Like other sections on the SAT, the SAT Math sections are made up of easy, medium, and hard questions. Here’s an example of an SAT Math easy question. Try to solve it on your own first and then check out the detailed explanation to see if you’re on the right track!
SAT Math easy question example
Here’s an example of what an easy SAT word problem could look like. Most word problems on the SAT are not nearly as simple as this one, but every now and again, you do luck out with a word problem that’s not overwhelming!
Janae has to read a 120-page book for her English class. If it takes her two minutes to read one page of this book, how many hours will it take her to finish the book?
(A) 2 hours
(B) 3 hours
(C) 4 hours
(D) 6 hours
How to solve this question
All this problem really asks us to do is some basic algebra and you could even do it with mental math! The trickiest part of this problem is to remember to do the conversion between minutes and hours, but it’s still a pretty simple conversation.
First, make note of what we have to solve for, which is the number of hours it’ll take Janae to finish the book. Then, figure out what information we have to solve for how many hours it’ll take to finish the book:
1. The number of pages in the book: 120
2. The amount of time it takes Janae to read one page: 2 minutes
If you’re not sure where to start, it might help you to visualize the problem by setting up the following ratio:
1 page = 120 pages
2 minutes x minutes
Then, you cross-multiply to get this result:
x = 120(2)
x = 240 minutes
When you convert it to hours, it becomes:
240 / 60 = 4 hours
Therefore, the answer is (C).
Other ways to solve the problem
Of course, you might not have needed to set up the fraction equation to figure out the problem. For example, you could have gone straight for multiplying 120 by 2 and then converting it to hours (this also would probably be the quickest way). Or you might have figured out it takes Janae 1 hour to read 30 pages and did a mental ratio to figure out it would take her 4 hours to read the whole book. Any of these ways work as well!
Easy questions in other categories
In addition to word problems, an SAT Math easy question tends to crop up in questions from Heart of Algebra (linear equations, functions & inequalities) and Problem Solving and Data Analysis. Note that these categories don’t only have easy questions; as a matter of fact, medium and hard questions tend to be on the SAT more than easy questions (of course they do). It’s just that if you find an SAT Math easy question, it will most likely be in these categories.
Here are some more examples of what easy questions could look like (answers and brief explanations for the first two are on the bottom of the post):
1. A grid-in question asking you to solve for f(g(4)) if f(x) = 2x + 3 and g(x) = x/2
2. A multiple choice question asking for the choice that solves for the inequality x2 – 4 > 5
3. A graph that shows the revenue for famous movies and you have to find the difference between the highest-grossing and lowest-grossing movies in that chart.
Looking for even more math fun?
Check out these posts that also have some sample problems you can practice (they range from easy to hard):
1. Most Test New SAT Math Concepts
2. Multiple Choice Strategies in SAT Math: Processes and Logic
3. SAT Math Multiple Choice Strategies: Interpreting Information and Understanding Vocabulary
4. New Sat Math Algebra Practice Questions
5. New SAT Math Problem Solving and Data Analysis
Answers and explanations for additional questions
1. First figure out that g(4) = 4/2 = 2
Then, plug in the answer for g(4) into f(x): f(2) = 2(2) + 3 = 7
The answer if 7
2. Isolate the x2 : x2 – 4 +4 > 5 + 5
Simplify: x2 > 9
Taking the square root of the inequality, you’ll find that the answer choice has to either be greater than 3 or less than -3.