Read an Excerpt
Getting the Most Out of Your Math Review
THE SAT AND THIS BOOK
Whats all the buzz about the SAT Reasoning Tests revised math sections? For starters, there are no more dreaded quantitative comparisons. Time allotted for the math sections is now 70 minutes, down from 75 minutes on the old SAT. Lastly, Algebra II plays a much greater role in the SAT now, requiring a greater mastery of advanced math skills. To be sure, the test has changed significantly. We know that the math part of the test looms as one of the most difficult and challenging parts of the entire college admissions process. If that includes you, this book will ease your mind.
With the coming of every year, a new crop of students prepares for the SAT. In bookstores, online, and in libraries, they face an untold number of SAT preparation books, with each one claiming to offer new, unbeatable strategies or to have somehow solved the SAT. Strategies can be vital test tools but they are not infallible guides. The SAT is not a mystery that needs to be cracked open but rather a known quantity that needs to be mastered.
The fact is, there are no instant answers or pat solutions when it comes to taking the new SAT.
Thats where this book comes in. Think of it as your personal Math tutor for the SAT. It is intended to aid you significantly in preparing for the Multiple-Choice and Student-Produced Response sections of the new SAT. By studying with this book, you will learn how to work through SAT problems by applying simple, systematic rules to enable you to reach the right answers.
The practice problems you will find inside this book have been thoughtfully patterned after the actual SAT. Each answer is fully explained to provide you with a greater understanding of what the SAT expects from you.
Youll find this book to be perfect for self-guided study. Open it up anywhere and any time you are free to answer even just one question-on the bus, waiting on line in the cafeteria, or even between classes. The more you work at it, the more your skills will improve.
Understanding SAT Math: Subject Areas
As you proceed through this book, you will learn to identify the types of questions that appear on the math section of the SAT. Part I reviews Multiple-Choice Section. Part II covers the Student-Produced Response Section. Both parts cover four major subject areas: numbers and operations; algebra and functions; geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability. In addition to greater emphasis on linear functions, manipulations with exponents, and properties of tangent lines, the new SAT has also been expanded to include such math concepts as exponential growth, absolute value, and functional notation. Once you have completed the book, you will have gained a deeper understanding of all the mathematics that are tested on the new SAT.
THE NEW SAT: WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
The introduction of the New SAT in March 2005 stands as one of the most publicized events in college-admission testing. By now you may have seen or heard any number of talking heads on television and radio, or perhaps you read some of the countless articles in newspapers or webzines. A lot of people seem to have a lot to say about the SAT. Millions have taken the SAT and millions more will do so in the future, but right now you care about the SAT only at the point where it intersects with you. So lets get down to business.
Each of the three test sections is scored using a 200-800 scale, making 2400 the highest score possible. The total testing time is 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Math on the SAT has changed significantly with the revised test. Algebra II is now part of the SATs traditional roster of Algebra I, Arithmetic, and Geometry problems. You will be spared Quantitative Comparisons, as that section was dropped from the test. The Student-Produced Response format remains the same and still offers the same degree of flexibility when answering questions. The time allotted for the Math sections is 70 minutes.
FORMAT OF THE SAT
Mathematics Sections: 70 minutes
In the Mathematics sections, you will encounter the following question types that test your algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis skills:
o Multiple choice: 45 multiple-choice questions that test your general math knowledge.
o Student-Produced Response: 9 questions requiring you to solve problems and then enter your answers onto the provided grid. There are no multiple-choice answers in this section.
On the use of calculators
Although solutions can be found to every math problem without them, calculators are permitted during the SAT. You may use a programmable or nonprogrammable four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator. Pocket organizers, hand-held mini PCs, PDAs, paper tape, noisy calculators, and calculators requiring an external power source are not allowed. Sharing calculators is not permitted.
The following chart summarizes the format of the Math section of the SAT for Content, Item Type, Time, and Score.
CONTENT: Number and operations; Algebra (now including Algebra II) and functions; Geometry and measurement; Statistics, probability, and data analysis.
ITEM TYPE: Five-choice multiple-choice questions; Student-produced responses (which you may know as grid-ins); No more Quatitative Comparison.
TIME: 70 min. total (previously 75 min): two 25-min. sections and one 20-min. section.
ABOUT THE TEST
Who takes the SAT? What is it used for?
Juniors and seniors in high school are the ones most likely to take the SAT. College admissions personnel use your test results as a way to decide if you can be accepted to their school. Because high schools across the nation have a variety of grading systems, the SAT score is designed to put all students on an equal footing. Your SAT score, along with your grades and other school information, helps colleges predict how well you will do at the college level.
If you score poorly on the SAT, it does not mean you should change your plans about going to college. Nor does it mean you will not do well in college. It just means you scored low. Should this happen, remember that you have options:
First, you can register to take the SAT again. Use the time before the next SAT administration to prepare as best you can.
Second, a poor score does not automatically shut the door to all colleges. College admissions officers use several criteria when reviewing applicants including your high school grades, your extracurricular activities, and the levels of your courses in high school.
Who administers the test?
ETS, a client of the College Board, which owns the SAT, develops and scores the test and currently administers it with the assistance of educators across the United States.
When is it best to take the SAT?
You should take the test as a junior or senior in high school. We recommend taking the SAT early in the school year. This allows you more time to retake the test if you are not satisfied with your first set of scores.
When and where do I take the SAT?
The SAT is normally offered seven times a year nationwide. The test can be taken at hundreds of locations throughout the country, including high schools. The standard test day is normally on Saturday, but alternate days are permitted if a conflict-such as a religious obligation-exists.
For information on upcoming SAT testing dates, see your guidance counselor for an SAT Registration Bulletin or request a registration bulletin from ETS as follows:
Educational Testing Service
Princeton, NJ 08541
phone: (609) 921-9000 | e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ets.org
What about the registration fee?
You must pay a fee to register for the SAT. Some students may qualify to have this fee waived. To find out if you qualify for a fee waiver, contact your guidance counselor.
What is the Student Search Service?
The Student Search Service provides your SAT scores to colleges. Colleges enrolled in this service receive information about you, especially if you express interest in their school. On your SAT answer sheet, you can indicate that you want enrollment in this service.
AFTER THE TEST
Once your test materials have been collected, you will be dismissed. Then your day is free. Go home and relax. Or reward yourself with some shopping. Or play a video game. Or hang with friends. The good news is that the hard part is over. Now you just have to wait for the results.