator can take up
some precious time.
The two types of questions
Multiple choiceThe 44 multiple choice questions consist of
5 choices. You must use your best
judgment to eliminate any answers that
are, for lack of a better term, “nonsense.”
Some answers come from the many errors
students make on the type of problem
however, so BE CAREFUL!
Student produced
Open-ended questions which involve filling your answer in a grid.
You can input fractions, decimals, or whole numbers into the grid.
Machine is programmed to recognize all correct answers.
There are four columns that can be used, but unused should be left
blank. Answers in the boxes are not scored; they are just there to
help you fill in the ovals.
No need to reduce fractions unless they do not fit grid.
Furthermore, mixed numbers should not be inserted into the grid.
Repeating decimals must use entire grid and do not include a
leading zero for decimals.
No need to worry about negative answers
or percent symbols.
To guess or not to guess? That is a
good question
For each correct answer you will achieve 1 point
to your “raw score.”
For each incorrect answer, you will lose onequarter of a point. If you can narrow it down to 2
choices, it may be wise to guess.
Student produced questions are only
beneficiary, so be sure to guess.
However, DO NOT try wild guessing.
Ten strategies to solving SAT
1) Sub-in
-plug in values that are familiar and/or easy to work with.
For example:
Of the U.S. Olympians who get a medal, three-fourths get a silver
medal, and one-fifth of the remaining get a bronze, what fraction get
a gold medal?
If we use a number we are familiar like 100. So, we are saying if there
are 100 Americans who get a medal…
Three-fourths get a silver - 3/4 of 100 = 75
One-fifth of the remaining 25 get a bronze – 1/5 of 25 = 5
So 20 out of our 100 get a gold – 20/100 = 1/5
2: Backfill
Backfill is basically plugging in the choices you get until
one works. You will sometimes be given problems where
this is an option.
For example:
The sum of 2 times a number and one-half a number is 7.5.
In this case you are looking for a number that would solve
the equation…
2x + .5x = 7.5
If it a multiple choice, you can plug choices in until it works.
Choices: a) 4 b) 1 c) 3 d) 2.5 e) 0
3: Scan the answers
A key method to making an educated guess if
you are not sure.
 The idea is to get rid of any answers that don’t
make sense.
For example: What represents the area of the blue section?
a) 8 - 2 x b) 8 - x2
c) 16 - 2 x d) 16 - x2
e) x2 - 16
4: Do not waste time on long
Chances are, if you completing numerous
steps to solve a problem, you missed the
For example:
Five consecutive integers add up to 1000,
what is the value of the largest integer?
5: Fill in what you know
If you are stuck on a problem, simply fill in
and write down everything you know about
it. This might make something click.
6: Recognize figure not drawn to
Do not assume anything unless it is given.
Some problems may be drawn to throw
you off if you don’t recognize the “not
drawn to scale” next to the diagram.
AB = BC and B is 30o
What is the value of m?
7: Test the extremes:
If given a range of values, test the
extremes and the answer should be
If y = 4x – 3 and 0<x<3, what values is y
a) -3 and 9 b) -2 and 10 c) 0 and 12
d) 1 and 5 e) 1 and 9
8: Find a pattern
If x is a positive integer, which of the following
cannot be the units digit of 7x?
1 b) 3 c) 5 d) 7 e) 9
71 = 7: 72 = 49: 73 = 343: 74 = 2,401: 75 = 16,807:
76 = 117,649 77 = 823,543 78 = 5,764,801
9 and 10:
Do not be misled by generic
answers and do the math
Some problems will contain choices like “none of
the above” or “all of the above.” If you are
attempting a guess, do not guess these. These
are only if you can clearly eliminate all other
When in doubt, just do the math. There are
some quick tricks to some problems, but it is in
fact a math test. They want to test your
knowledge of math, so you are better off
spending the time doing the math instead of
searching for a trick.
Other reminders
The material on the test involves problems from Algebra,
Algebra II, and Geometry.
 The scratch work will be done in the test booklet (no
scrap paper allowed)
A calculator is good to use, but use it wisely. Don’t let it
steal your time. Also, remember that guessing can be a
smart choice sometimes.
The SAT can be taken as many times as it is offered and a
“good” score only depends on the school you want to

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