Math Content Alignment

The tests in the SAT Suite of Assessments measure the same skills and knowledge in ways that make sense for different grade levels. The Math Tests keep pace with student progress, matching the scope and difficulty of work in the classroom.

A Shift in Emphasis

Moving through the SAT Suite, students see more multistep math problems and more problems that require them to use complicated concepts and equations.

Other differences include these:

  • The number of math problems increases from test to test.
  • Later tests include more student-produced response questions and fewer multiple-choice items.
  • The PSAT 8/9 doesn’t include Additional Topics in Math problems and doesn’t report a subscore for Passport to Advanced Math.
  • The PSAT 10, PSAT/NMSQT, and SAT include more Passport to Advanced Math problems.
Examples of Progression
Element PSAT 8/9 PSAT 10 and
Complexity Many items requiring 1 or 2 steps to solve. Many items requiring 2 or more steps to solve. Emphasis on multistep problems.
Geometry May require the use of common geometric equations. May require the use of common geometric equations and spatial reasoning. Requires the use of geometry concepts and reasoning.
Probability and Statistics Includes ratios, proportions, percentages, introductory probability, and statistics. Requires comparing linear and exponential growth. Includes statistics topics such as sampling and inferring correlation and causation from a research method.
Trigonometry May require the use of properties of right triangles to solve problems. Requires the use of trigonometric relationships. Requires the use of trigonometry.