Test Prep Authority’s “Math God” problems

Test Prep Authority, a test prep company, will now be sending “Math God” problems to those students preparing for the SAT and ACT that want them. The idea behind this, according to their press release, is that using very hard problems for training purposes is useful if you want to be able to solve easier problems quickly.

So far they’ve put out three of them: one, two, three. They don’t strike me as being particularly difficult so much as annoying. But they’re annoying in the same way that SAT problems are annoying, only more so, so from the point of view of training for the narrow slice of mathematics that is on these tests they’re pretty reasonable.

I’m actually of two minds about this. On the one hand, I instinctively shudder when I see test prep resources, because I’m afraid that they’ll be devoted to “how to take tests” and not actual learning. (Test Prep Authority seems to be pretty good in this regard.) On the other hand, the philosophy of doing harder things than you “need” to be able to do is certainly one I can get behind. When it really matters, you don’t want to spend all your time working at the limits of your capabilities; that’s exhausting. You may never need to drive faster than, say, seventy miles an hour, but you wouldn’t want a car that only goes that fast.1 Just because you never need to run to actually get somewhere doesn’t mean that running won’t make walking less tiring.2 And of course they say that you never really learn algebra until you take calculus, or that you never really learn a subject until you have to teach it.

I’m rather curious about that last statement. How would you test that?

1. This describes my first car, a 1987 Subaru DL which I drove for much of 2000-2001. Around seventy it started shaking pretty violently. But that’s not a horrible trait in a car for a new driver, who might otherwise go too fast.

2. I should take this advice, but I don’t, because I really can’t stand running.

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Test Prep Authority’s “Math God” problems

  1. If you were to create a testing regimen which would inculcate more learning, what would you do? I remember taking American Math Competition tests pretty fondly – should that be the goal?

  2. That last statement rings true at least for me. I’ve always loved math, was the geek in school who did all 50 assigned exercises from the book each night and wished for more. But that was the shame of it, I did a lot of exercises and very little problem solving. All through school I went through the motions without the heart and frustration and perseverance that a good problem should elicit every time.

    Exactly, then came calculus, and I thought, Oh Shit. Grasping calculus was the eye opener to everything I’d learned about math that came before it.

    As a math teacher, my constant neon-bright goal is to undo what was done to me.

  3. A little, single bottle caan cost a coulle of dollars. Thus, once you’ve
    gotten rid of it, you should take suitable measures to avoid its further growth in future.
    The Dupli-Color TELEVISION movie is inspiring.

  4. At one side, companies propose that some special abilities
    and skillls develop a good manager. Since childhood days we
    are asked off our distant dreams. Jobs in education can require you to explain at hospitals also as prisons.

  5. This is the just like adding $4 million in the financial institution account
    andd psying it out within the 40-year period!

    It is crucial that you perform a search of debt settlement plans for your own personel defense.
    Some investment companies also provide you with thee futures and sares for the
    worthiness of one’s settlement. Why are you wanting provide your structured settlement?

  6. realtors have web-based coverage for the home, in addition to the realtor’s site, and MLS.
    Do your research when selecting your Adviser.
    He pays the blls and takes good advertising.

  7. Often times, a judge will not approve a complete buyout, bbut will approve a partial.
    Nevertheless, with annuities there’s no necessity to die to reap the huge
    benefits! Debt settlement is saved solely on a credit report.

  8. Bluetooth technology will allow a wireless
    connection to become sent regarding the two merchandise.
    The looks of this phonne short-term killing.
    Watch thiks video as part of your out whether you are making those
    complications.

  9. I bet you did not have them within your brackett to attend
    the past 4 that year? Meanwhile, the West’s
    martch madness rankings kept fairly steady, irrespective of Murray State’s win.

  10. Appreciating the commitment you put into your blog and in depth information you provide.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that
    isn’t the same old rehashed material. Fantastic read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s