# SAT Subject Tests: Math 1 vs Math 2

# SAT Subject Test Math 1 vs Math 2: Which one do I take?

Many colleges require students to submit SAT Subject Test scores. If math is a strong subject for you, you’re probably deciding between which SAT Math Subject Test to take. **There are two Math SAT Subject Tests: SAT Math 1 and SAT Math 2.**

Math 2 is meant for students who have taken more high school math classes, as it covers a broader range of topics than Math 1. Aside from this, both have **50 multiple choice questions to complete in a 60 minute time limit.**

### See below for topics covered in Math 1, Math 2, similarities and differences, and other general tips.

## Topics Covered on SAT Math 1

The SAT Subject Test Math 1 covers topics learned in **one year of geometry** and **two years of algebra.** See the list below:

Topics and Subtopics | % of Math 1 SAT Subject Test | Approximate # of Questions |
---|---|---|

Number and Operations (Operations, ratio and proportion, complex numbers, counting, elementary number theory, matrices, sequences) |
10-14% | 5-7 |

Algebra and Functions (Expressions, equations, inequalities, representation and modelling, properties of functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential) |
38-42% | 19-21 |

Geometry and Measurement |
38-42% | 19-21 |

Plane geometry | 18-22% | 9-11 |

Coordinate: Lines, parabolas, circles, symmetry, transformations | 8-12% | 4-6 |

Three-dimensional: solids, surface area and volume (cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, prisms) | 4-6% | 2-3 |

Trigonometry: right triangles and identities | 6-8% | 3-4 |

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability (Mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, graphs and plots, least squares regression (linear), probability) |
8-12% | 4-6 |

As you can see from the table, the majority of questions will cover algebra, functions, or geometry - so this is what you should focus your studying on. **In addition, typically around 5 questions on data analysis/statistics/probability will be tested as well.**

## Topics Covered on SAT Math 2

The SAT Subject Test Math 2 covers the same topics as Math 1 plus precalculus and trigonometry. Something to note: there will be more advanced geometry topics like coordinate- and three-dimensional geometry. See the list below:

Topics and Subtopics | % of Math 2 SAT Subject Test | Approximate # of Questions |
---|---|---|

Number and Operations (Operations, ratio and proportion, complex numbers, counting, elementary number theory, matrices, sequences, series, vectors) |
10-14% | 5-7 |

Algebra and Functions (Expressions, equations, inequalities, representation and modelling, properties of functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, periodic, piecewise, recursive, parametric) |
48-52% | 24-26 |

Geometry and Measurement |
28-32% | 14-16 |

Coordinate: lines, parabolas, circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, symmetry, transformations, polar coordinates | 10-14% | 5-7 |

Three-dimensional: solids, surface area and volume (cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, prisms), coordinates in three dimensions | 4-6% | 2-3 |

Trigonometry: right triangles, identities, radians, law of cosines, law of sines, equations, double angle formula | 12-16% | 6-8 |

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability (Mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, standard deviation, graphs and plots, least squares regression (linear, quadratic, exponential), probability) |
8-12% | 4-6 |

Math 2 is **weighted heavily towards algebra and functions** (**about half of the test** is made up of these questions). Expect to see a good amount of trigonometry as well.

**The most important topic to study** for the Math 2 test is the properties of all different types of functions (including trig functions).

# SAT SUBJECT TEST MATH 1 VS MATH 2: SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES

## Similarities:
### **Numbers and Operations:**
- **Operations:** basic multiplication/division/addition/subtraction. Order of operations is important!
- **Ratio and Proportion:** Value comparisons and relationships between value comparisons
- **Complex Numbers:** Numerical expressions that include imaginary numbers
- **Counting:** How many combinations are possible given certain conditions. For example, if there are 8 seats and 8 people, how many orders could they sit in?
- **Elementary Number Theory:** Properties of integers, factorization, prime factors, etc.
- **Matrices:** Basic operations with number grids
- **Sequences:** Number patterns

**Geometry**

**Geometry on the coordinate plane:**lines, parabolas, circles, symmetry, and transformations. Mainly focused on properties of figures: is this shape symmetrical? What is the length of this line segment?**Three-dimensional:**Calculating the surface area and volume of cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, and prisms**Trigonometry:**Right triangles, Pythagorean theorem, basic trig identities such as (sine, cosine, tangent)

**Algebra**

**Expressions:**Mathematical phrases with variables, numbers, and operators (like x + 3 or 2x + 9y − 4). Know how to factor, expand, and manipulate these expressions**Equations:**Solving equations and systems of equations**Inequalities:**Expressions set to be greater or less than a value, like x + 3 < 10. Know how to solve these and systems of inequalities**Representation and Modeling:**Creating equations that model a given scenario. Know how to create and interpret these**Properties of Functions:**Linear, polynomial, rational, exponential - be able to identify the following kinds of functions and understand how they work, their graphs, and how to factor them. Also know how to identify x- and y-intercepts

**Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability**

**Mean, Median, Mode, Range****Interquartile Range:**A measure of a data set variability based on the range between data quartiles 3 and 1**Graphs and Plots:**Creating and interpreting visual representations of data sets**Least Squares Regression (Linear):**How closely are two variables correlated? How much does the data set resemble a straight line**Probability**

**Topics on Math 1 Only**

The only topic on Math 1 that is not on Math 2 is plane geometry, which makes up around 20% of Math 1.

## Topics on Math 2 Only

Math 2 contains a fairly large number of topics that aren’t tested on Math 1. The following are some examples:

**Numbers and Operations**

- Series: The sum of a sequence.
- Vectors: Geometric objects with size (length) and direction; you’ll need to be able to do basic operations with vectors.

**Geometry**

- Coordinate: Equations and properties of ellipses and hyperbolas in the coordinate plane, polar coordinates
- Three-Dimensional: Plotting lines and determining distances between points in three dimensions
- Trigonometry
- Radian Measure: Know how to convert to and from degrees
- Law of Cosines and Law of Sines: Know the formulas and how to use them
- Equations: Know how to identify and solve algebraic equations involving trigonometric identities, like 10 = cos(x + 8)
- Double Angle Formulas: Formulas that allow you to find information on an angle twice as large as the given angle measure

**Algebra**

**Properties of Functions:** Be able to identify the following kinds of functions and understand how they work, how they look when graphed, and how to factor them. You should also be able to identify x- and y-intercepts and any unique characteristics they might have
- Logarithmic
- Trigonometric Functions
- Inverse Trigonometric Functions
- Periodic
- Piecewise
- Recursive
- Parametric

**Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability**

- Least Squares Regression (quadratic, exponential): How well the points of a data set corresponds to a quadratic or exponential shape