SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1

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The SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1 (formerly known as Math I or MathIC (the "C" representing the use of a calculator) is the name of a one-hour multiple choice test given on algebra, geometry, basic trigonometry, algebraic functions, elementary statistics and basic foundations of calculus [1] by The College Board. A student chooses whether to take the test depending upon college entrance requirements for the schools in which the student is planning to apply. Until 1994, the SAT Subject Tests were known as Achievement Tests; and from 1995 until January 2005, they were known as SAT IIs. Mathematics Level 1 was taken 109,048 times in 2006.[2] The SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2 covers more advanced content.

Generally you need to have completed a semester of a pre-calculus class with a solid “B” or better to feel comfortable on the Math 1, whereas the content of the Math 2 test extends through Algebra II and basic trigonometry, precalculus, and basic calculus.

— Compass Education Group FAQ[3]


The test has 50 multiple choice questions that are to be answered in one hour.[4] All questions have five answer choices. Students receive 1 point for every correct answer, lose ¼ of a point for each incorrect answer, and receive 0 points for questions left blank.

The questions cover a broad range of topics. Approximately 10-14% of questions focus on Numbers and Operations, 38-42% focus on Algebra and functions, 38-42% focus on Geometry (including Euclidean, coordinate, three-dimensional, and trigonometry) and Calculus, and 6-10% focus on Data analysis, Statistics, and probability.[4]

Calculator Use[edit]

The College Board states that a calculator "may be useful or necessary" for about 40-50% of the questions on the test. The College Board also encourages the use of a graphing calculator over a scientific calculator.[1] It also says that this test was "developed with the expectation that most students are using graphing calculators."[5]

Students are not permitted to use calculators on the Mathematics Level 1 test that have a QWERTY format keyboard, that require an electrical outlet, that make noise, use paper tape, that have non-traditional methods of input (such as a stylus), or those that are part of a communication device (such as PDA's, laptops, or cell phones). Calculators that have slanted screens or large displays (numbers 1 in. or more) are seated at the discretion of the test supervisor.[5]


The College Board suggests as preparation for the test three years of mathematics, including two years of algebra, and one year of geometry.[4]


For each of the 50 multiple choice questions, students receive 1 point for every correct answer, lose ¼ of a point for each incorrect answer, and receive 0 points for questions left blank. This creates a raw score, which is then converted into a scaled score. The conversion between these numbers varies depending on the difficulty of a particular test administration. The scaled score is the only score reported to either students or colleges, and ranges from 200 to 800, with 800 being the best possible score. The standard deviation between test scores in 2006 was 102.[2]

Less than one percent of the 2006 College-Bound Seniors taking the test received a perfect score of 800. None got a score lower than 260. The mean score was 593.[2]


  1. ^ a b "SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1". The College Board. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c "SAT Subject Test Percentile Ranks" (PDF). The College Board. Retrieved July 2, 2007. 
  3. ^ [1] Compass Education Group SAT FAQ
  4. ^ a b c "SAT Subject Tests Preparation Booklet" (PDF). The College Board. pp. 17–22. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "SAT Calculator Policy". The College Board. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 

See also[edit]