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Read comments on Test # 135 - Mathematics 8-12

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Strategy #11

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I read the manual provided by the state as well as Pre-Calculus for Dummies and two chapters of Calculus for Dummies. I also reviewed sections from my algebra II notes. The manual was not very helpful, but the "for Dummies" books were, except that they don't cover the logic statements. I have taught algebra, geometry, algebra II, and trig for a number of years, so I just glanced at formulas for geometry and trig, which was sufficient. I wish I would have studied more matrices and reviewed the logic statements.

Test: There were a great deal of questions related to probability and statistics, several on matrices and a few on calculus. Those questions made the test challenging for me. The geometry and trig questions were not straightforward in my opinion. Since I know the topic well, I figured them out, but don't just take them for granted as they comprised one sixth of the exam and may require synthesis of two or three concepts in order to solve the problem. The questions on matrices required more than a basic knowledge of working with them. The lower level math (algebra I) had nothing to do with the math but rather best practices, and were very simple. I took 4 hours and 58 minutes (minus a 5 minute break). Although I left the exam confident that I had failed, I passed the first try with room to spare.

Strategy #12

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used REA Math 8-12 and XAM Math 8-12 study guides.

Test: The test was easier than I expected. I studied a lot more than I needed to, but I have no regrets since I passed on my first attempt. I'd recommend going through REA and XAM books, as well as the study guide provided by ETS. The actual exam is most similar to the ETS study guide. I'd also recommend answering the easier problems you know how to solve first, then going back and doing the more difficult ones. I used that method and finished in about 3 hours. Good luck!

Strategy #13

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the practice guide that SBEC/TEA has posted online. I also had on old and a current copy of XAM Texes Mathematics 8-12 #135. The practice tests in all three were more helpful than the lessons in them, so I supplemented them with online videos. There are so many great online pre-calculus, algebra, trig, geometry, and statistics videos out there, and I used them to get me through the parts of the practice tests that I struggled with. I was a TA in Calculus 25+ years ago so I really needed time to study. I studied 4 hours a days, 5 days a week for two months. I passed by about 5 questions. Also, I read all the strategies in the Online Study Community and many of them were really helpful. I changed the focus of some of my reviews after reading these strategies and that saved me on several questions. I'm a morning person so on the day before the test, I did a quick 2 hour review on basic formulas. Then I went to bed at 8 pm because I was taking the morning test. I had a small protein rich breakfast and was completely awake and mentally sharp when I got to the testing facility.

Test: I thought the test was much harder than all the practice tests I took. Fortunately, I have strong test taking skills or I would probably have failed. I skipped/marked every question that I actually had to think about. Then I went back to them and gave myself a minute to make sure I understood them perfectly. If not, I left them marked and moved on. I saved the hardest ones for last. I had to make some educated guesses on several of them. When I had about 30 minutes left, I started from the beginning and made sure I had the best answer or guess that I could come up with. I had my TI-83 with me and it only helped speed up the math. I didn't need it for graphing or anything like that. It might have helped more but I have weak graphing calculator skills. Know what derivatives and anti-derivatives of graphed curves (w/o the function defined) should look like, derivatives of trig functions, standard derivatives, and understand the principles of central tendencies. The actual algebra and geometry is not too difficult.

Strategy #14

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the XAM study guide, websites, and the TExES site itself. The XAM book was useful with its content explanation, however it's practice test was not representative of the difficulty level of the actual test. The websites I primarily used were Purplemath and TheMathPage. I found both useful to complement each other. Purplemath was useful for the depth of the explanations. MathPage was useful with its sequential arrangement of content. The TExES site's practice test was most representative of the actual test, though it only contained 37 questions.

Test: My test was taken in 2010. Some of the earlier posts led me to conclude a graphing calculator was your option for taking the test. If that was true in the past, it is not any longer. It is mandatory. So, if you don't have one, plan on finding one. On the plus side, you will be glad you have it. While the TExES website was most reflective of the level of the real test, I still found the actual test to be more difficult. I was highly confident in my ability to answer 90 questions in 5 hours, but I quickly found the questions surpassed my expectations. As with the other postings, I highly recommend you don't get in a rush, and to use the complete time allotted. Pass on those you can't easily answer the first time around. Read the questions carefully for clues. Know your probability and statistics. I honestly didn't expect there to be as many questions in these areas as I encountered. It will seem as though your test concentrates on all the areas your neglected to study thoroughly. Relax, don't get wrapped up in second-guessing yourself, and you should do fine. Once you get your final score, all the studying will seem like time well-spent.

Strategy #15

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the REA Guide and Pre Calculus for the Clueless and the XAM guide. XAM was worthless - don't waste your time. The others were good though. Make sure you work lots of problems. I did all the problems in REA guide. If I had to do it again, I would get a Calculus text and go through that too, particularly the relationships between graphs of the functions and their derivatives. Make sure you are very familiar with your calculator because there are several questions that require the graphing calculator.

Test: The version I took had a lot of Calculus questions. Other people said theirs had almost none, so it's kind of hard to know what yours will be like. A couple of easy probability questions. Some tough theoretical trig problems - know how to derive the identities! Also, I was surprised to see a couple of matrix questions. Brush up to pace yourself so you can have a break in the middle. Towards the end, I had a hard time staying focused because I was getting tired.

Strategy #16

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I hadn't been in a classroom in 25 years, but I have been a working engineer so I have used a lot of my math tools. First, "Forgotten Algebra" and "Forgotten Calculus" (both Baron's/Bleau) are great refresher books. I also used the REA book with the electronic exams and the XAM book. The REA book has much better content for review. Both books are plagued by incorrect answers and reasoning that doesn't make much sense, especially in probability and stats areas. Refer to a decent P&S text for these areas. Studied for 4 weeks and ended up with a 94%.

Test: The test was similar to the test in the REA book. There were a few questions that didn't make sense or that I couldn't discern a correct answer. Mark them and come back to them is the best you can do. There was a lot more probability and stats than I expected and less calculus. In general, there were not as many "find the answer" questions and more "do you understand the principles" and "how would you teach this" than I had expected. Overall, I would say the test was somewhat simpler than I had expected. It did take the full amount of time, so watch the clock.

Strategy #17

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used Ed Publishing's book. It's the only thing that proved to be useful. Everything else is confusing and a waste of time.

Test: I passed on the first try. I was a Science major in college, but I have a strong math background. Focus on trig and calculus, but don't forget that a lot of the test is algebra.

Strategy #18

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I hadn't been in a classroom in 25 years, but I have been a working engineer, so I have used a lot of my math tools. I used several tools. First, "Forgotten Algebra" and "Forgotten Calculus" (both Baron's / Bleau) are great refresher books. I also used the REA book with the electronic exams and the XAM book. The REA book has much better content for review. Both books are plagued by incorrect answers and reasoning that doesn't make much sense, especially in the probability and stats areas. Refer to a decent P&S text for these areas. Studied for 4 weeks and ended up with a a 94%.

Test: The test was very similar to the test in the REA book. There were a few questions that didn't make sense or that I couldn't discern a correct answer. Mark them and come back to them is the best you can do. There was a lot more probability and stats than I expected and less calculus. In general, there were not as many "find the answer" questions and more about "do you understand the principles" and "how would you teach this" than I had expected. Overall, I would say the test was somewhat simpler than I had expected. It did take the full amount of time however, so watch the clock.

Strategy #19

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I'm a science major. I expected the test to be an easy one, so I spent only 2 days for preparation with my college notes on calculus, trig, algebra, and geometry. Also I borrowed XAM TExES Mathematics 8-12. The book covered approximately 60 % of material I met in the test.

Test: My test contained a number of calculus questions. I got many problems on complex numbers, matrix, probability and statistics - the topics I did not cover well enough during my preparation. Graphing calculator was very helpful and saved my ass in many cases. But,in general, I overestimated my math skills. I would recommend to reserve 10-14 days for preparation (if you are not a math major), use XAM TExES Mathematics 8-12 as a skeleton and extend your knowledge on competences and topics covered in the book with help of other sources (read other people's notes where many good books were mentioned). Good Luck!

Strategy #20

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: XAM study guide

Test: Harder than I expected. Have to be aware of time. Skipped questions and came back and almost ran out of time. Not as much trig as I thought there would be.

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