The SSAT includes two 30-minute math sections, which are each composed of 25 five-choice multiple-choice questions. Given the time limit and the number of questions, students have a little over a minute to answer each question. The questions within the SSAT math sections will progress in difficulty as a student works his or her way through the section. Because a student loses ¼ point for each incorrect answer, a student should not make random guesses on the SSAT math sections. Students are NOT allowed to use a calculator on the SSAT math.

The SSAT tests a student’s skills in three mathematical areas: computations, geometry/algebra, and mathematical concepts. 

SSAT Math: The Basics

Before we plunge into SSAT Math content, let’s start with some basics.

  • There are two Math sections: a Quantitative 1 section at the beginning of the test after the writing sample, and a Quantitative 2 section at the end of the test after the Verbal section.
  • Scores from these two sections are added together to give you your overall SSAT Math score.
  • Both sections comprise 25 multiple-choice questions. Students have 30 minutes to answer these questions.
  • You are NOT allowed to bring a calculator, and the test is designed to solve problems without one!

Tips to ACE the SSAT Math Test

1- Read Carefully

One of the most common mistakes in SSAT math is misreading a question, which is usually due to speed reading. Be sure to spend a few more seconds on each math question to avoid careless mistakes.

2- Underline important information

Underline the words and numbers that show the quantities, relationships, and calculations (twice, less than, product) that you need to answer the SSAT question. Words like “not” can be easily forgotten and completely change what you are supposed to find in the question!

3- Start with easy questions

Some math questions are easier. Some students think that they have to answer difficult questions. But the best way is to answer math questions that are easy for you. By doing this, you have been able to earn significant points with the least effort in SSAT. You can also be more confident in answering difficult math questions.

4- Avoid mental math

The most common mistake students make is minor calculations that lead them to choose the wrong answer option. These careless errors can be avoided if students write all their calculations.

5- Plugin answer choices

This effective strategy will help you save time when answering SSAT math questions that include variables or figuring out a particular quantity in a word problem. The choice of answer is often in numerical order from smallest to greatest. The best strategy here is to start from the middle in choosing the C answer.

6- Estimate

Remember, this is a multiple-choice test. All answers are now available, and you must choose the correct answer. It means that you do not need an accurate answer for every problem. If the numbers are farther apart in the answer choices, then you only need an estimate of the correct answer to pick the correct answer choice.

7- Skip questions 

Because there is a point penalty for each incorrect answer on the SSAT, you must have a strategy for which questions to skip and which to answer or guess. If you do not understand the question correctly and cannot eliminate the answer options, you should skip the question and leave it blank.

8- Check the answer again

After completing the solution, look back at what the question was asking you to find. Make sure your answer is in line with the question.

9- Be aware of your time

Time management is something that almost everyone who takes the SSAT should be aware of, and it can be a particular issue in SSAT math. Not getting all the SSAT math questions can make it difficult for you to get the grade you need, so pay attention to your time during SSAT math.

The best way to get faster in SSAT math is to do a lot of exercises. As you answer more practice questions, you will become familiar with the style of questions asked in SSAT math, and the types of tricks that test authors try to use.