January 5, 2015

Basic Math Concepts

If you have been prepping for the SAT or any other standardized test, you will come to the realization that standardized exams are not constantly changing – that’s what makes them standardized and beatable. Also, when we think of vocabulary, we often refer to the Critical Reading and Writing sections of the SAT. Understanding terminology, however, is just as important when reviewing the quantitative reasoning section, and because of standardization, we can narrow down the list to the most commonly tested vocabulary.

Below are some basic terminologies that are important for the SAT Math section. Remember, though, that you will need to practice these concepts in order to be fully prepared for the exam.

Factors and Multiples:
Factors are the numbers you multiply together to get another number. Factoring is like taking a number apart, while a multiple of a number is the product of that number and any other whole number. Zero is a multiple of every number.
2 x 3 = 6
2 and 3 are both factors of 6
6 is a multiple of both 2 and 3

Just think that “multiple” means you should “multiply” the number, and factors are either composite numbers or prime numbers.

Prime Numbers:
A prime number has only two factors, one and itself, so it cannot be divided evenly by any other numbers. Prime Numbers between 0 and 100; 2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29,31,37,41,43,47,53,59,61,67,71,73,79,83,89,97
2 is a prime number, but 1 is not.

“Domain” means all the possible x-values of a function. “Range” means all the possible y-values of a function. Domain sets tend to be “independent” while range sets tend to be “dependent” on the values of x. Generally, if you’re given the equation of a function, it’s best to graph it on your graphing calculator. Use the picture to determine the domain and range rather than algebra.

Mean/Median/Mode (Statistics):
Another word for Mean is average. Median is the middle number; be sure to put the numbers in order first. Lastly, Mode is the most frequent number or data point.

While the above is not a comprehensive list of important math terms, my hope is that it provides you a glimpse into some of the basic concepts that can be summarized in flash cards for quick reference. It’s possible that you don’t need to use flash cards, but you do need to practice putting these terms to use on the exams!


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