The SAT mathematics section consists of 44 multiple-choice questions and 10 “grid-in” questions. The multiple-choice questions are set up in a format similar to the multiple-choice questions found in the other sections of the exam. Each single question of the 44 multiple-choice questions is accompanied by five possible answers.
However, the grid-in questions of the SAT mathematics section are designed so that each exam-taker will have to determine his or her own answers. The questions in the SAT mathematics grid-in section include no list of answers to choose from, but require the test-taker to enter the answer on his or her own. As a result, it is extremely important for an individual taking the SAT to understand how to answer the grid-in questions in the SAT mathematics section.
There are several steps to follow when answering these questions. First, each of these questions presents a word problem, an equation, a mathematical figure, or some other similar mathematical problem for which you will have to determine the solution. As a result, the first thing that you should do is read the question carefully. You should then use the information in the question to try to determine the answer. Once you have determined an answer to the question, double-check your answer and make sure that your answer fits on the grid. If your answer does not fit on the grid, then you must revise the answer in some way-you may need to round it, for example, or it may be entirely incorrect. If your answer fits on the grid, and you are relatively sure that it is correct, write the answer in the box above the grid that corresponds to that question. Then mark your answer in the grid by marking the circles that represent that number.
For example, if the answer is 3.5, you should fill in the 3 circle, the decimal point circle, and the 5 circle. If your answer is a fraction or if you believe that you should round the answer, it is important to remember that you do not have to reduce or round your answer if it fits in the grid. In other words, the space provided for your answers in the grid should be your helpful guide. You only need to round or reduce an answer if the answer doesn’t fit the space provided in the grid. In some cases, you may grid a fraction as a decimal. For example, you may write ½ as .5. Be alert to those possibilities.