SAT Tips: Math Vocab

One of the first things you need to do when prepping for a test is learn the lingo. SAT Math is prone to using vocabulary that you’ve probably not seen in a while – words like integer, factor, and multiple probably haven’t come up since you were in 7th grade. And even when you saw them in 7th grade,  it probably wasn’t in the same context as how they are used on the SAT. So one of the best starting points for the SAT is to learn vocab, both the words common to Sentence Completion questions but also the words common to Math questions. The College Board QOTD on President’s day stumped 60% of the people who tried it and the only things tested are the understanding of a few math terms. Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll head over to the College Board site and be one of the 40%.

So let’s learn the lingo we need to know.

Integer – a number without a decimal or fraction. It can be positive or negative.

Multiple – an integer that can be divided by another number without a remainder. 5 and 15 are multiples of 5.

Factor – an integer that can be divide into another number without a reminder. 1, 2, 4, and 8 are the factors of 8.

Intersection - the “overlap” between 2 sets. The intersection of the sets {1, 2, 3} and {2, 3, 4} is {2, 3}.

You should also make it a habit to pick up the key “sticky/trick” points of definitions, those parts of the definitions that you didn’t remember or that you forgot and got wrong in another question. Here are a few:

• Multiples and factors are really commonly confused, remember that “multiples are millions and factors are few.
• Multiples are infinite.
• Numbers can (and often are) multiples of more than one number. The SAT likes to say its a multiple of 2 and not tell you whether its a multiple of 3, 4, 5, and 18.
• Intersection of 2 sets can be more than one point (it’s not the same as the word intersect).

Here are a few other terms you should learn to get ready for the SAT:

Union

Reciprocal

Distinct

Digits

Factorial

Prime

Reminder

Supplementary

Complementary

Intersect

Bisect

Good luck and good prepping. Now click the image above and go get that question right!

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