All About the SAT!

Fast facts to help you cover everything you need to know about registering, prepping for, and taking the SAT exam!

  • The SAT is a 10-section test, testing three areas: Critical Reading, Writing, and Math.
  • The SAT is offered seven times each year in the U.S. and six times internationally. It is offered in October, November, December, January, March (U.S. only; SAT only), May and June.
  • High school students in the U.S. or U.S. territories who can’t afford to pay test fees may be eligible for SAT fee waivers! Find out if you qualify here!
  • If you have a documented disability, you may be eligible for accommodations on SAT Program tests. Arrangements can be made if you need accommodations such as: wheelchair accessibility; preferential seating; special test formats such as Braille or large print; written copy of spoken directions; or other accommodations.
  • Your raw scores are calculated for each section based on the number of questions you got correct or incorrect, or that you omitted. From this raw score, a scaled score is derived. Finally, you’ll receive a percentile score.

Looking for a diagnostic to see where you’re at? Take a free Princeton Review practice test here!

Learnist: Basic Algebra on the ACT and SAT

Expert Katie Cantrell over at Learnist offers a great look at the fundamental algebra concepts on the ACT and SAT exams. Refresh how to isolate variables, solve basic equations, and apply the order of operations on Test Day!

This video in particular covers several ways to conceive of variables, how to solve linear equations with fractions, and how to check your work to ensure that you have found the correct answer.

What’s the Triangle Inequality Theorem?

Triangle Inequality Theorem is fair game on the SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT. It’s often forgotten by test-takers, but when it pops up, you’ll be glad you know it! The theorem essentially states that the third side of a triangle must be between the difference and sum of the other two sides.

For example, if we had a triangle in which two sides were 6 and 9, then the third side must be between 3 (9-6) and 15 (9+6). The third side cannot actually equal 3 or 15, it’s important to remember.

Let’s try a practice question utilizing this math rule!

If two sides of a triangle have lengths 2 and 5, which of the following could be the perimeter of the triangle?

I. 9
II. 15
III. 19

A) None
B) I only
C) II only
D) II and III only
E) I,II and III

If two of the sides are 2 and 5. Then the range of possible values for the third side can be expressed as:

3 < x < 7

Perimeter is the sum of the sides. Let’s choose 3 and 7 as values for the 3rd side (even though we know they are the end-limits only) to create a range for the perimeter.

On the low end:

2 + 5 + 3 = 10

On the upper end:

2 + 5 + 7 = 14

So the perimeter range can be expressed as:

10 < x < 14

The perimeter must be BETWEEN 10 and 14. The answer is (A).

Here’s a link to a lot of great Triangle review topics if you want more Geometry practice: http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/category/tags/gmat-math/geometry/triangles.

SAT Math: Question of the Day!

It’s been awhile since we took a look at an SAT word problem! Let’s try one out today!

Three types of pencils J, K, and L cost $0.05, $0.10, and $0.25. If a box of 32 of these pencils costs a total of $3.40 and if there are twice as many K pencils as L pencils in the box, how many J pencils are there?

A) 6
B) 12
C) 14
D) 18
E) 20

.05j + .10k + .25l = $3.40

j + k + l = 32

2l = k

Plug the third equation into the 1st and 2nd equations and simplify:

.05j + .2l + .25l = 3.40
.05j + .45l = 3.40
5j + 45l = 340
j + 9l = 68

j + 2l + l = 32
j + 3l = 32

Now we have two equations with two variables. We can solve for j.

j + 9l = 68
– (j + 3l = 32)

6l = 36
l = 6

Plug l back in to solve for j.

j + 9(6) = 68
j + 54 = 68
j = 14

The answer is (C).