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Passing the CAHSEE-Math
About this Book
This book provides you with an accurate and complete representation of the Mathematics section of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). Inside you will find reviews that are designed to provide you with the information and strategies needed to do well on the test. Two practice tests are provided, both of which are based on the official CAHSEE. The practice tests contain every type of question that you may expect to appear on the CAHSEE Math. Following each test, you will find an answer key with detailed explanations designed to help you completely understand the test material.
About the Test
Who Takes the Test and What is it Used For?
Beginning with the class of 2006, every high school student who plans to graduate from a California public high school must first pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). The test consists of two parts: Mathematics and English-Language Arts.
Students are first required to take the CAHSEE in grade 10. If you pass both the Mathematics and the English-Language Arts section, you will not be required to retake the test. If you pass only one section, you must retake the other part in grades 11 and 12, until you pass. If you do not pass either part of the CAHSEE, you get the chance to retake both sections in grades 11 and 12, until you pass.
When and Where Is the Test Given?
Every public school district in California has to provide students with multiple opportunities to take the CAHSEE. Your high school may choose from a list of test dates for administering the CAHSEE that are designated by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Your school is also responsible for accommodating the test-takers. The questions and scoring guides are provided by Educational Testing Service.
The CAHSEE test is administered over two days. The English-Language Arts section is given on the first day followed by the Mathematics portion the next day.
The CAHSEE is an untimed test, so if you need until the end of the school day to finish, take the time.
Is There a Registration Fee?
No. Because all California public high school students are required to take and pass this test in order to receive a high school diploma, no fee is required.
Special Test Arrangements
Parents of special education students, students with disabilities, and students who are learning English should contact their local high school officials regarding possible waivers or special arrangements, such as the use of a calculator when they take the CAHSEE. In order to be considered for a waiver, students must be diagnosed with a physical or learning disability or be in the process of learning the English language.
Additional Information and Support
Additional resources to help you prepare to take the CAHSEE include the official State of California CAHSEE website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs and REAÕs The Best Test Preparation for the CAHSEE English-Language Arts.
How to Use this Book
What Do I Study First?
Read over the reviews and the suggestions for test-taking. Studying the reviews thoroughly will reinforce the basic skills you need to do well on the test. Be sure to take the practice tests to become familiar with the format and procedures involved with taking the actual CAHSEE.
To best utilize your study time, follow our CAHSEE Independent Study Schedule located in the front of this book.
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the CAHSEE. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an effective way to study, since it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more time you will have to familiarize yourself with the exam content.
Format of the CAHSEE Math
The Mathematics portion of the CAHSEE is designed to test the following skills:
- Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability: These questions deal with statistical measurements, data samples of a population, theoretical and experimental probabilities, and data sets with one or more variables.
- Number Sense: These questions deal with properties of rational numbers and fractions, exponents, powers, and roots.
- Algebra and Functions: These questions deal with quantitative relationships, integer powers, simple roots, graphing linear and nonlinear functions, and simple equations and inequalities.
- Measurement and Geometry: These questions deal with units of measure, ratio conversion, changes of scales, the Pythagorean theorem, and computing perimeter, area, and volume.
- Mathematical Reasoning: These questions deal with approaching problems, determining that a solution is complete, and using strategies, skills, and concepts.
- Algebra I: This section deals with finding the reciprocal, taking a root, the rules of exponents, absolute values, expressions and inequalities in one variable, multi-step problems involving linear equations and inequalities in one variable, graphing linear equations and computing the x-and y-intercepts, verifying that a point lies on a line, the relationship of parallel slopes, systems of two linear equations, solving a system of two linear inequalities in two variables, performing basic operations on monomials and polynomials, and applying algebraic techniques to solve rate, work, and percent mixture problems.
There are a total of 80 multiple-choice questions with four answer choices on the math section of the CAHSEE. They break up as follows:
Skill Tested Number of Questions
Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability 12
Number Sense 14
Algebra and Functions 17
Measurement and Geometry 17
Mathematical Reasoning 8
Algebra I 12
Scoring the CAHSEE
In order to represent a consistent level of achievement for each administration of the test, and because the questions may differ on each version of the CAHSEE, a constant scale was developed by the makers of the test. The scale ranges from 250 to 450 for each test. You will need a score of 350 to pass the math part of the CAHSEE. Though the raw score corresponding to the 350 mark may vary from one test to another, the scaled score of 350 will always measure the same level of difficulty. Since this statistical scale cannot be duplicated in this book, the chart included in this book represents the scoring of the practice tests only, not the actual exam.
Total Scaled Score
The raw score for each practice test is determined solely by the number of questions answered correctly. Using the chart included in this book, convert your raw score into a scaled score. Accordingly, in order to achieve a passing score of 350, you must answer 44 questions correctly.
Scoring your practice tests
For each practice test, you will have two scores: the raw score, which will be determined by the number of questions answered properly, and the scaled score, which can found using the table in this book. The score you earn on our practice tests should approximate the score you will receive on the CAHSEE.
About the Review Sections
The review in this book is designed to help you sharpen the basic skills needed to pass the Mathematics Section of the CAHSEE. You will find test-taking strategies, a review of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and word problems, and questions and tasks to strengthen your abilities in these areas. By using the reviews in conjunction with the practice tests, you will better prepare yourself for the CAHSEE itself.