Before you begin your SAT test prep by beginning an SAT test review course or purchasing an official SAT test study guide, you should learn about the test itself. The SAT test is required by almost every college in the United States for admission. It is similar to the ACT exam in that it assesses the academic ability of students who are about to graduate from high school. In order to know how to perform your SAT test preparation, you should be familiar with the structure of the new SAT test. What used to be called the SAT 1 test is now known as the SAT Reasoning Test. This exam has been developed to test the critical thinking skills that are required for success in college. The SAT Reasoning Test has three parts: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. The SAT Writing section is always the first part of the exam. It consists of a series of multiple-choice questions and a short essay. The multiple-choice questions will test your ability to improve the sense and sound of sentences and paragraphs and identify grammatical errors. The level of SAT test vocabulary will be approximately that of a first-year college student. In the short essay, you will be required to develop a reasoned argument on a specific subject. The Critical Reading portion of the SAT exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering reading comprehension, sentence completion, and critical reading of paragraph-length passages. Analogies are not included in SAT testing any longer. The SAT Math section consists of multiple-choice questions as well as questions for which you will have to provide an answer. In order to be prepared for the math section, your SAT test prep should include number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry; and statistics, probability; and data analysis. The number and operations problems will focus on sequences involving exponential growth and the union, intersection, and elements of sets. The algebra and functions problems will focus on absolute value; rational equations and inequalities; radical equations; integer and rational exponents; diverse and inverse variation; function notation; concepts of domain and range; functions as models; graphs and equations of linear functions; and graphs and equations of quadratic functions. The Geometry and Measurement problems focus on geometric notation for length, segments, lines, rays, and congruence; problems in which trigonometry can be used; properties of tangent lines; coordinate geometry; qualitative behavior of graphs and functions; and transformations and their effect on the graphs of functions. The data analysis, statistics, and probability problems focus on data interpretation, scatterplots, and matrices; and geometric probability. In previous versions of SAT testing, estimation and number sense were featured; in current SAT exams, these topics are included but not featured. You will be allowed to use a four-function, graphing, or scientific calculator for the Math section of the SAT test.