*Author: Caleb Ho (STC Class of 2015)*

My mum always said Maths was my favourite subject growing up. Now that I’ve grown up, it’s my turn to convince you all that Maths is fun, and that there’s no place you’d rather be than in an exam hall doing SAT Maths. Who’s excited?!

**Who should take SAT II Maths Level 2?**

Either IB SL or HL Maths will do here; however if you’re doing studies SL, it might be wise to stay away! I personally thought that the test was somewhere in between SL and HL levels of difficulty, so with practice and brushing up on the content that isn’t covered in the IB syllabus, it’s not as formidable as it seems.

**Format of the SAT II Maths Level 2 – Chart the terrain**

The SAT II Math Level 2 test is one-hour long, with 50 multiple-choice questions. This is as straightforward as it’s going to get.

**What will you come across?**

A general overview (taken from the College Board website), along with the approximate % of the test:

**Number and operations**

- Operations, ratio and proportion, complex numbers, counting, elementary number theory, matrices, sequences, series, vectors

Approximate % of test: 10-14 (5-7 questions)

**Algebra and functions**

- Expressions, equations, inequalities, representation and modeling, properties of functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, periodic, piecewise, recursive, parametric)

Approximate % of test: 48-52 (24-26 questions)

**Geometry and measurement**

- Coordinate Lines, parabolas, circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, symmetry, transformations, polar coordinates

- Three-dimensional Solids, surface area and volume (cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, prisms), coordinates in three dimensions

- Trigonometry Right triangles, identities, radian measure, law of cosines, law of sines, equations, double angle formulas

Approximate % of test: 28-32 (14-16 questions)

**Data analysis, statistics and probability**

- Mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, standard deviation, graphs and plots, least squares regression (linear, quadratic, exponential), probability

Approximate % of test: 8-12 (4-6 questions)

All in all, it’s not a terrible test. The usual tenets of SAT test-taking hold true, so make sure to do lots of practice using College Board material, or external books such as Barron’s or Kaplan. Because the test has material that isn’t covered in your school syllabus, there isn’t any way around reading and re-reading everything you need to know. It might be inefficient, but unless you have a private tutor, there isn’t much else you can do.

One saving grace is that you can choose when to take your test! Some things you should consider are the number of tests you’ll be taking that day (you can’t take more than three subject tests at a time, and you can’t do both a reasoning SAT and subject SAT test in the same sitting, but who would want to anyway), the combination of subjects, even the order in which you want to do them, and the most obvious one of all: which session? I personally combined my school revision with the SAT, so it saved a little bit of revision time. Additionally, doing any subject test in May affords you the opportunity to do it again in October/November in case of a major screw-up, so any ED-er’s can have some breathing room.

**Final Thoughts**

Thinking back to my first attempt at the SAT II Math Level 2, there’s no bigger lesson I can take away from it than this: bring a calculator! Yes, yours truly nearly forgot his own, and who knows what would’ve happened if I didn’t have it with me in the exam hall. Your calculator is your best friend, and it’ll come through for you all the time.

There’s a certain stigma attached to doing the Maths Level 2 – it may feel like duty, as Asians and such, as though we’re expected to. But think about this test objectively – do you need to take SAT II Maths Level 2 in particular? Will Level 1 Maths suffice? Is there another subject test you can do to fill in my University’s requirements? It’s not an easy test; so don’t feel obliged to do it just because everyone else is!

Revising and familiarizing yourself with the test cannot be overstated, so here’s a free online resource to jump-start your revision! It’s a useful tool, so look for things to help you!

Don’t worry; it’ll all be worth it in the end. Believe!

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