UC MATHL 1A - Glossary of Math Terms

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Chapter 14 Glossary of Math Terms Here is a list of mathematical terms that every GRE student should know well Terms in italics have been cross referenced from other definitions within this list A Absolute Value The absolute value of a number is defined as the distance of that number from zero For the GRE the important parts of absolute value are that the absolute value of a positive number is positive the absolute value of a negative number is positive and if a variable has an absolute value sign around it then that variable has two solutions If x 5 then x 5 or 5 Acute Angle An angle that measures less than 90 All That Apply A GRE question format that has square answer boxes You must select every answer choice out of anywhere between 3 and 8 answer choices that applies There is no partial credit if any correct answer choices are not selected or any incorrect answer choices are selected the entire response is considered incorrect Arc Any measurement around the circumference of a circle Area The amount of space within a two dimensional figure The important formulas for area are as follows Triangle Area bh Parallelogram or Rectangle Area bh Square Area s2 and Circle Area r2 Arrangement A possible arrangement of a certain number of terms when the order in which those items are selected does matter See also Combination B Ballparking Approximating what the right answer might be and eliminating all impossible answer choices Base of an exponent The bottom larger number in an exponential expression In the expression 34 the base is 3 Base of a triangle The bottom side of a triangle used to find a triangle s area Binomial An algebraic expression that contains two terms such as x 2 Bisect To cut into two equal parts C Chord A line segment that connects two points on a circle s circumference The longest possible chord the diameter goes through the center of the circle Circumference The perimeter of a circle C 2 r Coefficient A number that appears next to a variable and should be multiplied by that variable In the expression 5a which is shorthand for 5 a the coefficient is 5 Combination A possible arrangement of a certain number of terms when the order in which those items are selected does not matter See also Arrangement Concentric Having the same center Most often used in terms of circles Constant Any number that is not a variable D Denominator The bottom number in a fraction If a denominator equals zero the fraction is undefined Diameter A line segment that connects two points on a circle s circumference and goes through the center The diameter is the circle s largest chord and it is twice as long as the radius Difference The result of subtraction The difference of 5 and 3 is 2 Distributive Property A mathematical property whereby any number multiplied by a sum or difference of two or more numbers must be multiplied by all the numbers therein The expression 3 2x 5 can be rewritten or distributed to 3 2x 3 5 or 6x 15 Divisible A number a is divisible by another number b if b divides into a evenly with no remainder In other words integer is an Divisor A number that can be divided into another number E Equilateral Triangle A triangle with three sides of the same length and three angles of the same measure 60 Exponent The small number in the upper right corner of an exponential expression In the expression 34 the exponent is 4 This means the base 3 must be multiplied by itself 4 times 3 3 3 3 Extra Information Information in a math problem that doesn t actually help solve the problem In the GRE questions rarely have extra information If you are ever stuck on a GRE problem reread the question to see if there s any information you haven t used yet Even Divisible by 2 F Factor Any number that can be divided evenly into another number 3 divides evenly into 12 so 3 is a factor of 12 Factorial A process whereby an integer is multiplied by each of the positive integers less than itself exactly once Eight factorial is denoted as 8 and can be found by multiplying 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 which equals 40 320 FOIL Acronym for First Outside Inside Last that indicates how two binomials can be multiplied together FROZEN An acronym to help you remember the weird numbers that can be helpful to Plug In on Must Be or Quant Comp Plug In questions Try normal easy numbers first but then try some of the FROZEN numbers on the remaining answers FROZEN stands for Fractions Repeats One Zero Extremes Negative Function A method of showing a relationship between two or more variables On the GRE function questions may involve symbols that are not typically in math questions and will require following the directions given for that particular function I Improper Fraction A fraction in which the numerator is greater than the denominator These fractions can be converted to mixed fractions Integer Any number that has no fraction or decimal associated with it Think of integers as the counting numbers on the number line including 0 Integers can be positive or negative Irrational Number Any number that cannot be denoted as a fraction Most irrational numbers you ll come in contact with on the GRE will be square roots and Isosceles Triangle A triangle with two sides of the same length and two angles of the same measure L Like Terms Any algebraic terms that contain the exact same configuration of variables and therefore can be combined For example 3a2b and 6a2b are like terms so they can be added to make 9a2b The variables in 5xy3 and 10x3y are similar but not identical so these are not like terms M MADSPM A mnemonic device to remember the rules for combining exponents for quantities with the same base When Multiplying terms with the same base Add the exponents When Dividing terms with the same base Subtract the exponents When raising a term with an exponent to another Power then Multiply the exponents Mark A button at the top of the screen during the GRE test Clicking the Mark button will put a check mark next to that question on the Review screen Mean The average value of a list of numbers Median The middle value in a list of numbers when the numbers are arranged in ascending order Among an odd number of elements the median is the middle number among an even number of elements the median is the average of the two middle numbers Mixed Fraction A number that contains both an integer and a fraction like 3 Mode The value that occurs most often in a list of numbers Multiple The product of two integers N Next A button at the top of the screen


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