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by Akilabai Benito on Academic Clinic Fanpage

Strategies in Taking a Math Test

By:  Kevin Lubrin Domingsil

1. Use your test/exam time wisely. Allow a minute per question for a 50 minute test with 40-50 questions. Remember that all questions carry the same point.

2. Read the question carefully. Be completely sure of what the question is asking.

3. Watch out for key terms or key words. If a question looks easy but you cannot find out the answer to the question, maybe you missed out on a key word, which maybe a word like subtracted by, square, even integer, scalene, area or perimeter.

4. Visualize a situation by making sketches or tables. Do not spend time making a work of art – just a pictorial representation of given and other information.

5. Make a representation using an equation if necessary. Make connections to Math concepts – rules, definitions, formula, specific relationships or theorems.

6. Take a quick look at the choices before doing computations. For example, if the answer is a circumference and the choices are 31 pi or 19 pi, it means do not multiply by 3.14 (value of pi) anymore.

7. Avoid any lengthy computations. Simplify your solution/s. Look for shortcuts or use mental computation strategies. Simplify fractions before using them in computations. *Your answer must be in lowest term and doesn’t contains any negative exponents.

8. Move to the next question if you have spent 30 seconds on a question and you’re still in doubt. However, if you find the question easy or simple, make sure you take time to give the correct answer.

9. Use scratch paper when necessary. Number it and keep it clean to make it easier to review if needed.

10. Stay calm and focused. Go back to unanswered questions if time permits. Be sure to always shade the correct space specially if you are skipping a question.

** Don’t forget to pray before exams. Do your best and GOD will do the rest.

Specific Strategies

1. Mathematical Reasoning

Example : If p, q and r are positive integers greater that 1; pq = 28 and qr = 52, which of the following must be true?

a. r>p>q b. q>r>p c. q>p>r d. p>r>q e. r>q>p

Analysis:

pq = 28 -> p = 7 q = 4 Therefore, p = 7 ; q = 4 ; and r = 13

qr = 52 -> q = 4 r = 13
The answer is a.

2. Inspect for patterns and relationships and relationships and eliminate certain choices

Example: Which is greater A: (16)(444)(10) or B: (15)(444)(11)?

By inspection 444 is common; Mental computation gives 16 x 10 = 160

11 x 15 is equal to 165.

Without multiplying each equation with the common term, we can conclude that the answer is B.

3. Finding the last digit of a number raised to an exponent.

Example: What is the last digit of 632^47?

Analysis: Since that the last digit of the number is 2, check the last digits of the numbers with base 2.

2^1 = 2, 2^2 = 4, 2^3 = 8, 2^4 = 16

2^5 = 32, 2^6 = 64, 2^7 = 128, 2^8 = 256

The pattern is 2, 4, 8, 6, which repeats every 4 times. Divide the exponent by the pattern: 47 ÷ 4 = 11 remainder 3. The third number in the pattern is 8, therefore the answer is 8.