What Do I Need to Know for High School Math Proficiency?

By Maria OCadiz
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The high school math proficiency test assesses a student’s level of competency by their ability to apply concepts to solve mathematical problems. It gauges whether a student has attained mastery of all the knowledge and skills necessary for him to graduate from high school. The proficiency test aids in attaining a standard diploma and is a positive reflection in college and employment applications. The test has both multiple choice and open-ended questions and focuses on four sections of mathematics.

Number and Numerical Operations

Numbers represent the cornerstone of mathematical operations. To gauge your math proficiency, the test assesses three areas; number sense, numerical operations and estimation. Number sense deals with your understanding of numbers, fractions, decimals and their interactions with each other. Numerical operations include the use of mathematical formulas such as subtraction, multiplication, division, and addition in problems involving numbers, fraction and decimals. Estimation tests whether you can apply mathematical concepts and operations to make an intelligent assessment of a mathematical problem.

Geometry and Measurement

The exam also tests your understanding of geometric shapes and their properties. It gauges your understanding of transformations that affect geometric shapes such as reflections and translations. The test examines the relationship between geometry and algebra under coordinate geometry. You must also have an understanding of the various types of units of measurement, for example: liters, kilograms, meters. You must also know how to use formulas to solve measurement problems.

Patterns and Algebra

Algebra is the mathematical language of symbols and patterns. The mathematics proficiency exam tests your ability to calculate sequences using algebraic formulas. It assesses your ability to evaluate quantitative relationships and identify patterns present in numbers and expressions. The problems presented in the algebra section require you to solve equations that deal with algebraic concepts and functions. Open- ended questions may present real situations where you use algebra to solve mathematical problems in the question.

Data Analysis and Discrete Mathematics

Data analysis, probability, statistics and discrete mathematics fall under applied mathematics. Data analysis assesses whether you can analyze and interpret data. The test may contain charts, graphs and tables with information which you analyze to solve a mathematical problem. Probability mathematics assess your capability to solve problems involving compound events and samples. Discrete mathematics tests your ability to interpret quantitative data, for example, listing routes from one point on a map to another.

About the Author

Maria OCadiz has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in Education. She is a former university professor, curriculum facilitator and teacher.