SAT Math Overview

58 total questions
25-minute no-calculator section (20 questions)
55-minute calculator section (38 questions)
Contains multiple-choice and grid-in questions

Problem Solving and Data Analysis (19 questions) sample topics: percents, proportions, and statistics
Heart of Algebra (17 questions) sample topics: algebraic equations, systems of equations, graphs of linear equations, and linear models
Passport to Advanced Math (16 questions) sample topics: functions, quadratic equations, and polynomials
Additional Topics in Math (6 questions) sample topics: angles, triangles, circles, trigonometry, and complex numbers


  • Put time and energy into questions within your capabilities.
  • Don’t waste time on a hard question when there are still easier questions left to answer.
  • Be sure to check your answers on harder questions. Suspect an answer that comes a little too easily.
  • In each math section, consider doing the first few grid-ins prior to doing the last few multiple-choice questions.
  • The questions on the calculator section are usually more complex than the ones on the no-calculator section.

You’ll receive a math section score on a 200-800 point scale. Also, you'll receive a second math section score, but weighted on a 10-40 scale. There are three math subscores: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math. The three math subscores will be reported to you on a 1-15 scale for each. Additionally, some math questions will count towards a cross-test score. There are two reported cross-test scores, one for Analysis in Science and one for Analysis in History/Social Studies.

Your score is calculated using the following: 1 raw point for a correct answer. There is no penalty for answering incorrectly, so you should answer every question on the SAT. Your raw score is calculated by adding up your raw points. Your raw score is converted to a scale math test score from 10-40. The score you receive on the 10-40 scale is converted to a math section score from 200-800.
Tackling SAT Grid-In Questions
13 of the 58 math questions are grid-ins. There are 5 at the end of the no-calculator section and 8 at the end of the calculator allowed section.

  • Grid-in questions are like multiple-choice questions, but they do not contain multiple-choice answers to choose from.
  • Grid-in questions progress in level of difficulty. The first grid-in question will be much easier than the last grid-in question. For some students, it is best to answer the grid-in questions first before attempting the most difficult multiple-choice questions.
  • You should always write your answers in the boxes even though you only receive credit for bubbling in the ovals.
  • Start gridding in the far-left column first.
  • Grid-in questions will never have negative numbers as answers.
  • You should grid-in mixed numbers as improper fractions or decimals.
  • If you grid-in an answer as a decimal, you should do so with the highest degree of accuracy possible. For example, an answer of 0.6666 should be gridded as .666 or .667 or 2/3. If you gridded .66 or .67 your answer will be marked incorrect.
  • You may find that some grid-in questions have more than one answer. You need to grid-in just one of the correct answers.
  • Always check your work. With the grid-in questions, there are no answer choices provided to check against your answer. Be sure to check your work before filling in your answer.

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