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The SAT Math Test: Problem Solving and Data Analysis

In this series of articles, we take a closer look at the SAT Math Test.

SAT Math questions fall into different categories called "domains." One of these domains is Problem Solving and Data Analysis.

You will not need to know domain names for the test; domains are a way for the College Board to break down your math score into helpful subscores on your score report.
Problem Solving and Data Analysis questions might ask you to create an appropriate equation from a word problem, convert units, or understand the meaning of different numbers or variables in an equation. You might need to use the different properties of operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction = PEMDAS).
Problems in this category may require you to use ratios, rates, and proportions. In college and beyond, you will need to interpret and synthesize data, so these are skills that are well worth developing!
Just a few examples of problems you will be asked to solve:
  • Converting units (for example changing km/hr to meters/second)
  • Choosing appropriate graphical representations for data sets
  • Interpreting the slope and intercepts of a line
  • Computing and interpreting probability
  • Evaluating statistical claims or the results of a study
  • Using percentages in a variety of contexts, including discounts, interest rates, taxes, and tips
A furniture store buys its furniture from a wholesaler. For a particular table, the store usually charges its cost from the wholesaler plus 75, percent. During a sale, the store charged the wholesale cost plus 15, percent. If the sale price of the table was dollar sign, 299, what is the usual price of the table?
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  • Comparing distributions
Scores of Two Classes in a Quiz
The dot plots above summarize the scores that two classes, each with 24 students, at Central High School achieved on a current events quiz. Which of the following correctly compares the standard deviation of the scores in each of the classes?
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Are you ready to start practicing your math skills? Head over to the Math Practice Area and try some problems!


This article was adapted from the following source: “Test Specifications for the Redesigned SAT.”

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