Math is often a daunting subject for most people. There are a number of formulas and procedures to memorize before you can confidently process even one night’s worth of homework. The SAT’s, one of the hurdles that students will have to pass in order to get admitted to college, tests students on their understanding of math. But how hard is it actually? Is it something students will lose sleep over studying for? Possibly, but like any subject it depends on the student and their own individual abilities.
Math has often been my best subject on any standardized test I’ve taken. Memorizing all those formulas and comprehending complex equations was never that difficult for me. The SAT’s, however, are not that difficult and shouldn’t require outside learning by a student. They may require extra studying by struggling students though. Students will only be tested on the concepts learned in Algebra, Geometry, and some other more basic concepts. The complexities of higher Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus are not applied to this basic test. Those subjects are saved for the SAT II.
So long as students have done well in subjects through geometry they shouldn’t stress over the difficulties of the SAT. Keep in mind, I am not suggesting they don’t review. Anytime you go to take a test you should always refresh yourself on the subject to ensure there’s nothing you’ve forgotten.
Students who have had a difficult time in math, or struggle remembering formulas and concepts should use tutors or after school study sessions to help them prepare for the test. Be prepared to be able to answer multivariable equations, word problems, questions about shapes and angles, and use the quadratic formula. If you still feel uncomfortable and want to know what type of math you should prepare for, you can always check out one of numerous SAT preparation books. They can help students understand fully the types of questions that could be asked when they take the test.
While it’s difficult to say how much each student should study, be sure you feel confident about all the basic math subjects taught in high school. Ask around and consult websites or books if you doubt your own knowledge on the subject.