SAT Graph Review

Watch the video of this blog here. So, today, we’re going to talk about SAT graph questions. Now, the SAT includes graphs, tables, and charts on every section of the test, and each test evaluates your knowledge of graphs in a different way. We’ll talk about graph questions on each section of the test, but first, let’s discuss graphs in general.

Reading Graphs

SAT Graph Reading Strategy

To excel at SAT graph questions, you must first know how to read graphs. Start with the title, and any legends or keys included in the figure. Also, read the caption, if one is available. Analyze the x- and y-axes to see which variables are being compared. Look for any obvious trends in the data, such as minimum or maximum values.

Graphs on the Reading Test

SAT Graph on the Reading Test

On the Reading Test, most graphic questions will ask you to compare an author’s conclusion to data in a figure. For these questions, you need to understand general trends within the graph. Make sure you read the axes and recognize what information is presented before you analyze. These questions are usually fairly simple and straightforward, so read the passage and graphic carefully. If you understand both the passage and the figure, the answers to these questions will be self-evident.

Graphs on the Writing & Language Test

SAT Graph on the Writing and Language Test


The Writing & Language Test often asks you to consider information in the graphic to choose the most appropriate detail. They usually DON’T ask you to compare information in the passage with information in the figure. Rather, these questions focus solely on your knowledge of the graph. Essentially, you have to condense information in the graph to a written format. For these questions, you must read all four answer choices while consulting the graph. Only one choice will accurately portray the information from the graph in written form.

Graphs on the Math Test

SAT Graph on the Math Test

Graphs on the Math Test are very different from graphs on the other two sections of the SAT. Instead of focusing on general trends, you typically need to extract numerical data. In addition, many questions will ask you about the graph of a function. These problems require you to find specific data points, or may ask about the function as a whole. You must still read the figure carefully and know where to find the information you need. If the axes are unlabeled, make sure you don’t confuse your x- and y-coordinates.

SAT Graph Questions in Summary

SAT Graph Example

The key to doing well on SAT graph questions is reading. Locate pertinent data by carefully analyzing the figure and any accompanying information. If you know how to effectively extract useful information from a graph, these questions will be much easier.

If you want more advice about improving your score on the SAT, sign up for KallisPrep today. Our online SAT prep course includes hundreds of video lectures, skill quizzes for each question topic, and thousands of practice questions. 

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