How To Improve Your SSAT Math Score

At first glance, the SSAT Math Section (also known as the quantitative section) may seem like a bunch of simple computations, but it’s much more difficult than that.

The clock is constantly, constantly ticking and the questions are written to confuse you. But, if you have the right SSAT prep strategy and the right SSAT tutor to guide you through the test, you’ll improve your SSAT Math Scores dramatically.

SSAT Math Practice tests/SSAT Tutor: Taking practice tests and reviewing them with your SSAT tutor is best way to improve your score. Practice tests alone can only help you so much, as they just show you where you struggle and give brief explanations to questions.

If you’re serious about improving your SSAT Math Scores, you’ll need to do a lot more than just find out where you struggle. A professional SSAT tutor can show you how to improve on the questions that are most difficult for you. That’s the only way to learn the information and answers questions correctly on the test.

Can I use a calculator? No. Avoid using a calculator on your math homework or on your SSAT practice tests. Your brain needs to get used to doing simple math without a calculator. But, you will be allowed to use scratch paper and doing so is highly recommended. You can avoid making silly, mental mistakes by writing out every step of your work.

How long is the SSAT Math section? There are two separate tests, and you have to answer 25 questions in 30 minutes for each SSAT math test, leaving you just over a minute for each question.

There is a quarter of a point penalty for getting an incorrect answer on the SSAT; so do not blindly guess. But, if , and only if, you can narrow the question down to three answer choices, then guess. If you find yourself taking more than a minute on a question, make an educated guess and move on.

SSAT Math questions: For the most part, the SSAT Math tests your arithmetic, elementary algebra and geometry skills. But, you’ll need to know a lot more than just formulas and equations. You’ll need to manipulate theories and formulas to solve word problems and real-world application problems – that’s why simply memorizing them is not enough.

SSAT Math sequence questions: Sequences are basically just patterns with simplest being {1,2,3,4…}. Or sequences can be alternating numbers {0,1,0,1,0,1…} . For these questions, try to subtract or add numbers to find patterns. In this sequence {5,10,15,20… } each number is 5 more than the previous. Or, focus on odd/even numbers, prime numbers, exponents and multiplication to answer more difficult questions.

Consider this question: In the following sequence {3, 5, 7, 9, 21, 23, 25 ...} what is the next number? First, look to see what the numbers have in common (they’re all odd), and look for something that seems a bit off, like how 10-20 is completely skipped. That’s how you’ll find the pattern is odd numbers that don’t begin with a “1.” The next number will be 27.

SSAT Math percent questions: Percents are huge on the SSAT. But, this one simple equation: (Part x 100) / Total can help you answer just about every question. Consider this question: If Kyle got 12 out of 80 test questions wrong, what is the percent of questions he got wrong? Just multiply 12 x 100 = 1,200 . Then, divide that by 80 = 15 (15% is your answer).

There will also be questions like: What’s 10% of 43? To answer these, move the decimal point over two places to the left. So 10.0 becomes 0.1. Then, multiply the decimal percentage by the number (0.1 x 43 = 4.3).

You will probably even see questions like: 7 is what percent of 3? Just turn these into an algebraic equation (7 = n x 3). Then, just solve (n = 7/3 = 2.33). Then, turn 2.33 into a percent by sliding the decimal over two places to the left (2.33 become 223%).

SSAT Math odd and evens questions: All you need to know with these is that even/odd numbers are always two apart in a series. Look at this set: (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8). The odd numbers are 1,3,5,7 (two apart).The even numbers are 2,4,6,8 (also two apart). Consider the following question:

If X is an odd integer, what are the next two consecutive odd integers? 
A) Y and Z 
B) X and X+1 
C) X+1 and X+2 
D) X+2 and X+4 
E) X+1 and X+3 
D is the correct answer because odd/even integers are always two apart in a set.

SSAT Math ratios and proportions questions: Just remember this: a proportion is two equal ratios. A/B = C/D or 3/5 = 21/35 (multiplying each by 7). Remember, 3/5 is a ratio and the whole equation is a proportion. On the SSAT, you’ll be asked to manipulate these equations, but remember they will always be equal.

Consider this question: Solve for N: 5/10 = 15/N. First you have to find the relation between 5 and 15 (5 x 3 = 15). Now, just remember the two ratios must be equal. So, if you multiply 5 by 3 to get 15…you must multiply 10 x 3 (which equals 30). So, N = 30.

These are just a sampling of questions you’ll see on the SSAT Math section. Contact Varsity Tutors today to learn more about SSAT Math and find the best tutor to help you.