In the year 2014, a total of 14,677 students scored an 800 in the SAT math. A total of 1,672,395 students took the SAT in year 2014, which means 0.88% of all students got a perfect score on the math section of the SAT. The question is what does it take to score an 800 on the math section of the SAT. In this article I list the elements that are crucial in achieving this target.
- Master the Content: You will need to have a solid command on all the concepts that are tested on the SAT math. Make sure you learn all the core concepts, and also keep track of the type of problems that you are missing in your practice tests. And if you are consistently missing problems in a specific topic, then review them in depth again. Finally, for practice tests stick with official SAT tests.
- Read Carefully and Stay Focused: A score of 800 on the SAT math requires one to get every single question right. Therefore, read each question carefully, and in cases where the verbiage is convoluted, read it several times. Make sure that you take in to account each and every detail and do not overlook anything. If the question seems to be particularly difficult, check your answer using an alternative method. For example, if the question asks you to create a set of algebraic equations and you solve for the variable of interest, plug that answer back in to the equations to ensure that your answer is consistent with the given information. Also, in my experience working with students, the most common mistakes happen on the medium level difficulty questions, where interpreting the question is more important as opposed to the hard ones where the test writers typically test an advanced concept.
- Redo Questions: On your first pass through the math section, mark those questions where you felt a bit uncertain about your work. Once you have finished the entire section, go back and redo those questions. Typically the strong students will end up with extra time and this time should be used to redo those questions where you initially faced difficulty.
- Stay organized: Do all of your scratch work in an organized fashion. This way it will be easier to spot a mistake if you need to go back and check your work. Don’t try to do computations or steps in your head, write them down. In geometry problems, draw lines and label things on the figure provided. If you end up messing the figure, start from scratch and draw a new one.