SAT: Introduction to the SAT Subject Test Math Level 2

2019-07-08

For students that wish to apply to the highest ranked universities in the US, taking the SAT Subject Test Math Level 2 is often a no-brainer: taking this subject test demonstrates your proficiency in handling more complicated math principles than those encountered in the SAT or the ACT, exemplifies your commitment to covering math topics potentially not covered in your school curriculum, and allows your college applications to be equally, if not more, competitive than other applicants. For those of you who wish to major in a math-related field, such as engineering or computer science, then this subject test might even be required by some colleges. Even if it is not, you really should take it anyway, since the majority of others will have taken it, and you don’t want to be at any disadvantage.



What is the nature of this test?


For this subject test, you are given 60 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions, each with five answer choices (a-e). The questions are generally arranged in order of difficulty, with the easiest questions appearing first. 


In this test, for each question you answer correctly you will score one point. For every question you answer incorrectly, you will lose a quarter of a point. For every question you leave blank, you will score zero points. The sum of these points will yield a raw score out of 50. This raw score is then converted to a scaled score from 400 to 800 (800 being the highest score attainable).


SAT math 2 exam overview



What do you need to know for the SAT Subject Test Math Level 2?


The syllabus for the SAT Subject Test covers four main topics: Number and Operations, Algebra and Functions, Geometry and Measurement, and Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability. These topics have different weightings, meaning the number of questions of each that will appear in the test is not the same:


TopicPercent of TestNumber of Questions
Numbers and Operations10-14 %5-7
Algebra and Functions48-52 %24-26
Geometry and Measurement28-32 %14-16
Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability8-12 %4-6


SAT math 2 exam topic breakdown by percentage


Some of the questions will overlap ideas from different topics (normally the more challenging questions found near the end of the test).


The contents of each topic are broken down further below (modified from College Board) :


Numbers and Operations: ratio and proportions, operations, complex numbers, imaginary numbers, counting, elementary number theory, sequences, series, vectors matrices.


Algebra and Functions: expressions, equations, inequalities, using equations to solve word problems, properties of functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, periodic, piecewise, recursive, parametric)


Geometry and Measurement: 2-D geometry (area, perimeter, and properties of 2-D shapes, lines and angles), 3-D geometry (solids, surface area and volume of prisms/cylinders, pyramids/cones, and spheres, coordinates in 3 dimensions), functions and shapes on the coordinate plane (lines, parabolas, circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, polar coordinates), graph transformations, trigonometry (right triangles, basic trigonometric identities, radian measures, law of cosines, law of sines, equations, double angle formulas).


Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability: mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, interquartile range, graphs and plots, linear regression lines, least squares regression (quadratic, exponential), probability.



Score conversion for the SAT Subject Test Math Level 2


Owing to its inherent difficulty, the Math Level 2 Subject Test has a lot of leniency in terms of how many questions you can get incorrect or omit and still achieve a high score:


SAT math 2 exam raw score to scaled score conversion chart table


Above is a snippet of the typical conversion chart for the SAT Math 2 Subject Test, taken from our database of over 700 practice questions for this subject test. If you were to get 45 correct and omit five answers, you would still be able to get full marks! Similarly, If you were to get 46 questions correct and four incorrect, then your raw score would be 45 and you will still be able to get a full score.


Now that you have a better picture of the SAT Math 2 Subject Test, you can take a look at our blog post on Scoring 800 on the SAT Math 2 Subject Test. This posts covers the strategies you can implement as well as discusses a number of questions in detail to guide you to reach a high score in this test.


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