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SAT - New Math Formulas

SAT has always provided a math formula chart at the beginning of every math section. However, there are quite a few new formulas that students need to memorize in order to master the math sections.

A= P (1 + r) ^ t
The amount of money accumulated over t years can be calculated by raising (1 + r) to the t power where r represents the interest rate. Once this amount has been calculated then it is multiplied by P the amount of money initially invested.
Of course, this type of problem will be on the calculator portion of the math test.

If they ask for the continuously compounded interest, the formula used will be Pe^rt.

Half Life Decay Equation is f(t) = a .5 ^ t/h
a = initial amount
t = time (total)
h = time it takes for half the sample to decay 
t & h must be expressed in the same units

Quadratic formula is now required: -b + and - sqrt b^2 - 4ac all divided by 2a

Sum of solutions for a quadratic equation is -b/a .

The ACT vs. The SAT - Which Should You Take?

There a few things that you need to consider before you make your decision. To get started you need to look at your three PSAT scores (critical reading, math and writing) and your Selection Index (SI), which is the sum of all three PSAT sections. You then take your SI and add a zero to the end to make it four digits.

The general rule is that if your total PSAT score is below 1500 and your math score is strong, then you will want to take the ACT. If your total PSAT score is over 1500 and your score in language arts is strong, then you would prepare to take the SAT.

There are some exceptions, though. Let’s say your total PSAT score is below 1500, but your math score is low, then you may want to look into taking the SAT. If your total PSAT score is over 1500, but your critical reading score is low, then you may want to consider taking the ACT.

Most will agree that the ACT is generally easier overall. It is also usually recommended for those students who suffer from testing anxiety. It is important to note that you are not penalized for wrong answers or guessing when taking the ACT test.

Besides looking at your academic strengths, you will also want to consider college preferences. If a school on your list prefers one test over the other by accepting an extremely low score on one test versus the other test then it’s essential for you to focus your efforts accordingly. If you haven’t narrowed your college search, then you’ll want to focus on the test that will allow you to excel most & accentuate your skills.

New SAT Test Format - Math Focus

There is now an emphasis of STEM on the mainstream college entrance exams for both the ACT and the SAT.

I am shocked by the emphasis of math on the new SAT test. Math will now comprise over 50% of the test. The new scoring format is 800 for Critical Reading and 800 for Math. However, there is a new "math skill" component in the reading section. Students will now need to interpret chart data on a natural science reading section and a social science reading section. Thus, the overall score on the new SAT test is comprised of more than 50% math skills. This will be disappointing news to English Language Arts students. In the past, they were able to achieve their desired score with moderate to low math skills.