SAT Math Tutorial
SAT Remainder Questions: Divisibility, Factors, and Multiples
The SAT often asks questions about remainders. These questions require you to work with divisibility, factors, and multiples. Here is a typical SAT remainder question.
If is an integer, what is the remainder when is divided by 4?
This problem is a perfect candidate for the “pick a number” strategy. Suppose is 1. Then . Now the question becomes “What is the remainder when 9 is divided by 4?”
Well, 4 divides evenly into 9 two times, with 1 left over. So, the remainder is 1.
You should double check that you get the same remainder when is, say, 2. In that case, , and 4 divides evenly into 13 three times with, again, 1 left over. So we can be confident that the correct answer is 1.
Let’s look at a more clever, potentially time-saving solution.
We know that is a multiple of 4 (because it has a factor of 4). It is therefore divisible by 4 and has a remainder of 0 (go ahead and try it with a few values of ). We can thus ignore it and concentrate solely on the remainder when 5 is divided by 4, which is 1.
Test your skills with this more challenging SAT remainder question.
When 26 is divided by the positive integer , the remainder is 2. For how many different values of is this true?
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|Jared, founder of The Knowledge Roundtable, is passionate about the advancement of knowledge. He has a B.S. in astronomy and physics from UMass and an MBA in Advanced Financial Analytics, also from UMass. He has a day job as a Big Data Analyst in Boston. He has over 500 hours of tutoring experien...|