Sat II Math and 'the calculator'...

Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: May 2003 Archive: Sat II Math and 'the calculator'...
 By Jopageri6370 (Jopageri6370) on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 11:01 pm: Edit

Ok i was just looking through various SAT II math iic review books and it seems as though the simple use of a graphing calculator can replace much of the work that is expected. For example, nearly the entire trig section where it asks to solve some trig equation on some domain, instead of actually solving it you can just set it to zero and find the x intercepts. In the solutions, the problem is solved the 'non-cheap' way but it usually requires many steps and introduces room-for-error. Moreover, a calculator approach will probably be quicker since it only takes up about 1/2 minute, maybe less. I havent gotten to some sections but i would guess the same thing would apply.

I know the graphing calculator is encouraged but don't the test makers realize that it can obviate much 'problem-solving' altogether?

For those who have taken or will take the Math iic, what are your comments on that?

Also, is time a serious threat? It guess it seems like one...

And btw, any suggestions on review books?

(help is much appreciated)

 By Alethio (Alethio) on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 11:22 pm: Edit

Well, I'll first admit that I'm not expert, but for all math questions, it's the answer that counts, not how you get to it. I'm sure the Collegeboard know that most of their problems can be easily solved using a calculator, but it's knowledge of how to use it that they're testing; it's rare for people to answer every question on the exam correctly, even with a calculator.

As for time, being pressed for time varies from person to person. For what I've heard, it's difficult to finish all 50 problems with confidence, but lucky, you don't need to answer all 50. If you only get, say, 45 correct, but can double check them all to ensure their accuracy, then that's as much of an 800 as getting 50 right.

I've been using 2 books for study, Baron's and Princeton. Baron's is insanely difficult, and I'm lucky to get even 38 or 39 correct out of 50 while Princeton is insanely easy, so go figure. If anyone has any suggestions for books, I'd be more than happy to hear them.