Disclaimer: This article is for the 2005 SAT. Click here to learn about the new, 2016 SAT.
The SAT Math section of the exam covers topics from algebra and geometry.
It is designed to test your reasoning and evaluative skills but is not necessarily trying to test everything you may have learned in high school (especially those who got through statistics, pre-calculus, and even calculus).
Here is a list of math concepts you DO NOT have to worry about on the SAT Math section of the exam.
1. complex numbers
This means there will be no imaginary numbers, which are roots of negatives usually seen with the symbol “i,” as in 4i, or “ai +b,” as in 5i – 2.
There will be many problems with exponents, but nothing converting into or out of logarithmic form.
Although the SAT Math section WILL cover a lot about triangles, the pythagorean theorem, and special right triangles like the famous 3-4-5 triangle, there will not be trigonometric problems.
4. matrix operations
Although information could be presented in matrix form, you do not have to worry about matrix operations learned in algebra 2 and pre-calculus.
No row reduction method! Whew!
5. long computational problems
While some problems will be challenging and could take some legitimate mental energy and maybe even some trial and error to get the answer, the SAT Math section does not purposefully contain problems that require long, drawn out computational steps just for the sake of making you work out long problems.
6. formal geometric proofs
Who loves proofs? Raise your hand! Anyone…anyone?….Bueller? Bueller?
Ferris and friends are happy there are no formal geometric proofs. However, they could always provide a proof already written out and ask you to draw a logical conclusion from it…
7. radian measure
Students dive into using radians – in addition to and/or instead of degrees – once they start working with the unit circle in pre-calculus. None of that on the SAT Math section. Just stick with degrees. And make sure your calculator is in the right mode!
8. computing standard deviation
Standard deviation is a bit to advanced in the category of statistics for the SAT Math, so don’t sweat reviewing how to compute it. You should still know what it is though.
Great! Now you can check 8 big mathematical concepts off your “to study” list!
But what concepts should you study? Read yesterday’s blog entitled 6 Things You Will See on the SAT Math Section.
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