How Calculators Improve SAT Math Scores

SAT scores are one of the major considerations reviewed by colleges and universities to determine student admissions. Here, SchoolMart discusses the various ways that 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 calculator use during the math segment of the SAT’s. The exam is divided into two sections: one in which students can use a calculator, and one in which a calculator cannot be used. One calculator is allowed per student, and students may not share calculators with other students. A list of College Board-approved calculators can be found here.

Performing Complex Calculations

Some equations, while conceptually simple, can take several minutes to calculate by hand. In employing a calculator, students can save themselves valuable time during this timed segment, while still illustrating their knowledge of the procedures involved in solving each equation.

Everyday Computations

Students at the high school level often have the innate ability to determine the answer to multiplication, division, addition and subtraction problems without additional tools. As such, there is no need for students to solve these problems by hand. A calculator saves them time, and helps students avoid the simple mistakes made when rushing through basic computations.

Graphing Functions

There are often problems on the SAT Math exam that require students to determine a graph from a series that best matches a specific function. Advanced calculators are able to graph functions simply by plugging a function into the program. On the other hand, manually creating a graph by plotting points, while valuable in a classroom setting, takes up a large amount of time, and can be unnecessary for the scope of these types of problems.

Decimals and Fractions in Most Reduced Form

Some equations are written in fraction form, whereas decimal form is often the easier and faster way to solve them. Many graphing calculators can convert fractions to decimals, and vice versa, with only the press of a button. The calculator will also provide fractions in the most reduced form, which is how they will appear in the 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 classrooms, visit our website today!