**Get a high score in Math, and improve your chances of getting into your dream university!**

For international students applying to top US colleges, a score of 1500+ is a prerequisite. This means you need to score well in both the sections of the SAT test, English and Math. This article looks at some ways you can build up on your Math score in the new, digital SAT.

The Digital SAT Math test has two sections of 22 questions each. These questions test you on a wide range of subjects, ranging from Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry etc. The new digital format is also an adaptive test – meaning questions get tougher or easier, depending on how you are doing. Since you are aiming for a high score, the questions will get more difficult. However, the concepts and the subjects that you get tested on are still the same.

**Step 1: Assess where you stand**

Start working on your test prep – Math practice tests and full length mock tests. While the new SAT will be digital, old paper style math tests are still useful – they offer a large bank of questions to test your and hone your skill level. Similarly, other materials such as books on SAT math (like Barron’s) are a good source of questions for practice. You can also attempt the Math section of the current paper based SAT tests.

If you are attempting questions from an exercise book, timing yourself will be helpful. These exercises are usually questions of mixed difficulty, so you should aim to solve these at the rate of 1 minute per question or less.

However, even if you run out of time, don’t stop the test – answer all questions. You can work on improving your speed later on – at this stage, it is also important to find out where you stand and your knowledge of the various topics.

**Step 2: Analyze the Mistakes**

Once you have completed the test, score yourself.

If you are aiming for a score of 750+, you should have a firm grasp of the key concepts across various topics. This means there are no questions which you have left unattempted because you couldn’t understand those.

Since you took extra time to address all questions, any unattempted questions are those you didn’t understand. These topics represent the gaps in your understanding. Get back to your text books to read up on these concepts and practice more. It is likely that topics such as Parabola, Functions and statistics may have questions that you are not entirely comfortable with.

From the questions you got wrong, understand how you made the mistake. Test setters design a few questions with traps, which are not immediately evident. The quantity being asked for is not the quantity that you first get, but has to be derived from it. In some word problems, a straightforward equation has to be interpreted – but a complex sounding explanation is provided to confuse the test taker. Read questions carefully – if it helps, scribble on the paper the quantity that you have to find.

**Step 3: Practice More**

This applies for the entire curriculum – the sections which you understand, as well as those that you couldn’t answer. As you practice more, you get more efficient at answering these questions. In many Math problems, as you solve more and more problems, at some point, the subject just ‘clicks’ for you. In many cases, you start developing your own short cuts for some problems.

In case of Trigonometry and Geometry, it is important that you remember the

common ratios and formulae, even though these are provided alongside. Everytime you have to refer to the sheet, you add a step, and there is a chance of an error. If you have to look up a formula/ratio, it also means you haven’t practised those questions enough.

Practice these questions with a stopwatch running alongside and time yourself. Apart from accuracy, you also want to work on speed. Once you complete the curriculum, appear for full length mock tests regularly - once a week at least. There are 6 mock tests available on the Blue Book app (July 2024) and another 10 tests are available on the EZ Scholar website. Do a review after each test, especially of questions/topics where you made mistakes or took up too much time. This will help improve your understanding, as well as your time management.

**Some Other Tips**

The Digital SAT provides an inbuilt calculator. Use that calculator and become familiar with its use. The test day is a bad time to start learning the use of a new tool.

Be very familiar with multiplication tables of numbers up to 20. This will enable you to do a lot of calculations mentally, and will help improve your speed in solving problems. Similarly, you should know the squares of numbers up to 25 or 30. You don’t get quizzed on these, but it saves time if you can do these calculations faster.

A good SAT score is a crucial part of your application to top US universities. With consistent practice over three to five months, students see significant improvements. We encourage you to work hard on your SAT prep to create a compelling application for admission to your dream university.

**EZ Scholar is a premium admissions consultancy and test prep organization which works with bright and ambitious students seeking admissions to Ivy Leagues, Oxbridge and other top global universities. Our experts have mentored thousands of students with their profile building, research papers, extracurricular and co-curricular activities, test prep and admissions essays. **

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