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How to Improve Your SHSAT Math Section Scores

Student engulfed in work and planning out their day.

Before we get started, if you missed our breakdown of the ELA section of the SHSAT, Click here to read it.

What is the SHSAT Math Section?

The math section of the SHSAT is structured quite differently than the ELA section. It’s not broken up by the math skills they are testing you on the test. It’s broken up by short answers and multiple choice type questions. This section has 57 questions (half of the amount of total questions on the test). 52 of which are multiple choice questions and the rest (5 questions) being grid-in short answer type questions. Students are not allowed to use a calculator on this exam, there are very serious consequences for people that try to violate this rule. Your test will be invalidated. 

Note: Formulas and definitions are not provided on the exam. Most of the diagrams are not drawn to scale, and fractions should always be reduced to the lowest term unless otherwise stated. This is done deliberately because you are being tested on your mastery of the mathematical concepts on the exam.

If you feel you are not ready to tackle the more difficult questions because  you do need some sort of aid, don’t worry. Always try your best and study from prep books and utilize tutors as much as possible.

Some tips:

  • Read every part of the question carefully. Don’t be tricked by test makers just because you didn’t want to spend 1 second more to read through every corner of the question
  • Take an educated guess if you are running out of time. You don’t get penalized for leaving questions blank, and it doesn’t hurt to take a shot in the dark if your only other option is to leave it blank
  • If a question is taking too long, skip it and come back when you have time.

Consecutive Integer Questions

Consecutive integer questions are one of the most common types of problems you will be presented with on test day. Tese questions will ask you specific things about the range of numbers that are presented. In order to solve these problems without any hiccups, be sure to read everything in the question carefully. The key is in the details. There will be small details in these questions that play a huge role in the answers that the test makers are looking for.

Proportion Questions

Proportion questions will test your stamina in solving problems. Proportion questions will tend to be on the longer side. Make sure to solve the problems to the fullest. These questions will test your critical thinking skills.

Percentages and Ratios Questions

This is a basic topic you should be familiar with from school. During practice sessions, be sure to practice working with fractions and decimals. Be prepared to work with fractions and decimals and weird and wonky numbers.

Geometry Questions

Geometry questions tend to be the hardest thing for most students. Not only is it a topic from 10th grade, you also have to know a lot of formulas for this type of question. Main thing here is to not assume a single thing. Analyze the diagram and the question to the best of your abilities. The figures that are presented in this section are not drawn to scale. Be sure to practice working with shapes and formulas when practicing for the exam.

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