SAT Facts and Formulas for Math and Physics

strategies, test info, and hundreds of practice questions for SAT and ACT math prep

Welcome to Erik The Red Tutoring!

This web site was developed and designed for the version of the SAT that was administered from March, 2005, to March, 2016. The primary changes to the math section of the SAT made in 2016 included a switch from multiple-choice questions with five answers to ones with four answers, along with the introduction of a no-calculator section and a different topic emphasis.

Although the ACT test and SAT subject tests have essentially remained the same, the SAT has not, and many of the SAT resources to be found here are out of date. However, the calendar is still current, the SAT history page is still a labor of love, and many of the math problems found here remain useful for practice. Just be aware that some math topics represented in the resources may no longer be tested, and that some FAQs may no longer be relevant. Thanks for visiting!

  • The SAT & ACT Calendar has all SAT and ACT test dates and fees for this year.
  • The SAT and ACT History page has a not very brief account of the nearly 100-year-long story of standardized testing for college admissions in the United States.
  • Completely new to the SAT? The SAT Facts & FAQs page has the facts.
  • Completely new to the ACT? The ACT Facts & FAQs page has the facts.
  • Ready to dive right in with math questions? The Practice page has what you need.
  • Find out more about me (Erik Jacobsen) on the About page.

Basic formulas and reference materials for SAT math as well as ACT math and SAT subject tests can be found below. Whether you are teaching yourself or teaching others, you will find plenty of help here, all of it free to download, copy, print, and distribute under a Creative Commons license. Good luck!

SAT Math Guides

SAT Math Must-Know Facts and Formulas (pdf, 6 pages) -- I've tried to boil down all the math represented on recent SAT tests to the most important concepts that you will need to know. These facts and formulas (mostly facts, really) seem to be "required knowledge" on just about every SAT Math test. I've also sprinkled a few examples in among the forest of facts to help get you started.

SAT Math Facts and Formulas (pdf, 6 pages) -- A helpful list of the concepts and formulas that you will need to know to do well on the SAT Math tests. This guide is a little more comprehensive than the Must-Know guide: it also includes topics that appear only occasionally on the SAT tests. Don't worry if this seems like a lot to remember: If you're just getting started with the SAT or you have a hard time memorizing formulas, first try the Must-Know facts and formulas.

SAT Math Given Facts and Formulas (pdf, 2 pages) -- These are the (few) formulas that you are actually given on the SAT math test. In principle, you don't have to memorize or even know them, but in practice they are so commonly needed to solve typical test problems that it really makes sense to be very familiar with them ahead of time.

SAT Math Strategies (pdf, 3 pages) -- Some general strategies and tips to help you on the SAT Math sections and the SAT Subject tests in Math, including things like when you should or should not take a guess on a question. Two of these strategies (plugging in numbers and working with the answers) are so useful that they get their own quiz and mini-quiz.

SAT Math Must-Know Vocabulary (pdf, 3 pages) -- In math, "odd" does not mean "strange", and "real" is not the opposite of "fake". This guide contains a short list of math vocabulary words that show up time and again on the SAT. These words will appear without explanation in the math questions on the test, so you better know them cold! If it is the night before the test and you are pressed for time, the one-page (tl;dr) version can be found here.

SAT Math Practice Quizzes

SAT Math Facts and Formulas Quiz (pdf, 24 pages) -- After reviewing the guides, test your knowledge of SAT math facts, formulas, and vocabulary with this quiz. Complete answers are included, and many questions involve vegetables of some kind. Because it is important to have enough vegetables every day.

Math Strategies Quiz (pdf, 18 pages) -- When you are stumped on an SAT or ACT math question, there are two very useful strategies that may help you to get the correct answer. This review quiz will help you become familiar with these strategies so that they will be second nature when you take the SAT or ACT for real. Complete answers are included.

For many more practice questions, see the Math Practice section of this web site.

SAT Subject Math Guides

SAT Subject Math Level 1 Facts and Formulas (pdf, 9 pages) -- The SAT Subject tests in Math are a little different than the math portion of the regular SAT: the subject tests are more about achievement and how much you've progressed in your math courses in school. To help, I've taken the regular SAT math facts and formulas (which you have to know anyway to take this test) and added the extra concepts that you'll need on the Level 1 test. For example, I've added a few things about trigonometry, complex numbers, compound functions, and as many examples as I could stuff into fewer than 10 pages!

SAT Subject Math Level 2 Facts and Formulas (pdf, 11 pages) -- If you aren't afraid of infinite geometric sequences, trigonometry, or natural logarithms, then the Math Level 2 test is for you! You also won't mind that this facts and formulas guide comes in at 11 pages. I've taken the facts and formulas from Level 1 (which you have to know anyway to take this test) and added the extra concepts that you'll need on the Level 2 test. For example, I've added more trigonometric formulas, stuff about logs, and some facts about conic sections among other things. Enjoy!

SAT Subject Math Given Facts and Formulas (pdf, 1 page) -- These are the (five, count 'em, five) formulas that you are actually given on the SAT Subject Math test (both levels). These five formulas are not heavily used (they all have to do with volumes and areas of solids) so, unlike the given formulas for the regular SAT math test, it really doesn't make sense to memorize these. You have a long list of other formulas to know as it is!

SAT Subject Physics Guides

SAT Subject Physics Formula Reference (pdf, 12 pages) -- If you already have plenty of review books and guides, but just want a nice, all-in-one-place summary of formulas, look no further! Note that you are not given any formulas on the test. This guide lists about 50 of the most important physics formulas for the physics subject test.

SAT Subject Physics Facts and Formulas (pdf, 18 pages) -- A concise but comprehensive guide to the facts and formulas typically covered by the SAT Subject Test for physics. Use as a reference, or for quick review, or as something to e-mail to friends to help them out.

ACT Math Guides

ACT Math Facts and Formulas (pdf, 8 pages) -- The ACT, like the SAT Subject Math test, is more about achievement and how much you've progressed in your math courses in school. There are no given formulas on the ACT, so this guide is designed to fill that gap. Along with most of the SAT Must-Know material, I've added a few things about trigonometry, radians, logarithms, and complex numbers.

ACT Math Strategies (pdf, 2 pages) -- Some general strategies and tips to help you on the ACT Math section.