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How to Decide between SAT Math 1 and Math 2

Updated on May 19, 2010
SAT Subject Math 1 and 2.
SAT Subject Math 1 and 2.

SAT Math 1 vs. 2

This article outlines a simple process to decide between taking the SAT Math Level 1 or 2 in order to improve the overall quality of your college application.

Weigh your options. If you plan to take more than 2 other SAT subject tests, on which you expect to do well, then you probably don't even have to take either of the math subject tests. However, you should try to make a list of schools and corresponding majors that you would like to go to, and make sure they don't require a particular subject test. Many good programs do require at least one subject test.

If you plan to go to a technical university and/or major in math/science, then you should definitely take math 2. If you don't plan on doing this, ask yourself at what level of math you've taken in high school. If you've taken mostly accelerated courses up to pre-calculus, and you'll probably be able to put in the time to study for the math 2, then that's probably best. Otherwise stick with math 1.

The major difference between 1 and 2 is that 1 covers more elementary topics in trig, geometry, algebra and pre-calculus. However, if you have a grasp on the more advanced material, it's much easier to do well on 2, since 1 has a much steeper curve (since it's easier to get a perfect score, in fact many students do).

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