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The SAT has long tested major concepts and principles that help you succeed both in college and in the real world. A lot is changing for the SAT in 2016, and the Math section will see its own share of revisions. On test day, you’ll find that you have 80 minutes to answer 57 questions. All of these questions are broken down into three general areas:

- Interpretation of Data

- Fundamental Concepts in Algebra

- Advanced Mathematics

For students just beginning their journey to the SAT, this can be especially anxiety-inducing. What does “interpretation of data” even mean? How advanced are the “advanced” concepts being tested? It is helpful to consider the crux of all of these different question types. As on other sections of the SAT, the test aims to measure your ability to reason abstractly. Every time you answer a practice question, ask yourself how the material that you are studying relates back to this broad skill. Whether you need top SAT Math tutors in AtlantaSAT Math  tutors in Houston, or top SAT Math tutors in San Francisco, working with a pro may take your studies to the next level. 

Perhaps the most unpredictable type of question, a data interpretation problem might provide you with a data table and ask you questions that require you to analyze the information it . In the following example, a table shows the percentage of registered voters voting in an election.




Total registered voters



Percentage of voters who voted in election



Of voters who voted, percentage who voted early



A question corresponding to this provided data could ask you to identify the number of Democrats who voted early. It turns out to be 28%, not of 120,000, but of 72,000. This is because we first have to take 60% of the total number of voters. Subtle points like these have been featured on the SAT Math Test before, and are unlikely to vanish with the test’s new revisions.

Clearly, mastering the ability to interpret graphs and tables is critical. But so is the ability to understand algebra, and the 2016 SAT Math Test emphasizes skills in algebra as well. For basic algebra questions, you might have to rewrite a word problem provided in the question using algebraic symbols. Questions about advanced math might ask you to manipulate these algebraic expressions in the context of inequalities and geometry. 

The SAT Math Test demands broad understanding, nimble thinking, and critical analysis of data. These skills are emphasized, however, because of how important they are in almost every course of college study. No matter what your chosen major or career, the ability to interpret data and thinking abstractly and quantitatively are highly valued abilities. Varsity Tutors offers resources like a free SAT prep book to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an SAT Math tutor. Studying for your SAT Math exam can help you get on track for long-term success with all of these skills. 

Of course, this is easier said than done. Many students don’t know where to start, a concern compounded when an exam is newly revised. Many of the concepts tested are the same as in previous years, but their delivery has changed. Practicing with mock test questions can help build skills, confidence, and strategy that you need to answer questions correctly and quickly on test day, and Varsity Tutors’ free SAT Math flashcards allow you to answer practice questions whenever and wherever it suits your particular schedule. Each of our free SAT Math flashcards includes a full explanation of how it can be correctly answered, and our SAT Math flashcard questions are organized in varying levels of detail, allowing you to study broadly or focus on a particular concept. In addition to the SAT Math flashcards and SAT Math tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our SAT Math practice tests. Start reviewing for your SAT today with the help of Varsity Tutors’ free SAT Math flashcards!

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