top of page

SAT Hard Question Bank Math Battle: Tips and Insights

By Laura Whitmore

I’m so excited to share a math battle that we recently created with Huzefa from Scalar Learning. This collaboration was designed to challenge both of us with difficult SAT math problems, offering insights and strategies that can help students tackle the toughest questions on the test.

Not in a reading mood? Check out my YouTube video now!


In our first problem, recognizing a 3-4-5 triangle is crucial. When you see familiar patterns, such as Pythagorean triples, use them to simplify the problem. This can save you time and help you quickly set up useful proportions.


When dealing with rational expressions, factor wherever possible and look for common denominators. This simplifies the problem and makes it easier to solve. For example, by factoring x² - 9 into (x + 3)(x - 3), we could easily cancel out denominators and solve the resulting quadratic equation.


In systems of equations, elimination can often be a more straightforward approach than substitution, especially when dealing with both linear and non-linear equations. Adding equations to eliminate a variable can simplify the system and make solving for the remaining variables much easier.


For percentage problems, translate the words into mathematical equations. For instance, if a number is 60% greater than another, express it as 1.6 times the original number. This clarity makes it easier to set up and solve equations correctly.


In this particular problem, Huzefa made a table to find that there was actually a linear relationship between potassium and servings. For more complicated word problems, break down the information step by step. Write out what each part of the problem is telling you, and organize this information logically. This approach helps in managing and solving the problem effectively.


Tip #6: Practice with Real SAT Questions

All the problems we tackled are from the official College Board SAT question bank, ensuring they are representative of what you’ll encounter on test day. Practicing with these questions is one of the best ways to prepare.

We also demonstrated the use of tools like Desmos to verify solutions and explore different solving methods. Using such tools can greatly enhance your understanding and efficiency.


Resource Highlight: Prep for Success with Preptly

For those looking for a comprehensive, flexible prep solution, consider using Preptly, our mobile digital SAT prep app. It’s perfect for fitting in practice on the go and offers targeted exercises to boost your skills.

Happy prepping!


bottom of page