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Geometry is a branch of mathematics which, as the name suggests, combines abstract algebra, especially commutative algebra, with geometry. It can be seen as the study of solution sets of systems of polynomials. When there is more than one variable, geometric considerations enter and are important to understand the phenomenon. One can say that the subject starts where equation solving leaves off, and it becomes at least as important to understand the totality of solutions of a system of equations as to find some solution; this does lead into some of the deepest waters in the whole of mathematics, both conceptually and in terms of technique.

Math is something that every good student should know, but geometry is something that not everybody studies regularly.  There are, however, several standardized tests that may require students to know a fair amount about geometry.  There are also several tests that different institutions have created, such as the ACT and the SAT, which can test a student’s ability to think both quickly and efficiently.  Colleges typically look at these scores to help them determine which students they want to have joining their student body.  Because high school is such an important step on the way to college, it is very important to learn the things that will most help you, such as geometry.

Test Preparation

Because there are so many standardized tests that require you to know a good amount of math, geometry included, it is important to know your subject.  Not only is it important to know the geometry, however, it is also very important to do all you can in order to prepare for the test in other ways.  Because the tests are usually timed, it is very important to learn how to prepare for tests before you go into them.  Here are some tips that can get you started:

  • The first thing that you should do when you’re preparing for a test is to make sure you know what you can expect when you very first go into your test.  It is a timed test?  If so, how much time will you have?  Are there sections, or is it solely a geometry test?  The majority of tests that colleges will look at, such as the SAT and ACT, will be timed.  For timed tests, the best thing that you can do is practice, so that you can make sure you can do problems quickly enough.  The more you do something, the easier it is to go through the process of doing it.  The more you practice geometry problems, the quicker you will become at doing them.
  • Make sure you practice everything that might be on your test.  There is a wide variety of things that could appear on a geometry test, so be sure to familiarize yourself with everything that might be on it.  You never know what might be on a test, so you have to make sure you cover all of your bases and know everything that could be on it.  Be sure you can find the height, width, circumference, etc.  Do some research and become familiar with the kinds of geometry that college-bound tests may contain, and then get the appropriate books and practice.
  • Be sure to get enough sleep the night prior to your test.  If you’re tired, your brain isn’t likely to function as quickly, and speed is vital when it comes to timed tests.  Also, be sure to eat a good dinner the night before the test, and a good breakfast the day of the test.  If you’re hungry, your mind isn’t likely to be on the problems that you’re trying to work through; it’ll probably be on your growling stomach.
  • If you’re taking a standardized test that many people have taken, take practice tests that will familiarize you with the material and the kinds of geometry questions that will be on the test.  Why would you go into a test cold turkey when you can know exactly what to expect before you even open your test packet?  For tests like the ACT and the SAT, there are practice tests that are specifically designed to prepare you for the actual test.  It is silly to not take advantage of such practice tests, because the more you practice with them, the more you will know when you actually go in to take the test.
  • When you begin taking the test, be aware of how much time you have.  If there is a problem that you cannot solve, skip it and move to the next one.  Don’t spend too much time on any one problem; you may waste your time and end up having to either leave it blank or guess.  If you don’t know the answer, come back to it at the end if you have time.  You can either miss one question or you can end up not finishing half of the problems on the test.
  • It may seem like such a simple piece of advice, but make sure you read each question very carefully.  Sometimes test creators like to trick students; you can easily avoid being fooled by reading questions very carefully.  Also, make sure you read the directions to be sure that you are doing the problems right.  You don’t want to have to go back and fix anything.
  • Be sure you are familiar with all of the materials that you’re allowed to use on your test.  Sometimes calculators aren’t allowed on geometry exams, but be sure to familiarize yourself with your calculator if they are.  Don’t waste time during your test doing something that you could have done before you walked into the test.

What Should You Know About Geometry?

When you go into a test, sometimes it is a bit harder than simply knowing the material that the teacher has said you will be tested on.  When you go into standardized tests, you can’t always be sure what kinds of equations you will be asked to solve.  Here are a few things that you might want to know:

  • Be sure you do your homework every night.  Most teachers will give tests that are very similar to the homework.  Homework may seem repetitive and time-wasting, but it is easiest to learn something when you are forced to do it over and over again.  Most teachers will base their tests on what they have had you practice beforehand.
  • For standardized tests, be sure you look up exactly what you’re expected to know.  You may not be able to find the actual questions, but you can find practice questions that will be based on the same principles and equations.

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