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Choosing Sat Subject Test - Math 1 or Math 2?

Sat Subject - Math level 1 versus Math level 2
Sat Subject - Math 1 versus Math 2

There are two Math SAT Subject Tests - Math 1 and Math 2 also referred to as Math Level 1 and Math Level 2. At Ace College Academy we consistently get this query from students as well as their parents – Out of Math 1 and Math 2, which one should I take?

Here are some fun facts:

  • Both are 60 minutes long and allow calculators.

  • The Math I covers material learned in Algebra 1, Algebra 2 & Geometry.

  • The Math 2 includes Pre-calculus and Trigonometry besides above subjects.

  • Both tests have 50 multiple choice questions scored on the standard 800 scale.

  • The Math 1 and Math 2 are offered on seven test dates throughout the school year, from October to June.

The Math 2 is a significantly harder test than the Math 1. While both test similar material, the Math 2 is tougher than Math 1, test more specific material (formulas, equations, problem solving methods), and much harder to finish in the 60-minute time limit. Generally Math 2 should be taken by students opting for education in physics, engineering or math majors (STEM) or those who want to show that they excel in math.

Another factor to consider is the scoring scale. Interestingly, the Math 1 has the more forgiving percentile scale, while the Math 2 has a more forgiving score scale. For example: let’s say you had all questions correct on Math 1 – that will get you a score of 800 with 99th percentile. However, on Math 2 you could have 3-4 questions wrong and still score 800 but with 90th percentile.

Please schedule an appointment with us if you want any help on MATH 1 or 2 or any SAT Subject as well as SAT or ACT coaching.

Things to remember

  • Since the content measured by the two tests differs considerably, you cannot use your score on one test to predict your score on the other or to compare scores.

  • If you take these tests without a calculator, you will be at a disadvantage. In fact, some questions cannot be solved without a scientific or a graphing calculator.

  • Do not round any intermediate calculations. When you get a result from the calculator for the first step of a solution, keep the result in the calculator and use it for the second step. If you round the result from the first step, your answer may not be one of the choices.

When Should You Take the SAT Math Subject Test

It is best to take this test in the year you have finished the curriculum for the subject test.

So if you have taken algebra-I, geometry algebra-II by 10th grade, and pre-calculus in 11th, then you would probably prefer to take the Math II Subject Test at the end of 11th grade.

On the other hand, If you are taking trigonometry/pre-calculus as a sophomore, then you may be in a good position to take the Subject Test at the end of sophomore year. Usually you want to take Math II, and any other Subject Test, at the end of your school year when the course content is freshest in your mind.

Both tests are offered in August, October, November, December, May, and June.

Please schedule an appointment with us if you want any help on MATH 1 or 2 or any SAT Subject as well as SAT or ACT coaching.

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