Are you looking to cram in a few last minute details on the SAT math section before you take your test? In this blog we’ll talk through some tips for specific questions you’ll see on the test. Hopefully this extra knowledge will help you bump up your score! If you are interested in one of our math cheat sheets, sign up for our mailing list below, and select what sheet you’d like to receive!
How to Cram for SAT Math
Tip #1: Box and Whisker Plots
A box and whisker plot is broken into quartiles. The two boxes in the middle are the middle 50% of the numbers. The “whiskers” on either end make up the lowest 25% and the highest. Each section of the chart makes up 25% of the data. Box and whisker plots take all of your data and line it up chronologically. Because of this, the center of a box and whisker plot represents the median (not the mean). Also, the median represents the number in the middle of your data set (or the number halfway between the two middle items if you have an even number of items). So, on the box and whisker plot, the median is the line separating the two boxes.
Furthermore, you can find the first and third quartiles by looking for the median of either the first half of your data set (first quartile) or the last half (third quartile). Additionally, you can find the range of your box and whisker plot by subtracting the highest number at the end (73 in the video) from the smallest number at the beginning (25).
Tip #2: Scatter Plots
One quick way to solve scatter point problems is to pluck points and use your calculator. This tip will be partial to those who have TI-84s. When looking at a scatter plot, always double-check where the numbers start on the x- and y-axis. You should also pay attention to the interval they increase. The first thing you should do is draw a line of best fit through the scatter plot.
Next, you can use this line to pluck some points that you can easily tell fall on your line. Once you have these two points, you can plug them into your calculator program, and it will give you the line’s y=mx+b form. You can find this program in our SAT Calculator Programs above. Since you are guessing the best points to pluck, your answer may not be exact, but it should be easy to eliminate the other answer choices. You may also double-check your y-intercept to make sure your line makes sense.
Tip #3: Function Notation
The SAT has been including more complicated function notation questions lately. For example, did you know that a small black dot can represent multiplication? This is not to be confused with a small open circle, which represents a composite function, AKA f(g(x)).
Check our SAT Math Cheat Sheet above to read through more last minute tips to help with your upcoming SAT. Once you have function notation memorized, the example problem in the video can be solved using the FOIL method.