Many students, especially those looking to study in the STEM fields, have a hard choice to make when it comes to deciding whether to take the SAT Math Level 1 or Level 2 test. To make this decision easier for you and/or your child, consider the following tips:
1. Know Your Abilities:
Do you have an A or B in Precalculus? Doing well in Trigonometry? Good with Logarithms? If so, you at least *qualify* to take the Math Level 2. If you haven’t taken a math class past Algebra II, or your average in Precalculus is below a B, the Level 1 is the way to go.
If you haven’t already acquired the skills necessary to take the Level 2, it’s highly unlikely you’ll learn everything you’ll need in time for the test. Do NOT try to cram a year’s worth of material into a few months in a desperate scramble to become Level 2 ready. Your efforts are best focused elsewhere.
2. Know What You Want to Achieve:
Some colleges *require* the SAT Math Level 1 or Level 2, at least for specific programs. Aspiring STEM majors in particular are expected to take the Level 2. So if your top choice college wants you to take the Math Level 2, that makes your choice easy! Likewise, if a program you want to get into only requires the Math Level 1, it’s most likely not worth your time to prepare for the Level 2 as well.
By knowing what you need ahead of time, you can avoid excess preparation, and thus use your limited time to its best capacity. If you don’t know what your colleges of choice require, start researching now!
3. Do *Timed* Practice of Whatever Test You Want To Do Well On:
Just because you’re an ace at high school math, doesn’t mean you’re automatically ready to take an SAT II Math test! If you *think* you’re ready for either the Level 1 or the Level 2, either buy a practice book or find a sample test online. Make sure that when you practice, you do so in a *timed* setting (if you have received permission for extra time on the test, take this into account). You do not want to find out on test day that you have major pacing issues!
If you do discover that time management is a major problem, it may factor into your decision between the Level 1 and the Level 2. If you have no problems with individual questions on the Level 2, but can’t seem to finish it all in the allotted time, that may be an indicator that the Level 1 is the way to go. Alternately, you can try and improve your pacing with additional practice and/or coaching, but be aware that you may not be able to improve as much as you like by test day, depending on what your initial pacing is.
I hope these three tips help you make your decision between the Level 1 and the Level 2. Either way you go, make sure to do the proper research beforehand, so that you don’t end up focusing your energy in the wrong direction!
With some foresight and a proper study plan, you can make your college aspirations attainable!
. . And just in case you hit a wall, don’t hesitate to give me a call. Most students only need 2-4 lessons of review.