Math Praxis 5161

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by MrCoach615, May 12, 2016.

  1. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2017

    I would not worry too much about the English because when I took the Praxis 5161 nearly all of the questions had little to no words. Yes, some had words but you don't need to focus so much on the words, but the key pieces of information given in the problem. All word problems boil down to this: Start with what you are given (initial conditions) and go to what we want (the answer). Start by writing out formulas that may be useful as well as the information given. Then try to translate the verbal model (words) into an algebraic model (equation).

    NOTE: The format of the test may have changed somewhat from when I took it. However, you can deduce how to solve the vast majority of questions from the context alone (e.g. Find lim (x -> 0) sin(x)/x or find the volume of this truncated cone with dimensions blah and blah).

    To show you what I mean, let's say they had you multiply square matrices (2x2 matrices) and fill in the entry for the product. To demonstrate, let A = [1 2; 3 4] and let B = [4 5; 6 7]. Then A*B = [1(4) + 2(6) 1(5) + 2(7); 3(4) + 4(6) 3(5) + 4(7)] or [16 19; 36 43], where the first two numbers (16 and 19) represent the numbers in the first row of 2x2 matrix AB and the second two numbers represent the numbers in the second row (36 and 43) of said matrix.

    Now, this is more than the problem can ask. They might just have you fill in maybe one or two of these entries. For example, they could have given you [16 blank; blank 43]. It remains for YOU to fill in the two blanks.

    NOTE TO MODERATORS: These are made up examples. These are not actual test questions.

    In case you were curious. The algorithm to multiply 2x2 matrices is as follows:

    [a b; c d]*[e f; g h] = [ae + bg, af+ bh; ce + dg, cf + dh]

    If you are a kinesthetic learner (i.e. learn by working with your hands) you can use your fingers to point which entries you are multiplying and it makes it easier to remember. For example, point to entries "a" and "e" with your index and middle finger and then add their product to the product of entries "b" and "g" (point to those two entries in the same fashion as before). This helps my students a lot when they learn about matrices. :)

    Edit: Try to recognize in what situations you would use certain formulas based upon the information given. Knowing when to apply the formulas is just as important as being able to use them correctly. And concerning the language barrier, math is a UNIVERSAL language. It is the same no matter what language you speak. For example, I was a math foreign exchange student to Japan twice -- once in middle school and once in high school. Both times I had absolutely no idea what the Japanese instructions were saying but I was still able to deduce what the problem wanted me to do because I recognized the math symbols and notation used in the initial problem. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  2. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2017

    The calculator can be considered a full scientific calculator but it also has graphical capabilities. Yes, it can do everything your TI-84 Plus CE can do. The difference is that you have to type in certain commands. For example, to evaluate tan(x) at x = pi/4, you would literally type "t," "a," "n," followed by "(pi/4)" and then hit evaluate or the equals button. I can't remember what the button says exactly, but it should be obvious what to click. I think you can also "click evaluate" by pressing Enter, if my memory serves.

    NOTE: There are drop-down menus that you have to navigate to and from on occasion. Make sure that you are familiar with those because if you have to use a calculator function and cannot find, then you are tough out of luck.

    NOTE: Not all of the calculator functions are under the same menu!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  3. RNSP

    RNSP Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2017

    Thanks. Yah I need ti be fast and divide well my time to be able to complete the test and make sure I will be able to answer all the questions I know correctly. I have the calculator in my computer and I kind know how it works. Khan Academy is helping me a lot with things I need to remember. I kind know most the topics there, but I need review: Polynomial factorization and reminder, probability. Limit and derivatives. CliffsNotes is very good to make us ready with what we need to know to take the test. I did the test in April and I was ready to it, I hope now I will be able to do better because I know what I can expect from the test.
    Good luck to you all and answer the questions can you? in the Study Companion in the ETS website. I let you know if I pass in the end of August.
     
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  4. Ash G

    Ash G Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2017

    Hey, the calculator does a decent amount but doesn't do as much as the TI-84. I would just download the trial version to get used to the calculator. One example is you can have some calculators do derivatives, calculate determinants, etc. but this new on screen calculator won't.


    Good job on the test because I think the Cliff Notes test is harder. If you're passing on Cliff Notes I think you should definitely pass on the regular Praxis 5161 Exam.
     
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  5. Nanagyizi

    Nanagyizi New Member

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    Aug 8, 2017

    Wow what happened here???? Mad shots fired!!! QueenBee, I know you got this. Just always look at any math problem in three ways when it comes to the test- algebraically, geometrically and analytically. It does not matter if the question is in the algebra, trig, geometry, statistics or discrete math. I t might sound pretty vague but these questions on 5161 will asked in any of these three forms. For example, a question testing for knowledge on one-to one functions will be in a form of a diagram which can be thought provoking if you are not looking in that direction. I will be hard pressed to see future math prof come to any inner city and be successful because he will be highly frustrated. The sole purpose of this site is to empower each other not to tell us what you have accomplished because most people on this site are not underachievers. The stories here of people doing this test 4 or 5 times are those stories that people want to hear and get motivated by them. Good that you had 194 your first trial but this site is not for people like you. People come here either to get hope or motivation and if you cannot provide that , then you should continue with your MENSA conference. A lot go into being a good math teacher and 5161 is just a small portion of it. For those who are struggling, remember that perseverance will almost and always take you to the promise land-160 is the same as 194 on 5161( I will let that marinate for a while)
     
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  6. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2017 at 12:12 AM

    Nanagyizi,

    Thank you for your kind words! Your point about looking at the questions algebraically, geometrically, and analytically makes perfect sense to me. I will remember to do so. Also, you are absolutely right! That was the only point I was trying to make: The site should be used to empower each other and offer advice. I'm sure everyone on here has some type of great success. I don't see anyone on here as a failure or a loser just because they didn't pass a test on the first try or they're struggling to manage their class. I try to ignore those who come on just to boast and be hateful. Especially when they actually hope and wish I don't pass the test. It must be terrible to live like that! I get happy when I see stories of people taking the test more than a few times and finally passing. Shows perseverance! Yes, a lot does go into teaching math and it goes much deeper than 5161.

    One thing's for sure: The school district or the state's Dept. of Ed. isn't going to care about a high score on the praxis exam. Wanna know why? When praxis sends a report to the department, all they see is "pass" or "no pass." The Dept. of Ed. won't get the same detailed report we receive a couple weeks after testing (the one that shows the score and the areas where we excelled or need to work on). Trust and believe the salary won't change over a praxis score.

    I make the same amount of money as the other math teachers in my district who either have a math degree or have passed 5161. ;-)

    Thank you and I will hold on to your piece of advice!
     
  7. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2017 at 12:22 AM

    Yea, my calculator does derivatives, integrals, determinants, etc. There's very little that it doesn't do.. lol! But I will definitely play with their calculator so I can get used to it and see what all it will (or won't) let me do.

    Also, thank you! You're not the first person I've heard say that the Cliff Notes questions were tougher.
     
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