Scientific Inquiry & Reasoning Skills - General Mathematical Concepts and Techniques

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It’s important for you to know that questions on the natural, behavioral, and social sciences sections will ask you to use certain mathematical concepts and techniques. As the descriptions of the scientific inquiry and reasoning skills suggest, some questions will ask you to analyze and manipulate scientific data to show that you can

  • Recognize and interpret linear, semilog, and log-log scales and calculate slopes from data found in figures, graphs, and tables

  • Demonstrate a general understanding of significant digits and the use of reasonable numerical estimates in performing measurements and calculations

  • Use metric units, including converting units within the metric system and between metric and English units (conversion factors will be provided when needed), and dimensional analysis (using units to balance equations)

  • Perform arithmetic calculations involving the following: probability, proportion, ratio, percentage, and square-root estimations

  • Demonstrate a general understanding (Algebra II-level) of exponentials and logarithms (natural and base 10), scientific notation, and solving simultaneous equations

  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the following trigonometric concepts: definitions of basic (sine, cosine, tangent) and inverse (sin‒1, cos‒1, tan‒1) functions; sin and cos values of 0°, 90°, and 180°; relationships between the lengths of sides of right triangles containing angles of 30°, 45°, and 60°

  • Demonstrate a general understanding of vector addition and subtraction and the right-hand rule (knowledge of dot and cross products is not required)

Note also that an understanding of calculus is not required, and a periodic table will be provided during the exam.

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