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Duke University

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UCLA

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Unweighted GPA:** 3.7**

1.0

4.0

SAT: **720 math**

200

800

| **800 verbal**

200

800

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Hey everyone, I'm just curious: what's considered the hardest math question high school students might face on standardized tests? I want to challenge myself and practice my skills.

5 months ago

Hey there! It's difficult to pinpoint the single "hardest" math question that high school students might face on standardized tests, as the difficulty of questions may vary based on individual strengths and weaknesses. However, some of the more challenging math topics that can be found on tests like the SAT or ACT include:

1. Trigonometry: Solving advanced trigonometric equations and working with trigonometric identities can be quite challenging. Make sure you understand inverse trigonometric functions, trigonometric ratios, and the unit circle.

2. Advanced algebra: Questions involving complex numbers and polynomial functions can be tricky. You'll need a good grasp of factoring, long division, and synthetic division for these problems.

3. Coordinate geometry: Some of the more difficult questions in coordinate geometry revolve around conic sections (parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas). You'll need to know their equations, vertex/center and focus, and how to transform graphs.

4. Probability and statistics: The questions that involve probability distribution, combinations, permutations, and expected value can be quite challenging. Make sure to practice these types of problems to increase your proficiency.

5. Limits and basic calculus concepts: Some exams might include pre-calculus or even introductory calculus questions. These can be challenging if you have not yet studied calculus; practice working with limits, derivatives, and integrals if you'd like to tackle more difficult problems.

To challenge yourself further, try looking for high-level math competitions, such as the AMC (American Mathematics Competitions) series, which includes the AMC 10/12, AIME, and USA Math Olympiad contests. These competitions often contain some of the most challenging math problems for high school students, which are far more complex than anything you'd encounter on the SAT or ACT, and will certainly push you to think critically and develop your problem-solving skills.

Finally, this blog post from CollegeVine contains examples of some especially challenging problems from the AP Calculus BC exam: https://blog.collegevine.com/ap-calculus-bc-practice-questions/. Of course, APs aren't the same as a traditional standardized test, but these problems could still help you get a sense of the tougher math concepts you could encounter during your standardized testing journey.

Good luck with your practice!

5 months ago

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