### SAT Physics Conventions and Graphing - Slope and Area

SAT Physics Conventions and Graphing - Slope and Area GRAPHING VARIABLES The graphing techniques of mathematics are used in science to compare dependent and independent variables. In mathematics, you are familiar with the traditional x- and y-coordinate axes. In science, the x-axis represents the independent variable and the y-axis represents the dependent variable. The value of the dependent variable depends upon the independent variable. Graphs are always tided so that the dependent variable is listed first, and the independent variable is listed second. As an example, a position versus time graph would have position (dependent variable) plotted on the y-axis and time (independent variable) plotted on the x-axis. Slope Slopes are very important and are often the key to answering many of the graphing questions on the SAT Subject Test in Physics. Slope is determined by dividing the rise (y-axis value) by the run (x-axis value). The trick is to look at the units written on the