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1. TAKS Tutorial Test-Taking Strategies

2. Remember that the TAKS test is untimed! That gives you plenty of time to do this first strategy! Look at the ENTIRE test first BEFORE doing any problem on it! Place a code indicator by the problem number. This procedure will ensure that you do the test in the order that is BEST for YOU!

3. The Code Indicators: * I can do this problem √ I am fairly sure I can do this problem − I don’t know how to do this problem c I can use a calculator to do this problem

4. While your mind is FRESH, you want to do ALL of the problems that you know how to do FIRST! So you don’t waste time or get overly frustrated, you leave the problems you do not know how to do until last. By that time, you might have jarred a memory that will help.

5. Based on information from past years… You need to aim for at least 35 correct out of the 60 problems on the test. (9th and 10th grade tests have fewer than 60) to pass. You certainly know enough math to get a little more than HALF the test correct!!

6. Other numbers to go for… • You need about 53 correct out of 60 (90%) to get commended. Every Honors student should aim for commended status! • You need about 42 correct out of 60 to be exempted from taking the THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment) test. You CANNOT use a graphing calculator on the THEA.

7. Strategies for Multiple Choice tests: • Read ALL of the choices before choosing an answer • Eliminate answers you know are not correct • Don’t keep on changing your answer. Usually your first choice is the right one, unless you misread the question

8. Strategies for Multiple Choice tests: • If there is an “All of the above” option and you know that at least two of the choices are correct, select the “All of the above” choice • If there is an “All of the above” option and you know that one of the statements is false, don’t choose “All of the above”

9. Strategies for Multiple Choice tests: • If there is a “None of the above” choice and you are certain one of the statements is true, don’t choose “None of the above • If there is a no guessing penalty (and there is not a penalty on TAKS), always take an EDUCATED guess and select an answer

10. Strategies for taking Math Tests: • Read the directions carefully and don’t forget to answer all parts of the question • Make estimates for your answers…for example, if you are asked to answer 48 x 12 = ?, you could expect a number around 500 (50 x 10), but if you end up with an answer around 5000, you’ll know you did something wrong.

11. Strategies for taking Math Tests: • Make a list or table and look for a match • Make a graph and look for a match • Look for a pattern and find a match • Draw a picture or diagram

12. Strategies for taking Math Tests: • Use the answer options • Guess an answer and check to see if it works for the situation/problem • Eliminate options that are too large, too small, don’t make sense, or don’t answer the question

13. Let’s put into practice our strategies Here are some actual TAKS questions for us to work on. Read the questions first and place one of the Code Indicators next to the problem number. Now, as we work through the problems one-by-one, think of which strategy could be used for selecting the correct answer choice.

14. 5 A function is described by the equation y = 2x 2 − 5x − 3, in which y is dependent on x. If a value for the independent variable is selected from the set {−4, −1, 0, 2, 5}, which of the following is a corresponding dependent value? A 9 B −6 C −5 D 0 The strategy to use on this problem is to make use of the calculator

15. The set of x-coordinates 5 A function is described by the equation y = 2x 2 − 5x − 3, in which y is dependent on x. If a value for the independent variable is selected from the set {−4, −1, 0, 2, 5}, which of the following is a corresponding dependent value? A 9 B −6 C −5 D 0 You are given x-coordinates to use You are looking for a y-coordinate that goes with one of those given x-coordinates. Use the table feature of your calculator to find the y-coordinates that go with the above x-coordinates… You are given a function rule. Enter it into your graphing calculator. NO NO NO A Match! NO

16. Thalia played a word game in which she had a • minute to create 5- and 6-letter words from a given • word. The given word was wonderful. Thalia • scored 7 points for each 5-letter word she created • and 15 points for each 6-letter word she created. • Which of the following is not a possible value for • the total points Thalia scored? • F 37 G 46 H 58 J 59 The strategy for this problem is to use the answer choices to see which ones are eliminated.

17. Thalia played a word game in which she had a • minute to create 5- and 6-letter words from a given • word. The given word was wonderful. Thalia • scored 7 points for each 5-letter word she created • and 15 points for each 6-letter word she created. • Which of the following is not a possible value for • the total points Thalia scored? • F 37 G 46 H 58 J 59 To have all 5-letter words, these point values would have to be a multiple of 7: 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63. To have all 6-letter words, they would have to be multiples of 15: 15, 30, 45, 60 None of the options fit this description.

18. Thalia played a word game in which she had a • minute to create 5- and 6-letter words from a given • word. The given word was wonderful. Thalia • scored 7 points for each 5-letter word she created • and 15 points for each 6-letter word she created. • Which of the following is not a possible value for • the total points Thalia scored? • F 37 G 46 H 58 J 59 That means these possible point values are a combination of 5-letter and 6-letter words. My suggestion: keep subtracting 15 pts from the answer choice until you get a number that is a multiple of 7. (Or keep subtracting 7 until you get a multiple of 15.)

19. Thalia played a word game in which she had a • minute to create 5- and 6-letter words from a given • word. The given word was wonderful. Thalia • scored 7 points for each 5-letter word she created • and 15 points for each 6-letter word she created. • Which of the following is not a possible value for • the total points Thalia scored? • F 37 G 46 H 58 J 59 -15 22 -15 7* -15 31 -15 16 -15 1 -15 43 -15 28* -15 44 -15 29 -15 14* possible possible not possible possible

20. 53 Which of the following polynomial equations best represents this graph? A (x + 6)(x − 2) = y B (x − 2)(x − 16) = y C (x − 6)(x + 2) = y D (x + 2)(x + 16) = y The strategy to use on this problem is to use the answer choices with the calculator. We want to graph the answer choice until we find the one that matches this graph.

21. 53 Which of the following polynomial equations best represents this graph? A (x + 6)(x − 2) = y B (x − 2)(x − 16) = y C (x − 6)(x + 2) = y D (x + 2)(x + 16) = y This one looks like it is a match. It has the same x-intercepts and the vertex appears to be in the same place First, I’ll match up the window on my calculator with the scale of this graph.

22. 53 Which of the following polynomial equations best represents this graph? A (x + 6)(x − 2) = y B (x − 2)(x − 16) = y C (x − 6)(x + 2) = y D (x + 2)(x + 16) = y You really should check the other answer choices. Do not jump the gun—be certain! Nope, not B. You cannot even see the entire graph.

23. 53 Which of the following polynomial equations best represents this graph? A (x + 6)(x − 2) = y B (x − 2)(x − 16) = y C (x − 6)(x + 2) = y D (x + 2)(x + 16) = y Not C, either. The x-intercepts and the vertex do not match.

24. 53 Which of the following polynomial equations best represents this graph? A (x + 6)(x − 2) = y B (x − 2)(x − 16) = y C (x − 6)(x + 2) = y D (x + 2)(x + 16) = y Definitely not D. Our first answer was the correct one.

25. The table below shows the relationship • between x and y. Which function best represents the relationship between the quantities in the table? F y = 2x + 1 G y = 2x 3 + 1 H y = 2x 2 − 3 J y = 2x 2 + 4x + 1 The best strategy to use on this problem is to enter the answer choices into our calculator and find a matching table of values.

26. The table below shows the relationship • between x and y. Which function best represents the relationship between the quantities in the table? F y = 2x + 1 G y = 2x 3 + 1 H y = 2x 2 − 3 J y = 2x 2 + 4x + 1 X While the first three ordered pairs match, the point (2, 17) is not in this table.

27. The table below shows the relationship • between x and y. Which function best represents the relationship between the quantities in the table? F y = 2x + 1 G y = 2x 3 + 1 H y = 2x 2 − 3 J y = 2x 2 + 4x + 1 X This table matches the problem table perfectly!

28. The table below shows the relationship • between x and y. Which function best represents the relationship between the quantities in the table? F y = 2x + 1 G y = 2x 3 + 1 H y = 2x 2 − 3 J y = 2x 2 + 4x + 1 To be sure, we can check the last two choices. X G is the correct answer choice Nope Nope

29. 20 What are the coordinates of the x-intercept of the function graphed below? F (4, 0) G (−3, 0) H (0, 4) J (0, −3) The best strategy to use on this problem is to study the answer choices and eliminate the ones that do not make sense.

30. 20 What are the coordinates of the x-intercept of the function graphed below? F (4, 0) G (−3, 0) H (0, 4) J (0, −3) This problem refers to x-intercepts. X-intercepts have zero for a y-coordinate. This knowledge will allow us to eliminate H and J.

31. 20 What are the coordinates of the x-intercept of the function graphed below? (4, 0) F (4, 0) G (−3, 0) H (0, 4) J (0, −3) (-3, 0) If you will use the formula chart as a straight edge and extend the line until it hits the x-axis, you will find the one of the remaining options is not reasonable. Choice F is the correct one.

32. A diagonal walkway through a park is 18 meters • long. If the park is a square, how long is one of its • sides to the nearest tenth of a meter? • A 9.0 m C 18.0 m • B 12.7 m D 25.5 m The best strategy to use with this problem is to draw and label a picture so that you can SEE what the problem is asking.

33. A diagonal walkway through a park is 18 meters • long. If the park is a square, how long is one of its • sides to the nearest tenth of a meter? • A 9.0 m C 18.0 m • B 12.7 m D 25.5 m The park is a square. 18 m The walkway is a diagonal and it is 18 meters long. x meters x meters

34. A diagonal walkway through a park is 18 meters • long. If the park is a square, how long is one of its • sides to the nearest tenth of a meter? • A 9.0 m C 18.0 m • B 12.7 m D 25.5 m You can now see that you have an isosceles right triangle to work with. A right triangle means that you can use the Pythagorean Theorem. The formula is written on the math chart if you don’t remember what it is. 18 m x meters x meters Even with the formula chart, you do need to remember that “c” is the hypotenuse (longest side of the right triangle).

35. A diagonal walkway through a park is 18 meters • long. If the park is a square, how long is one of its • sides to the nearest tenth of a meter? • A 9.0 m C 18.0 m • B 12.7 m D 25.5 m Using the Pythagorean Theorem we have: x2 + x2 = 182 so 2x2 = 324 dividing by 2… x2 = 162 now square root x = 12.727… 18 m x meters x meters Rounded to the nearest tenth, we get 12.7

36. A diagonal walkway through a park is 18 meters • long. If the park is a square, how long is one of its • sides to the nearest tenth of a meter? • A 9.0 m C 18.0 m • B 12.7 m D 25.5 m If you are taking the Exit Level (11th grade) test, you should also know about 45o-45o-90o triangles. You could use your knowledge about those triangles to answer this problem, as well. 18 m x meters x meters

37. A diagonal walkway through a park is 18 meters • long. If the park is a square, how long is one of its • sides to the nearest tenth of a meter? • A 9.0 m C 18.0 m • B 12.7 m D 25.5 m The hypotenuse is the length of the shorter legs (which are the sides of the park) multiplied by the square root of 2. If you divide the walkway hypotenuse by the square root of 2, you will get the sides of the park. 18 m x meters x meters

38. The midpoint of the diagonals of rectangle PTQW • is (−0.5, 1). The coordinates of P are (−3.5, 6). • What are the coordinates of Q? A (−2, 3.5) B (−6.5, 11) C (−1.5, 2.5) D (2.5, −4) Again, the strategy that you want to use with this problem is to eliminate answer choices that do not make sense with the information given to you in the problem.

39. The midpoint of the diagonals of rectangle PTQW • is (−0.5, 1). The coordinates of P are (−3.5, 6). • What are the coordinates of Q? A (−2, 3.5) B (−6.5, 11) C (−1.5, 2.5) D (2.5, −4) Look at the way the diagonal is drawn in the figure. Study the coordinates of P and midpoint C. Do you notice how the x-coordinates are getting larger as the diagonal moves to the right? Do you notice how the y-coordinates are getting smaller as the diagonal moves down?

40. The midpoint of the diagonals of rectangle PTQW • is (−0.5, 1). The coordinates of P are (−3.5, 6). • What are the coordinates of Q? A (−2, 3.5) B (−6.5, 11) C (−1.5, 2.5) D (2.5, −4) In your answer options, choice B is to the LEFT of point P, not to the right as point Q is located. Can you also see, by their x-coordinates, that choice A and choice C are located BETWEEN points P and C?

41. The midpoint of the diagonals of rectangle PTQW • is (−0.5, 1). The coordinates of P are (−3.5, 6). • What are the coordinates of Q? If you would rather, you could eliminate those same options looking at the y-coordinates. A (−2, 3.5) B (−6.5, 11) C (−1.5, 2.5) D (2.5, −4) Answer choice B has a y-coordinate that is HIGHER than point P, not lower as point Q is located. Can you also see, by their y-coordinates, that choice A and choice C are located BETWEEN points P and C?

42. So, study the Code Indicators If you do not like ours, feel free to make up your own. Go through the test first, deciding which problems that you want to do first. Do the ones you know how to do first!!!! Use your strategies to help you. You only have to get a little more than half of the problems correct! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!