right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Upcoming changes to the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

Does Calculus help with SAT I Math and SAT II Math 2?

Math II I'd imagine it would be a huge help, with all my newfound fancy limit knowledge I didn't know before. During a practice test I forgot how to find the vertex of a parabola so I set the derivative equal to zero to get it, was pretty proud of that. SAT I Math, I doubt it would help at all.

Does anyone else have testimonies of using Calculus in these?
6 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Does Calculus help with SAT I Math and SAT II Math 2?

  • MITer94MITer94 4728 replies19 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    Well, the vertex of a parabola can easily be found in general. Letting f(x) = ax^2 + bx + c, f'(x) = 2ax + b, setting f'(x) = 0 gives x = -b/2a. Limits on Math II are pretty basic, but if you had never seen limits before taking calculus, more power to you.

    A similar scenario I've seen occurred when I had to find the minimum value of x + (1/x) (or something like that, idr) where x > 0. You can do this with calculus without too much effort, but AM-GM gives a slick, one-second solution, giving x = 1 as the value that minimizes x + 1/x.
    edited February 2014
    · Reply · Share
  • aminebzaminebz 52 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @MITer94 and @BassGuitar

    Couldn't you just use a graphing calculator to solve both those problems? Less chance for error and it doesn't take that long.
    · Reply · Share
  • HawkaceHawkace 2396 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Yeah, a graphing calculator can solve this pretty quickly. If not, we can use algebra to solve it. I don't think calculus is needed to do SAT Math and Math level 2. Halfway through precalculus, I took the sat II math II and I got a 780 compared to the 680 that I got in SAT II math I in sophomore year. I'm a junior right now. I would say that you should focus on the concepts in algebra, geometry and pre-calculus.
    · Reply · Share
  • 2015er2015er 142 replies12 threads Junior Member
    I took it after precalculus and managed to get an 800, so you don't need calc
    · Reply · Share
  • MITer94MITer94 4728 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Well, usually a calculator only gives you a numeric solution. However, it shouldn't take that long even without a graphing calculator.
    · Reply · Share
  • ecouter11ecouter11 1418 replies97 threads Senior Member
    No, not really. I think it makes you better at math overall and maybe improves your intuition but content wise, absolutely not.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity