How Calculators Improve SAT Math Scores

SAT scores are still one of the major components reviewed by colleges and universities to determine student eligibility. Here, SchoolMart details ways calculators can help students improve their SAT math scores, without taking away from mathematical comprehension.

Calculator Policies for the SAT Math Exam

College Board, the overseeing body responsible for the SAT, has mandated specific policies regarding the SAT Math exam and calculator use. The exam is divided into two sections: one where students can use a calculator, and one where a calculator cannot be used. A list of College Board-approved calculators can be found here. One calculator is allowed per student, and students may not share calculators with other students.

Performing Complex Calculations

Some equations, while conceptually simple, can take several minutes to calculate by hand. By employing a calculator, students can save themselves valuable time—on a timed test like the SAT, every saved minute is precious—while still showing their knowledge of the procedure involved in solving the equation.

Everyday Computations

Students at the high school level have long since shown an ability to determine the answer to multiplication, division, addition and subtraction problems. As such, there is no need for students to solve these problems by hand. A calculator saves them time, and prevents students from making foolish mistakes in an effort to rush through basic computations.

Graphing Functions

There are often problems on the SAT Math exam that require students to determine from a series the graph that best matches a specific function. As their name implies, graphing calculators are able to graph functions—students need only plug the function into the program. Manually creating a graph and plotting points, while valuable in a classroom setting, takes up a large amount of time, and such exact drawings are unnecessary for the scope of these types of problems.

Decimals and Fractions in Most Reduced Form

Some equations are written in fraction form, when decimal form is the easier and faster way to solve it. Many graphing calculators are able to convert fractions to decimals, and vice versa, with only the press of a button. The calculator will also provide fractions in most reduced, which is how they will appear in multiple choice answers on the SAT.

How SchoolMart Can Help

SchoolMart believes in empowering students by providing the latest and greatest in educational technology. Our wide array of calculators includes College Board-approved graphing calculators, helping high schoolers to succeed on the mathematical portion of their SAT exams. For more information, or to make a purchase for your student, visit our website today!