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Math Books That Will NOT Increase Your Test Scores

Math Books That Will NOT Increase Your Test Scores

It's tempting to think that taking pre-calculus or calculus will help your SAT or ACT score, but it's not true! I have a High School Subject Test White Paper that can help you gain critical insights into the AP, SAT, and CLEP subject tests. These tips, along with those below, will help you prepare your children for success! 

What will not help?

  • ​Calculus
  • Physics
  • Pre-Calculus 
  • Differential Equations 
  • Statistics 
Why not? 

Because it's not included on the test. Almost all the math covered by the SAT or ACT is completed before 11th grade. The usual senior year classes of pre-calc or calculus are not on the test.​ 

On the ACT, there are only FOUR questions beyond algebra 2 or geometry included on the test. On the SAT, there are NO trigonometry questions and just a few algebra 2 concepts on the test. That's not to say that taking pre-calc isn't a good idea, I think it's a GREAT idea that will help earn college admission as you demonstrate the rigor of your homeschool, and how your child can work hard even in hard subjects. But it's just not going to help with the ACT or SAT math.

What will help increase test scores?

The best way to prep for the math test is to practice the math questions actually used on the test until they all start to look the same. Remember, even slightly more familiarity with the questions they ask could increase the SAT or ACT score enough to max out those automatic scholarships associated with test scores.​ 

Here is what math is included on the ACT​.

  • ​(23%) Pre-Algebra: integers, fractions, ratios, percents, basic probability, counting, basic statistics, charts
  • (23%) Plane Geometry: triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, angles, perimeter, area, volume
  • (17%) Basic Algebra: solving and simplifying expressions, factoring, basic inequalities, integer exponents, square roots
  • (15%) Intermediate Algebra: quadratic formula, radical expressions, absolute value with inequalities, functions, matrics, complex numbers, roots of polynomials
  • (15%) Coordinate Geometry: number lines graphs, graphs of equations of lines and circles and conics, distance, midpoint, transformations
  • (7%) Trigonometry: properties and graphs of the six trigonometric functions, basic identities, basic trigonometric equations
Here is what math is included on the SAT​.

  • ​(20% -- 25%) Numbers and Operations: Integers, Fractions, Ratios, Percents
  • (35% -- 40%) Algebra and Functions: Solving Expressions, Function Graphs
  • (25% -- 30%) Geometry: Lines, Slopes, Circles, Triangles, Rectangles, Solids
  • (10% -- 15%) Data, Stats, and Probability: Averages, Medians, Charts, Tables
I hope these facts put you more at ease about preparing your student for these important tests! You can help your child determine the best test for them to take and prepare them How to Ace the SAT or ACT.


Need more help? Join my Gold Care Club and I can help you personalize your child's high school plan.​ Find out more about the Gold Care Club.

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Comments 4

Guest - Teresa T. on Friday, 01 September 2017 01:08

I wonder then what is covered in the math CLEP test.

I wonder then what is covered in the math CLEP test.
Lee Binz on Friday, 01 September 2017 19:05

Hi Teresa,
There are two math CLEP Tests, college algebra and college mathematics. You can read more about those tests on the College Board website here: https://clep.collegeboard.org/science-and-mathematics
And this is my article that compares the different kinds of subject tests.
https://homehighschoolhelp.com/high-school-subject-tests-simply-explained
Blessings,
Lee

Hi Teresa, There are two math CLEP Tests, college algebra and college mathematics. You can read more about those tests on the College Board website here: https://clep.collegeboard.org/science-and-mathematics And this is my article that compares the different kinds of subject tests. https://homehighschoolhelp.com/high-school-subject-tests-simply-explained Blessings, Lee
Guest - Julie on Tuesday, 05 September 2017 23:56

Instead of CLEP (where you're not sure you'll pass, but you still have to pay every test), you can do ALEKS. It's $20/mo or $100/yr and it transfers over to most schools directly via ACE. The students have to work the problems until they can pass the assessment at 70%. It's tough, but they actually learn the material. Most schools accept College Algebra, Trig, Pre-Calc, Statistics, and Business Statistics. If your student works hard and is math-inclined, it's not unreasonable to pass 3 or more in a year.

Instead of CLEP (where you're not sure you'll pass, but you still have to pay every test), you can do ALEKS. It's $20/mo or $100/yr and it transfers over to most schools directly via ACE. The students have to work the problems until they can pass the assessment at 70%. It's tough, but they actually learn the material. Most schools accept College Algebra, Trig, Pre-Calc, Statistics, and Business Statistics. If your student works hard and is math-inclined, it's not unreasonable to pass 3 or more in a year.
Guest - Pat Wesolowski on Friday, 15 September 2017 23:31

Colleges grant college credit for ALEKS classes?

Colleges grant college credit for ALEKS classes?
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Sunday, 25 August 2019

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