Hi! I’m really glad you are here. I’m super into coffee at the moment, so I will try to make this as quick as possible so I can go jump on a bed or punch a shark. (Note: It is my lifelong dream to punch a shark in the snout.) When I was in high school, functions were so totally easy. I mean, you get something funky like: f(x) = 2x + 2 and then you are asked for f(4) or something. When I was younger, all I knew to do was replace the x in the first statement with a 4, and viola!
Functions on the SAT are pretty much just like my experience in high school. But, because the ETS gets paid to make you hate yourself, it has to make those f(u)unctions as complicated as possible. But how can you make a function complicated if it kind of is only plug-and-play?
In math and in my other passion, computer science (or comp-sci for my magically nerdy brothers and sisters), a function is a “correspondence that associates each input with exactly one output.” What-the-huh? It means that if you put in one value, 4, you’ll get back only one value, 10.
In the math we are rockin’ on the SAT, these relate to coordinate geometry. The f(x) refers to the x in our (x,y). While the = 4x + 3 refers to the y in our (x,y). So the idea is to plug in some numbers for your x, figure out what you get for your y, put in on those coordinate plane, recognize your squiggly magic, and BAM! You have a shape that you can turn in for a great grade WITHOUT even knowing what you are doing. Hah!
But in actuality, the SAT knows you can do that. The ETS figures out what you know, then tries to manipulate your innocent brain into picking wrong answers because it’s easier to pick on kids than adults their own size.
Serious SAT Functions Discussion
Now that I got that out of my system, I want to tell you that any crazy function you might deal with on the SAT does not have to be hard. In fact, there are a few rules you have to remember and then, magic! So watch the video below because we all know reading is so 1990s and you probably don’t even remember the 1990s. But it’s funny, because even though I am older than you, I can make you feel old too. Wanna see how?
Did you know that “Snakes on a Plane” came out over half a decade ago! Yeah, weird? Want to make your mom feel old? Send her to XKCD Awesomeness. Video:
Review and Question
I hope this was a great lesson. These are really fun to make and I hope they are really fun to watch. Please ask more questions, sign up for my admissions guide and consider emailing me about my rock-star SAT course (that is totally available through Skype and carrier pigeon).