Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics


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1 The Praxis Study Companion Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics
2 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Welcome to The Praxis Study Companion Prepare to Show What You Know You have been working to acquire the knowledge and skills you need for your teaching career. Now you are ready to demonstrate your abilities by taking a Praxis test. Using The Praxis Series Study Companion is a smart way to prepare for the test so you can do your best on test day. This guide can help keep you on track and make the most efficient use of your study time. The Study Companion contains practical information and helpful tools, including: An overview of the Praxis tests Specific information on the Praxis test you are taking A template study plan Study topics Practice questions and explanations of correct answers Testtaking tips and strategies Frequently asked questions Links to more detailed information So where should you start? Begin by reviewing this guide in its entirety and note those sections that you need to revisit. Then you can create your own personalized study plan and schedule based on your individual needs and how much time you have before test day. Keep in mind that study habits are individual. There are many different ways to successfully prepare for your test. Some people study better on their own, while others prefer a group dynamic. You may have more energy early in the day, but another test taker may concentrate better in the evening. So use this guide to develop the approach that works best for you. Your teaching career begins with preparation. Good luck! Know What to Expect Which tests should I take? Each state or agency that uses the Praxis tests sets its own requirements for which test or tests you must take for the teaching area you wish to pursue. Before you register for a test, confirm your state or agency s testing requirements at How are the Praxis tests given? Praxis tests are given on computer. Other formats are available for test takers approved for accommodations (see page 48) The Praxis Study Companion 2
3 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion What should I expect when taking the test on computer? When taking the test on computer, you can expect to be asked to provide proper identification at the test center. Once admitted, you will be given the opportunity to learn how the computer interface works (how to answer questions, how to skip questions, how to go back to questions you skipped, etc.) before the testing time begins. Watch the What to Expect on Test Day video to see what the experience is like. Where and when are the Praxis tests offered? You can select the test center that is most convenient for you. The Praxis tests are administered through an international network of test centers, which includes Prometric Testing Centers, some universities, and other locations throughout the world. Testing schedules may differ, so see the Praxis Web site for more detailed test registration information at www. ets.org/praxis/register. The Praxis Study Companion 3
4 Table of Contents Table of Contents The Praxis Study Companion guides you through the 10 steps to success 1. Learn About Your Test...5 Learn about the specific test you will be taking 2. Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions...8 Become comfortable with the types of questions you ll find on the Praxis tests 3. Practice with Sample Test Questions Answer practice questions and find explanations for correct answers 4. Determine Your Strategy for Success Set clear goals and deadlines so your test preparation is focused and efficient 5. Develop Your Study Plan Develop a personalized study plan and schedule 6. Review Smart Tips for Success Follow testtaking tips developed by experts 7. Check on Testing Accommodations See if you qualify for accommodations that may make it easier to take the Praxis test 8. Do Your Best on Test Day Get ready for test day so you will be calm and confident 9. Understand Your Scores Understand how tests are scored and how to interpret your test scores Appendix: Other Questions You May Have The Praxis Study Companion 4
5 Step 1: Learn About Your Test 1. Learn About Your Test Learn about the specific test you will be taking Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732) Test Name Test Code 5732 Time Number of Questions 56 Format Test Delivery Test at a Glance Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics 85 minutes Selectedresponse questions select one answer choice Selectedresponse questions select one or more answer choices Numeric entry questions Onscreen calculator available Computer delivered Approximate Approximate Content Categories Number of Percentage of Questions* Examination III IV II I I. Number and Quantity 17 30% II. Algebra and Functions 17 30% III. Geometry 11 20% IV. Statistics and Probability 11 20% * Includes both scored and unscored (pretest) questions. Depending on the number of pretest questions included in each scoring category, the total number of questions in that category may vary from one form of the test to another. About This Test The Core Academic Skills for Educators test in Mathematics measures academic skills in mathematics needed to prepare successfully for a career in education. All skills assessed have been identified as needed for college and career readiness, in alignment with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The test will cover four major content areas: Number and Quantity, Algebra and Functions, Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Focus is on key concepts of mathematics and the ability to solve problems and to reason in a quantitative context. Many of the problems require the integration of multiple skills to achieve a solution. In Number and Quantity, the understanding of order among integers, representation of a number in more than one way, place value, properties of whole numbers, equivalent computational procedures, ratio, proportion, and percent are emphasized. Algebra assesses the ability to handle equations and inequalities, recognition of various ways to solve a problem, relationship between verbal and symbolic expressions, and graphs. Functions questions test the knowledge of basic function definitions and the relationship between the domain and range of any given functions. The Praxis Study Companion 5
6 Step 1: Learn About Your Test Geometry assesses the understanding and application of the characteristics and properties of geometric shapes, the Pythagorean theorem, transformation, and use of symmetry to analyze mathematical situations. Knowledge of basic U.S. customary and metric systems of measurement is assumed. Statistics and Probability assesses the ability to read and interpret visual display of quantitative information, understand the correspondence between data and graph, make inferences from a given data display, determine mean, median, and mode, and assign a probability to an outcome. The test is 85 minutes long and contains 56 questions. This test may contain questions that will not count toward your score. The responses to the pretest questions are used to gauge the statistical performance of each question before its use as a question that will count toward your official score. The test will contain several types of questions: Selectedresponse question select one answer choice: These questions are selectedresponse questions that ask you to select only one answer choice from a list of five choices. Selectedresponse question select one or more answer choices: These questions are selectedresponse questions that ask you to select one or more answer choices from a list of choices. A question may or may not specify the number of choices to select. These questions are marked with square boxes besides the answer choices, not circles or ovals. Numeric entry questions: Questions of this type ask you to enter your answer as an integer or a decimal in a single answer box, or to enter it as a fraction in two separate boxes one for the numerator and one for the denominator. In the computerbased test, use the computer mouse and keyboard to enter your answer. An onscreen calculator, shown below, is available for this test. The Transfer Display button can be used on numeric entry questions with a single answer box to transfer the calculator display to the answer box. Please consult the Praxis Calculator Use web page for further information, and review the directions for using the onscreen calculator. Topics Covered Representative descriptions of topics covered in each category are provided below. I. Number and Quantity A. Ratios and Proportional Relationships 1. Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems 2. Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve realworld and mathematical problems B. The Real Number System 1. Apply understanding of multiplication and division to divide fractions by fractions 2. Compute fluently with multidigit numbers and find common factors and multiples 3. Apply understanding of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers 4. Know that there are numbers that are not rational, and approximate them by rational numbers 5. Work with radicals and integer exponents C. Quantities 1. Reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems The Praxis Study Companion 6
7 Step 1: Learn About Your Test II. Algebra and Functions A. Seeing Structure in Expressions 1. Apply understanding of arithmetic to algebraic expressions 2. Solve reallife and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions 3. Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions B. Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities 1. Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations 2. Understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning 3. Reason about and solve onevariable equations and inequalities 4. Solve equations and inequalities in one variable 5. Analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations 6. Represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically C. Functions 1. Interpreting functions 2. Building functions III. IV. Geometry A. Congruence and Similarity 1. Draw, construct, and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them 2. Experiment with transformations in the plane B. Right Triangles 1. Understand and apply the Pythagorean theorem C. Circles 1. Understand and apply theorems about circles D. Geometric Measurement and Dimension 1. Solve reallife and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume 2. Explain volume formulas and use them to solve problems E. Modeling with Geometry 1. Apply geometric concepts in modeling situations Statistics and Probability A. Basic Statistics and Probability 1. Develop understanding of statistical variability 2. Summarize and describe distributions 3. Use random sampling to draw inferences about a population 4. Investigate chance processes and develop, use, and evaluate probability models 5. Investigate patterns of association in bivariate data B. Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data 1. Summarize, represent, and interpret data on a single count or measurement variable 2. Interpret linear models C. Making Inferences and Justifying Conclusions 1. Understand and evaluate random processes underlying statistical experiments D. Using Probability to Make Decisions 1. Use probability to evaluate outcomes of decisions The Praxis Study Companion 7
8 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions 2. Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Become comfortable with the types of questions you ll find on the Praxis tests The Praxis Series assessments include a variety of question types: constructed response (for which you write a response of your own); selected response, for which you select one or more answers from a list of choices or make another kind of selection (e.g., by clicking on a sentence in a text or by clicking on part of a graphic); and numeric entry, for which you enter a numeric value in an answer field. You may be familiar with these question formats from taking other standardized tests. If not, familiarize yourself with them so you don t spend time during the test figuring out how to answer them. Understanding ComputerDelivered Questions Questions on computerdelivered tests are interactive in the sense that you answer by selecting an option or entering text on the screen. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. The directions always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. For most questions, you respond by clicking an oval to select a single answer from a list of options. However, interactive question types may also ask you to respond by: Clicking more than one oval to select answers from a list of options. Typing in an entry box. When the answer is a number, you may be asked to enter a numerical answer. Some questions may have more than one place to enter a response. Clicking check boxes. You may be asked to click check boxes instead of an oval when more than one choice within a set of answers can be selected. Clicking parts of a graphic. In some questions, you will select your answers by clicking on a location (or locations) on a graphic such as a map or chart, as opposed to choosing your answer from a list. Clicking on sentences. In questions with reading passages, you may be asked to choose your answers by clicking on a sentence (or sentences) within the reading passage. Dragging and dropping answer choices into targets on the screen. You may be asked to select answers from a list of options and drag your answers to the appropriate location in a table, paragraph of text or graphic. Selecting options from a dropdown menu. You may be asked to choose answers by selecting options from a dropdown menu (e.g., to complete a sentence). Remember that with every question you will get clear instructions. Perhaps the best way to understand computerdelivered questions is to view the Computerdelivered Testing Demonstration on the Praxis Web site to learn how a computerdelivered test works and see examples of some types of questions you may encounter. The Praxis Study Companion 8
9 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Understanding SelectedResponse Questions Many selectedresponse questions begin with the phrase which of the following. Take a look at this example: Which of the following is a flavor made from beans? (A) Strawberry (B) Cherry (C) Vanilla (D) Mint How would you answer this question? All of the answer choices are flavors. Your job is to decide which of the flavors is the one made from beans. Try following these steps to select the correct answer. 1) Limit your answer to the choices given. You may know that chocolate and coffee are also flavors made from beans, but they are not listed. Rather than thinking of other possible answers, focus only on the choices given ( which of the following ). 2) Eliminate incorrect answers. You may know that strawberry and cherry flavors are made from fruit and that mint flavor is made from a plant. That leaves vanilla as the only possible answer. 3) Verify your answer. You can substitute vanilla for the phrase which of the following and turn the question into this statement: Vanilla is a flavor made from beans. This will help you be sure that your answer is correct. If you re still uncertain, try substituting the other choices to see if they make sense. You may want to use this technique as you answer selectedresponse questions on the practice tests. Try a more challenging example The vanilla bean question is pretty straightforward, but you ll find that more challenging questions have a similar structure. For example: Entries in outlines are generally arranged according to which of the following relationships of ideas? (A) Literal and inferential (B) Concrete and abstract (C) Linear and recursive (D) Main and subordinate You ll notice that this example also contains the phrase which of the following. This phrase helps you determine that your answer will be a relationship of ideas from the choices provided. You are supposed to find the choice that describes how entries, or ideas, in outlines are related. Sometimes it helps to put the question in your own words. Here, you could paraphrase the question in this way: How are outlines usually organized? Since the ideas in outlines usually appear as main ideas and subordinate ideas, the answer is (D). The Praxis Study Companion 9
10 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions QUICK TIP: Don t be intimidated by words you may not understand. It might be easy to be thrown by words like recursive or inferential. Read carefully to understand the question and look for an answer that fits. An outline is something you are probably familiar with and expect to teach to your students. So slow down, and use what you know. Watch out for selectedresponse questions containing NOT, LEAST, and EXCEPT This type of question asks you to select the choice that does not fit. You must be very careful because it is easy to forget that you are selecting the negative. This question type is used in situations in which there are several good solutions or ways to approach something, but also a clearly wrong way. How to approach questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages When answering questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages, provide only the information that the questions ask for. In the case of a map or graph, you might want to read the questions first, and then look at the map or graph. In the case of a long reading passage, you might want to go ahead and read the passage first, noting places you think are important, and then answer the questions. Again, the important thing is to be sure you answer the questions as they refer to the material presented. So read the questions carefully. How to approach unfamiliar formats New question formats are developed from time to time to find new ways of assessing knowledge. Tests may include audio and video components, such as a movie clip or animation, instead of a map or reading passage. Other tests may allow you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture. Tests may also include interactive questions. These questions take advantage of technology to assess knowledge and skills in ways that standard selectedresponse questions cannot. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. The directions always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. QUICK TIP: Don t make the questions more difficult than they are. Don t read for hidden meanings or tricks. There are no trick questions on Praxis tests. They are intended to be serious, straightforward tests of your knowledge. Understanding ConstructedResponse Questions Constructedresponse questions require you to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject area by creating your own response to particular topics. Essays and shortanswer questions are types of constructedresponse questions. For example, an essay question might present you with a topic and ask you to discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated. You must support your position with specific reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading. Take a look at a few sample essay topics: Celebrities have a tremendous influence on the young, and for that reason, they have a responsibility to act as role models. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, on highway signs, and the sides of buses. They have become too pervasive. It s time to put limits on advertising. Advances in computer technology have made the classroom unnecessary, since students and teachers are able to communicate with one another from computer terminals at home or at work. The Praxis Study Companion 10
11 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Keep these things in mind when you respond to a constructedresponse question 1) Answer the question accurately. Analyze what each part of the question is asking you to do. If the question asks you to describe or discuss, you should provide more than just a list. 2) Answer the question completely. If a question asks you to do three distinct things in your response, you should cover all three things for the best score. Otherwise, no matter how well you write, you will not be awarded full credit. 3) Answer the question that is asked. Do not change the question or challenge the basis of the question. You will receive no credit or a low score if you answer another question or if you state, for example, that there is no possible answer. 4) Give a thorough and detailed response. You must demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. However, your response should be straightforward and not filled with unnecessary information. 5) Reread your response. Check that you have written what you thought you wrote. Be sure not to leave sentences unfinished or omit clarifying information. QUICK TIP: You may find that it helps to take notes on scratch paper so that you don t miss any details. Then you ll be sure to have all the information you need to answer the question. For tests that have constructedresponse questions, more detailed information can be found in 1. Learn About Your Test on page 5. The Praxis Study Companion 11
12 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 3. Practice with Sample Test Questions Answer practice questions and find explanations for correct answers Sample Test Questions The sample questions that follow illustrate the kinds of questions on the test. They are not, however, representative of the entire scope of the test in either content or difficulty. Answers with explanations follow the questions. Directions: Questions 112 below are followed by five suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case and then click on the oval to the left of your choice. For innovative question types, click on the box and type in the correct answer (questions 1314) or click on one or more answers (question 15). Remember, try to answer every question. 1. On the computer screen you will see the following: In the Venn diagram, the shaded region represents the integers that are in both G and H; i.e., these integers are among the integers 2 through 10 and also among the integers 6 through 12, or 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, which amount to five integers. The Praxis Study Companion 12
13 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions The answer, therefore, is choice four. The Praxis Study Companion 13
14 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 2. On the computer screen you will see the following: Since C is the center of the circle, QC and RC are both radii of the circle and therefore have the same length. The answer, therefore, is choice one. The Praxis Study Companion 14
15 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 3. On the computer screen you will see the following. Solution Strategy 1: Note that all of the answer choices are linear equations. Therefore, the input and output coordinate pairs in the table represent points on a line. With any two coordinate pairs from the table, the slope of the line can be found using Slope Difference in yvalues Difference in xvalues For example, if (6, 23) and (2, 11) are selected, the slope is Slope = = = The slope of the line is 3. The coordinate pairs in the table indicate that the first pair, (0, 5) is the point at which the line crosses the yaxis. Therefore, the yintercept is 5. Use the slopeintercept equation, y = mx + b, where m is the slope and b is the yintercept. When the slope and yintercept of the line are known, the equation of the line can be found by using substitution. Therefore, the equation y = 3x + 5 expresses the relationship between x and y in the table. The answer, therefore, is choice three. The Praxis Study Companion 15
16 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions Solution Strategy 2: The correct equation must hold when each of the five pairs of values from the table is substituted for x and y. The equation y = x + 5 (1st choice) holds for the pairs of values x = 0, y = 5, but not for the pairs of values x = 2, y = 11. The equations y = x + 6, y = 4x 1 and y = 4x 5 (2nd, 4th, and 5th choices) do not hold for the pairs of values x = 0, y = 5. The equation y = 3x + 5 (3rd choice) holds for all five pairs of values given: if x = 0, then y = 3(0) + 5 = 5, if x = 2, then y = 3(2) + 5 = 11, if x = 6, then y = 3(6) + 5 = 23, and so forth. The answer, therefore, is choice three. The Praxis Study Companion 16
17 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 4. On the computer screen you will see the following: In the table provided, there are 48 individuals in the group, 18 of whom are women. The probability that the individual selected will be a woman is 18 out of 48, or choice four =. The answer, therefore, is 48 8 The Praxis Study Companion 17
18 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 5. On the computer screen you will see the following: When dividing a number expressed as a decimal by 10, the decimal point is moved one place to the left, so divided by 10 is The tens place is the second place to the left of the decimal point. In the number , that is the digit Tens Ones Tenths Hundredths Thousandths The Praxis Study Companion 18
19 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions The answer, therefore, is choice four. The Praxis Study Companion 19
20 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 6. On the computer screen you will see the following: To subtract rational expressions, each rational expression must first be expressed with a common denominator. In this case, a common denominator is 2xy. Multiply each rational expression by an expression equal to 1 so that each rational expression will have the same common denominator 2xy as follows y 2x y 2x y 3y 2x 2xy 2xy 3y 2x 2xy 1 2x y 2x The Praxis Study Companion 20
21 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions The answer, therefore, is choice three. The Praxis Study Companion 21
22 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 7. On the computer screen you will see the following: For the average of a set of data, the sum of the data entries is equal to the product of the average and the number of entries. Since Average = Sum of data entries Total number of entries, Sum of data entries = Average Total number of entries. Since the average of the absences for the first 4 months is 14, the number of absences for the first 4 months is 14 4= 56. The number of absences in the fourth month is the number of absences in the first 4 months minus the number of absences in the first 3 months, or 56 ( ) = 11. The Praxis Study Companion 22
23 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions The answer, therefore, is choice three. The Praxis Study Companion 23
24 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 8. On the computer screen you will see the following: The price on Monday was x dollars. A reduction of 25% means that the price on Tuesday is 75% of the price on Monday, or (0.75)x dollars. The price on Tuesday is then reduced by 40%, so the price on Wednesday is 60% of 0.75x dollars, or (0.60)(0.75x) dollars. The answer, therefore, is choice five. The Praxis Study Companion 24
25 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 9. On the computer screen you will see the following: Since y = 2, substituting the value 2 for y in the equation 4x = y gives the following equations. 4x = (2) 4x = x = 32 Dividing both sides of the equation 4x = 32 by 4 gives the result x = 8. The Praxis Study Companion 25
26 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions The answer, therefore, is choice five. The Praxis Study Companion 26
27 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 10. On the computer screen you will see the following: A horizontal translation changes the xcoordinate, and a vertical translation changes the ycoordinate. Translating 3 units to the right adds 3 to the xcoordinate. Translating 2 units down subtracts 2 from the ycoordinate. Since the coordinates of vertex A are ( 3, 1), the coordinates corresponding to vertex A after translation are ( 3 + 3, 1 2), or (0, 1). The Praxis Study Companion 27
28 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions The answer, therefore, is choice four. The Praxis Study Companion 28
29 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 11. On the computer screen you will see the following: The numbers to be placed in the blank spaces must be both greater than 1 4 and less than 3 8. The first pair of numbers listed is 1 2, 0. Although 0 is both greater than 1 4 and less than 3 8, 1 2 is less than 1 4, so this pair is not the correct answer. The second pair of numbers listed is 1 8 and 1 3, both of which are greater than 1 4 and less than 3, so this pair is the correct answer. At least 8 one of the numbers in each of the other pairs is either less than 1 4 or greater than 3 8. The Praxis Study Companion 29
30 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions The answer, therefore, is choice two. The Praxis Study Companion 30
31 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 12. On the computer screen you will see the following: To answer this question, compute the dollar amount for each of the five categories and compare each dollar amount to $1,000. Dollar amount for food = $3,500 x 40% = $1,400 Dollar amount for lodging = $3,500 x 35% = $1,225 Dollar amount for other = $3,500 x 3% = $105 Dollar amount for entertainment = $3,500 x 12% = $420 Dollar amount for transportation = $3,500 x 10%= $350 Of the five dollar amounts, only two are greater than $1,000. An alternative solution method is to express $1,000 as a percent of the total budget and determine how many of the percent values given in the circle graph are greater. 1, 000 That is, $1,000 is 100% 28. 6% of $3,500. Of the five percent values in the circle graph, 3, 500 only two percent values are greater than 28.6%. The answer is indicated by choice 2. The Praxis Study Companion 31
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