Function questions on the SAT often look scary (on purpose – they want you to be intimidated!). Again, if you can remember a few simple things these questions get a lot easier.

- A function describes anything where you plug a number in, and get a number back. That’s it. It could be linear, polynomial, whatever. Plug in, get back.
- There are 3 components to a function. The
*f*( ) part, the equation itself, and what you plug in. They may give you any two parts of this and ask you to solve for the third. - In functional notation, you plug in whatever is in parentheses. That could be a number, or it could be a variable, it could be another function, or it could be some combination. It doesn’t matter, just plug in what is in the parentheses.
- For nested functions, always start with the innermost function, and work your way out.
- Because functions are equations, they can be graphed. In functional notation, the
*f*() part represents a*y*coordinate, and the variable represents the*x*coordinate.

**Strategy****:**

**PRACTICE! Functions are usually difficult because students aren’t comfortable with them. Practice functions until they no longer look so foreign.****Always remember the***f(x)*value is the*y*value.**Define what you know and what you don’t know.**

Let’s look at some examples in the topic below.

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