# TAKS Test Taking Strategies - TAKS Tutorial by decree

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TAKS Tutorial
Test-Taking Strategies
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!
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
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.
Based on information from past
years…

You need to aim for at least
35 correct out of the 60
problems on the test. (9th
fewer than 60) to pass.
You certainly know enough
math to get a little more
than HALF the test correct!!
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.
Strategies for Multiple Choice tests:
• Read ALL of the choices
know are not correct
• Don’t keep on changing
first choice is the right one,
question
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”
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
Strategies for taking Math Tests:
and don’t forget to answer all
parts of the question
• Make estimates for your
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.
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
Strategies for taking Math Tests:
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
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
choice.
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
The set
5 A function is described by the equation of x-coordinates
You are given = 2x 2 − 5x − 3, in which y is dependent on x. If a
y
x-coordinates
to use value for the independent variable is selected from the
set {−4, −1, 0, 2, 5}, which of the following is a
corresponding dependent value?
You are looking for a y-
A 9          B −6         C −5          D 0
coordinate that goes with
one
Use the table feature of your calculator toof those given x-
You are given a function rule. Enter it     coordinates.
find the y-coordinates that go with the
above x-coordinates…

NO

NO
NO
A Match!                          NO
48 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.
48 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.
48 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.)
48 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        -15           -15          -15
22         31            43           44
-15          -15         -15          -15
7*           16          28*          29
possible
-15                      -15
possible
1                        14*
not possible                possible
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.
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.
First, I’ll match up the       It has the same
window on my                   x-intercepts and
calculator with the            the vertex
scale of this graph.           appears to be in
the same place
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             Nope, not B.
check the other answer        You cannot
choices. Do not jump          even see the
the gun—be certain!           entire graph.
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.
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.
was the correct
one.
56 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.
56 The table below shows the relationship
between x and y.
Which function best represents the
relationship between the quantities
in the table?
F
X y = 2x + 1
G y = 2x 3 + 1
H y = 2x 2 − 3
J y = 2x 2 + 4x + 1
While the
first three
ordered
pairs match,
the point
(2, 17) is not
in this table.
56 The table below shows the relationship
between x and y.
Which function best represents the
relationship between the quantities
in the table?
F
X y = 2x + 1
G y = 2x 3 + 1
H y = 2x 2 − 3
J y = 2x 2 + 4x + 1

This table
matches the
problem
table
perfectly!
56 The table below shows the relationship
between x and y.
Which function best represents the
relationship between the quantities
in the table?            To be sure, we
F
X y = 2x + 1             can check the last
G y = 2x 3 + 1           two choices.
H y = 2x 2 − 3
J y = 2x 2 + 4x + 1

Nope                            G is the correct
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
eliminate the ones
that do not make
sense.
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.
20 What are the coordinates of the x-intercept of the
function graphed below?
(4, 0)
(-3, 0)                 F (4, 0) G (−3, 0)       H
(0, 4) J (0, −3)

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.
27 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
27 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
x meters    The park is a square.
18 m
The walkway is a diagonal
and it is 18 meters long.
x meters
27 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
x meters   You can now see that you have an
18 m                  isosceles right triangle to work with. A
right triangle means that you can use
the Pythagorean Theorem. The
x meters               formula is written on the math chart if
you don’t remember what it is.

Even with the formula chart, you do need to
remember that “c” is the hypotenuse (longest
side of the right triangle).
27 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
x meters   Using the Pythagorean Theorem we
18 m                 have: x2 + x2 = 182 so
2x2 = 324      dividing by 2…
x meters                     x2 = 162      now square root
x = 12.727…

Rounded to the nearest tenth, we get 12.7
27 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
x meters   If you are taking the Exit Level (11th
18 m                  grade) test, you should also know
x meters               triangles to answer this problem, as
well.
27 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
x meters   The hypotenuse is the length of the
18 m                  shorter legs (which are the sides of the
park) multiplied by the square root of 2.
If you divide the walkway hypotenuse
x meters               by the square root of 2, you will get the
sides of the park.
57 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
that do not make sense with the
information given to you in the
problem.
57 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?
57 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)

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?
57 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
A   (−2, 3.5)
eliminate those
B   (−6.5, 11)
same options
C   (−1.5, 2.5)
looking at the y-
D   (2.5, −4)
coordinates.
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?
So, study the Code Indicators
If you do not like ours, feel free