SMTEx: SAT Math Topic Explorer

Welcome to SMTEx: the 1600.io SAT® Math Topic Explorer!

Note: If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding SMTEx please enter them as comments below this guide. We might not respond immediately, but we read every submission.

Introduction:

SMTEx is a tool created by 1600.io for exploring the topics associated with the math problems on the released SATs. Students can select any of the thousands of math problems from the released tests and instantly see the math topic and subtopic for that problem, along with a reference to the pertinent 1600.io SAT Math Orange Book page, a listing of every other math problem with the same topic categorization and a visual representation of the percentage of the tests' problems that fall into that category. An explanatory video for the entered problem can be played with the click of a button. Students can also explore problems by picking a math topic and an optional sub-topic using either dropdown lists or the percentage-breakdown pie charts, and a list of all matching problems will be instantly displayed, allowing focused practice on topics of interest. Our video explanation for any problem in the list can be played simply by clicking the link in the problem listing. Yet another way to explore the topics is by browsing the list of problems and clicking on a problem of interest; that will automatically select the pertinent topic and sub-topic in the dropdowns and filter the problem list to match, and the corresponding slices of the topic and sub-topic pie charts will be highlighted, allowing students to assess at a glance the relative frequency of the topic associated with the selected problem.

How to use SMTEx:

There are several ways to interact with SMTEx, depending on what you know and what you'd like to discover. SMTEx was designed to allow exploration of the math topic landscape of the test in a variety of ways. The general principle of the tool is that you enter or select what you know, and all the other areas of SMTEx respond by displaying related information.

Here are a few of the SMTEx usage scenarios:

  • You've taken a practice test, and for each math problem that gave you trouble, you'd like to learn what math topics are involved so you can study them. You select the test, section, and problem, discover the relevant topic and sub-topic, then use the Orange Book reference to learn the needed skills. You can also use the list of the other real-test problems for the same topic and sub-topic to check your new knowledge and to exercise your skills.
  • You want to know which topics/sub-topics occur most frequently on the SAT so you can compare that with your own list of deficiencies and determine your priorities. This can be accomplished by examining the pie charts that show the relative frequency breakdown of topics and sub-topics across all the released tests. Selecting a topic and optional sub-topic of interest will display a reference for the relevant lesson in the Orange Book, and it will filter the problem list, providing a focused set of real-test problems for practicing the needed skills.
  • You already have an idea of which math topics you need help with; selecting a topic/sub-topic will produce a reference in the Orange Book for the relevant lesson, along with SKillDrills and practice problems. The real-test problem list in SMTEx will provide a source of additional practice.

We suggest launching SMTEx and playing with it by making selections and clicking on the user interface elements to get an idea of how it works. if you'd like a more formal and detailed description of the function of SMTEx, keep reading.

Let's look at the various components of the SMTEx user interface:

The problem specification fields:

This set of entry/display fields allows the specification of a math problem from any released test. Upon entry of a test, test section, and problem number, all the other components of the display will update to reflect the topic and sub-topic associated with the specified problem:

  • The Topic field will show the math topic
  • The Sub-Topic field will show the sub-topic
  • The Topic pie chart will highlight the topic
  • The Sub-Topic pie chart will highlight the sub-topic
  • The 1600.io SAT Math Orange Book Reference field will show the volume, chapter, section, and page number of the relevant topic and sub-topic
  • The problem listing will be filtered to show all problems with matching topic and sub-topic
  • The Video button will be enabled; clicking it will play our explanatory video for the specified problem

The test and problem specifications can be cleared by clicking the 'x' toward the right end of those fields. Clearing any part of the problem specification clears the topic/sub-topic selection and all of the user interface elements will respond accordingly.

For the occasional problem that is categorized as relating to more than one topic/sub-topic, the problem number pulldown will cascade so the user can choose which topic/sub-topic is to be selected.

The Topic/Sub-Topic Specification Fields:

This set of entry/display fields allows the specification of a math topic and optionally a sub-topic. Upon entry of a topic and optional sub-topic all the other related components of the display will update to reflect the specified topic and sub-topic :

  • The Topic pie chart will highlight the topic
  • The Sub-Topic pie chart will highlight the sub-topic
  • The 1600.io SAT Math Orange Book Reference field will show the volume, chapter, section, and page number of the relevant topic and sub-topic
  • The problem listing will be filtered to show all problems with matching topic and sub-topic

The topic and sub-topic specifications can be cleared by clicking the 'x' toward the right end of those fields. Clearing any component of the topic specification causes all of the user interface elements to respond accordingly.

The 1600.io SAT Math Orange Book Reference:

This display-only field displays the location in the 1600.io SAT Math Orange Book where the topic and optional sub-topic that were selected either directly or indirectly via problems specification can be found.

The Reset Button:

The Reset All Fields button clears all problem and topic specifications, so there will be no filtering on the problem list. The problem table's sort order is also reset.

The Topic/Sub-Topic Pie Charts:

The Topic/Sub-Topic pie charts show a visual representation of the relative frequency of appearance of problems relating to the math topics and sub-topics covered by the SAT.

Initially, and when no topic is specified by any mechanism, only the topic chart is shown; hovering over any slice will show the percentage of problems for that topic. When a topic is selected by any means, the corresponding slice of the topic pie chart will be highlighted, and the sub-topic chart will appear and show the relative breakdown of the sub-topics for the selected topic. If a sub-topic is then chosen through any action, the specified sub-topic slice will be highlighted.

Topics and sub-topics can be directly selected by clicking on the pie charts; all other related user interface elements will be updated correspondingly.

The Problem List:

The problem list displays all the problems from the released tests that match the current math topic and sub-topic specification, however it was arrived at.

  • By default the list is sorted by test, test section, and problem number within section. Clicking a column header will sort by that column's values; clicking the header again will toggle between an ascending and descending sort order. The sort order is reset when the Reset All Fields button is clicked.
  • The footer displays the number of entries that match the current topic/sub-topic filter as well as the total number of entries in the list.
  • Each problem has a link to the corresponding 1600.io explanation video.
  • When a problem specification has been entered through the dropdown boxes, the corresponding row in the table will be highlighted.
  • A problem can be selected directly in the table simply by clicking on it; this will produce a topic and sub-topic specification, and the list will be appropriately filtered. The topic/sub-topic fields and the pie charts will be synchronized accordingly. Clicking on a selected problem will de-select it and clear the problem number specification; the topic and sub-topic selection will remain in case you'd like to explore other sub-topics for the same topic.

Note: If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding SMTEx please enter them as comments below this guide. We might not respond immediately, but we read every submission. Have fun!

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