Hints will display for most wrong answers; explanations for most right answers.   You can attempt a question multiple times; it will only be scored correct if you get it right the first time.

I used the official objectives and sample test to construct these questions, but cannot promise that they accurately reflect what’s on the real test.   Some of the sample questions were more convoluted than I could bear to write.   See terms of use.   See the MTEL Practice Test main page to view questions on a particular topic or to download paper practice tests.

MTEL General Curriculum Mathematics Practice


Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1

A family went on a long car trip.  Below is a graph of how far they had driven at each hour.

Which of the following is closest to their average speed driving on the trip?

 
A
\( \large d=20t\)
Hint:
Try plugging t=7 into the equation, and see how it matches the graph.
B
\( \large d=30t\)
Hint:
Try plugging t=7 into the equation, and see how it matches the graph.
C
\( \large d=40t\)
D
\( \large d=50t\)
Hint:
Try plugging t=7 into the equation, and see how it matches the graph.
Question 1 Explanation: 
Topic: Select the linear equation that best models a real-world situation (Objective 0022).
Question 2

A family on vacation drove the first 200 miles in 4 hours and the second 200 miles in 5 hours.  Which expression below gives their average speed for the entire trip?

A
\( \large \dfrac{200+200}{4+5}\)
Hint:
Average speed is total distance divided by total time.
B
\( \large \left( \dfrac{200}{4}+\dfrac{200}{5} \right)\div 2\)
Hint:
This seems logical, but the problem is that it weights the first 4 hours and the second 5 hours equally, when each hour should get the same weight in computing the average speed.
C
\( \large \dfrac{200}{4}+\dfrac{200}{5} \)
Hint:
This would be an average of 90 miles per hour!
D
\( \large \dfrac{400}{4}+\dfrac{400}{5} \)
Hint:
This would be an average of 180 miles per hour! Even a family of race car drivers probably doesn't have that average speed on a vacation!
Question 2 Explanation: 
Topic: Solve a variety of measurement problems (e.g., time, temperature, rates, average rates of change) in real-world situations (Objective 0023).
Question 3

Which of the numbers below is the decimal equivalent of \( \dfrac{3}{8}?\)

A

0.38

Hint:
If you are just writing the numerator next to the denominator then your technique is way off, but by coincidence your answer is close; try with 2/3 and 0.23 is nowhere near correct.
B

0.125

Hint:
This is 1/8, not 3/8.
C

0.375

D

0.83

Hint:
3/8 is less than a half, and 0.83 is more than a half, so they can't be equal.
Question 3 Explanation: 
Topic: Converting between fractions and decimals (Objective 0017)
Question 4

What is the perimeter of a right triangle with legs of lengths x and 2x?

A
\( \large 6x\)
Hint:
Use the Pythagorean Theorem.
B
\( \large 3x+5{{x}^{2}}\)
Hint:
Don't forget to take square roots when you use the Pythagorean Theorem.
C
\( \large 3x+\sqrt{5}{{x}^{2}}\)
Hint:
\(\sqrt {5 x^2}\) is not \(\sqrt {5}x^2\).
D
\( \large 3x+\sqrt{5}{{x}^{{}}}\)
Hint:
To find the hypotenuse, h, use the Pythagorean Theorem: \(x^2+(2x)^2=h^2.\) \(5x^2=h^2,h=\sqrt{5}x\). The perimeter is this plus x plus 2x.
Question 4 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and apply connections between algebra and geometry (e.g., the use of coordinate systems, the Pythagorean theorem) (Objective 0024).
Question 5

Use the graph below to answer the question that follows:

The graph above represents the equation \( \large 3x+Ay=B\), where A and B are integers.  What are the values of A and B?

A
\( \large A = -2, B= 6\)
Hint:
Plug in (2,0) to get B=6, then plug in (0,-3) to get A=-2.
B
\( \large A = 2, B = 6\)
Hint:
Try plugging (0,-3) into this equation.
C
\( \large A = -1.5, B=-3\)
Hint:
The problem said that A and B were integers and -1.5 is not an integer. Don't try to use slope-intercept form.
D
\( \large A = 2, B = -3\)
Hint:
Try plugging (2,0) into this equation.
Question 5 Explanation: 
Topic: Find a linear equation that represents a graph (Objective 0022).
Question 6

Each individual cube that makes up the rectangular solid depicted below has 6 inch sides.  What is the surface area of the solid in square feet?

 
A
\( \large 11\text{ f}{{\text{t}}^{2}}\)
Hint:
Check your units and make sure you're using feet and inches consistently.
B
\( \large 16.5\text{ f}{{\text{t}}^{2}}\)
Hint:
Each square has surface area \(\dfrac{1}{2} \times \dfrac {1}{2}=\dfrac {1}{4}\) sq feet. There are 9 squares on the top and bottom, and 12 on each of 4 sides, for a total of 66 squares. 66 squares \(\times \dfrac {1}{4}\) sq feet/square =16.5 sq feet.
C
\( \large 66\text{ f}{{\text{t}}^{2}}\)
Hint:
The area of each square is not 1.
D
\( \large 2376\text{ f}{{\text{t}}^{2}}\)
Hint:
Read the question more carefully -- the answer is supposed to be in sq feet, not sq inches.
Question 6 Explanation: 
Topics: Use unit conversions to solve measurement problems, and derive and use formulas for calculating surface areas of geometric shapes and figures (Objective 0023).
Question 7

Use the graph below to answer the question that follows.

If the polygon shown above is reflected about the y axis and then rotated 90 degrees clockwise about the origin, which of the following graphs is the result?

A
Hint:
Try following the point (1,4) to see where it goes after each transformation.
B
C
Hint:
Make sure you're reflecting in the correct axis.
D
Hint:
Make sure you're rotating the correct direction.
Question 7 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze and apply geometric transformations (e.g., translations, rotations, reflections, dilations); relate them to concepts of symmetry, similarity, and congruence; and use these concepts to solve problems (Objective 0024).
Question 8

Which of the following is the equation of a linear function?

A
\( \large y={{x}^{2}}+2x+7\)
Hint:
This is a quadratic function.
B
\( \large y={{2}^{x}}\)
Hint:
This is an exponential function.
C
\( \large y=\dfrac{15}{x}\)
Hint:
This is an inverse function.
D
\( \large y=x+(x+4)\)
Hint:
This is a linear function, y=2x+4, it's graph is a straight line with slope 2 and y-intercept 4.
Question 8 Explanation: 
Topic: Distinguish between linear and nonlinear functions (Objective 0022).
Question 9

Cell phone plan A charges $3 per month plus $0.10 per minute. Cell phone plan B charges $29.99 per month, with no fee for the first 400 minutes and then $0.20 for each additional minute.

Which equation can be used to solve for the number of minutes, m (with m>400) that a person would have to spend on the phone each month in order for the bills for plan A and plan B to be equal?

A
\( \large 3.10m=400+0.2m\)
Hint:
These are the numbers in the problem, but this equation doesn't make sense. If you don't know how to make an equation, try plugging in an easy number like m=500 minutes to see if each side equals what it should.
B
\( \large 3+0.1m=29.99+.20m\)
Hint:
Doesn't account for the 400 free minutes.
C
\( \large 3+0.1m=400+29.99+.20(m-400)\)
Hint:
Why would you add 400 minutes and $29.99? If you don't know how to make an equation, try plugging in an easy number like m=500 minutes to see if each side equals what it should.
D
\( \large 3+0.1m=29.99+.20(m-400)\)
Hint:
The left side is $3 plus $0.10 times the number of minutes. The right is $29.99 plus $0.20 times the number of minutes over 400.
Question 9 Explanation: 
Identify variables and derive algebraic expressions that represent real-world situations (Objective 0020).
Question 10

A biology class requires a lab fee, which is a whole number of dollars, and the same amount for all students. On Monday the instructor collected $70 in fees, on Tuesday she collected $126, and on Wednesday she collected $266. What is the largest possible amount the fee could be?

A

$2

Hint:
A possible fee, but not the largest possible fee. Check the other choices to see which are factors of all three numbers.
B

$7

Hint:
A possible fee, but not the largest possible fee. Check the other choices to see which are factors of all three numbers.
C

$14

Hint:
This is the greatest common factor of 70, 126, and 266.
D

$70

Hint:
Not a factor of 126 or 266, so couldn't be correct.
Question 10 Explanation: 
Topic: Use GCF in real-world context (Objective 0018)
Question 11

Use the expression below to answer the question that follows:

                 \( \large \dfrac{\left( 7,154 \right)\times \left( 896 \right)}{216}\)

Which of the following is the best estimate of the expression above?

A

2,000

Hint:
The answer is bigger than 7,000.
B

20,000

Hint:
Estimate 896/216 first.
C

3,000

Hint:
The answer is bigger than 7,000.
D

30,000

Hint:
\( \dfrac{896}{216} \approx 4\) and \(7154 \times 4\) is over 28,000, so this answer is closest.
Question 11 Explanation: 
Topics: Estimation, simplifying fractions (Objective 0016, overlaps with other objectives).
Question 12

What is the length of side \(\overline{BD}\) in the triangle below, where \(\angle DBA\) is a right angle?

A
\( \large 1\)
Hint:
Use the Pythagorean Theorem.
B
\( \large \sqrt{5}\)
Hint:
\(2^2+e^2=3^2\) or \(4+e^2=9;e^2=5; e=\sqrt{5}\).
C
\( \large \sqrt{13}\)
Hint:
e is not the hypotenuse.
D
\( \large 5\)
Hint:
Use the Pythagorean Theorem.
Question 12 Explanation: 
Topic: Derive and use formulas for calculating the lengths, perimeters, areas, volumes, and surface areas of geometric shapes and figures (Objective 0023), and recognize and apply connections between algebra and geometry (e.g., the use of coordinate systems, the Pythagorean theorem) (Objective 0024).
Question 13

There are 15 students for every teacher.  Let t represent the number of teachers and let s represent the number of students.  Which of the following equations is correct?

A
\( \large t=s+15\)
Hint:
When there are 2 teachers, how many students should there be? Do those values satisfy this equation?
B
\( \large s=t+15\)
Hint:
When there are 2 teachers, how many students should there be? Do those values satisfy this equation?
C
\( \large t=15s\)
Hint:
This is a really easy mistake to make, which comes from transcribing directly from English, "1 teachers equals 15 students." To see that it's wrong, plug in s=2; do you really need 30 teachers for 2 students? To avoid this mistake, insert the word "number," "Number of teachers equals 15 times number of students" is more clearly problematic.
D
\( \large s=15t\)
Question 13 Explanation: 
Topic: Select the linear equation that best models a real-world situation (Objective 0022).
Question 14

The column below consists of two cubes and a cylinder.  The cylinder has diameter y, which is also the length of the sides of each cube.   The total height of the column is 5y.  Which of the formulas below gives the volume of the column?

 
A
\( \large 2{{y}^{3}}+\dfrac{3\pi {{y}^{3}}}{4}\)
Hint:
The cubes each have volume \(y^3\). The cylinder has radius \(\dfrac{y}{2}\) and height \(3y\). The volume of a cylinder is \(\pi r^2 h=\pi ({\dfrac{y}{2}})^2(3y)=\dfrac{3\pi {{y}^{3}}}{4}\). Note that the volume of a cylinder is analogous to that of a prism -- area of the base times height.
B
\( \large 2{{y}^{3}}+3\pi {{y}^{3}}\)
Hint:
y is the diameter of the circle, not the radius.
C
\( \large {{y}^{3}}+5\pi {{y}^{3}}\)
Hint:
Don't forget to count both cubes.
D
\( \large 2{{y}^{3}}+\dfrac{3\pi {{y}^{3}}}{8}\)
Hint:
Make sure you know how to find the volume of a cylinder.
Question 14 Explanation: 
Topic: Derive and use formulas for calculating the lengths, perimeters, areas, volumes, and surface areas of geometric shapes and figures (Objective 0023).
Question 15

Use the expression below to answer the question that follows.

                 \( \large \dfrac{\left( 4\times {{10}^{3}} \right)\times \left( 3\times {{10}^{4}} \right)}{6\times {{10}^{6}}}\)

Which of the following is equivalent to the expression above?

A

2

Hint:
\(10^3 \times 10^4=10^7\), and note that if you're guessing when the answers are so closely related, you're generally better off guessing one of the middle numbers.
B

20

Hint:
\( \dfrac{\left( 4\times {{10}^{3}} \right)\times \left( 3\times {{10}^{4}} \right)}{6\times {{10}^{6}}}=\dfrac {12 \times {{10}^{7}}}{6\times {{10}^{6}}}=\)\(2 \times {{10}^{1}}=20 \)
C

200

Hint:
\(10^3 \times 10^4=10^7\)
D

2000

Hint:
\(10^3 \times 10^4=10^7\), and note that if you're guessing when the answers are so closely related, you're generally better off guessing one of the middle numbers.
Question 15 Explanation: 
Topics: Scientific notation, exponents, simplifying fractions (Objective 0016, although overlaps with other objectives too).
Question 16

Here is a number trick:

 1) Pick a whole number

 2) Double your number.

 3) Add 20 to the above result.

 4) Multiply the above by 5

 5) Subtract 100

 6) Divide by 10

The result is always the number that you started with! Suppose you start by picking N. Which of the equations below best demonstrates that the result after Step 6 is also N?

A
\( \large N*2+20*5-100\div 10=N\)
Hint:
Use parentheses or else order of operations is off.
B
\( \large \left( \left( 2*N+20 \right)*5-100 \right)\div 10=N\)
C
\( \large \left( N+N+20 \right)*5-100\div 10=N\)
Hint:
With this answer you would subtract 10, instead of subtracting 100 and then dividing by 10.
D
\( \large \left( \left( \left( N\div 10 \right)-100 \right)*5+20 \right)*2=N\)
Hint:
This answer is quite backwards.
Question 16 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and apply the concepts of variable, function, equality, and equation to express relationships algebraically (Objective 0020).
Question 17

If  x  is an integer, which of the following must also be an integer?

A
\( \large \dfrac{x}{2}\)
Hint:
If x is odd, then \( \dfrac{x}{2} \) is not an integer, e.g. 3/2 = 1.5.
B
\( \large \dfrac{2}{x}\)
Hint:
Only an integer if x = -2, -1, 1, or 2.
C
\( \large-x\)
Hint:
-1 times any integer is still an integer.
D
\(\large\sqrt{x}\)
Hint:
Usually not an integer, e.g. \( \sqrt{2} \approx 1.414 \).
Question 17 Explanation: 
Topic: Integers (Objective 0016)
Question 18

Use the expression below to answer the question that follows.

                 \(\large \dfrac{\left( 155 \right)\times \left( 6,124 \right)}{977}\)

Which of the following is the best estimate of the expression above?

A

100

Hint:
6124/977 is approximately 6.
B

200

Hint:
6124/977 is approximately 6.
C

1,000

Hint:
6124/977 is approximately 6. 155 is approximately 150, and \( 6 \times 150 = 3 \times 300 = 900\), so this answer is closest.
D

2,000

Hint:
6124/977 is approximately 6.
Question 18 Explanation: 
Topics: Estimation, simplifying fractions (Objective 0016).
Question 19

Which of the following is closest to the height of a college student in centimeters?

A

1.6 cm

Hint:
This is more the height of a Lego toy college student -- less than an inch!
B

16 cm

Hint:
Less than knee high on most college students.
C

160 cm

Hint:
Remember, a meter stick (a little bigger than a yard stick) is 100 cm. Also good to know is that 4 inches is approximately 10 cm.
D

1600 cm

Hint:
This college student might be taller than some campus buildings!
Question 19 Explanation: 
Topic: Estimate and calculate measurements using customary, metric, and nonstandard units of measurement (Objective 0023).
Question 20

Which of the following is an irrational number?

A
\( \large \sqrt[3]{8}\)
Hint:
This answer is the cube root of 8. Since 2 x 2 x 2 =8, this is equal to 2, which is rational because 2 = 2/1.
B
\( \large \sqrt{8}\)
Hint:
It is not trivial to prove that this is irrational, but you can get this answer by eliminating the other choices.
C
\( \large \dfrac{1}{8}\)
Hint:
1/8 is the RATIO of two integers, so it is rational.
D
\( \large -8\)
Hint:
Negative integers are also rational, -8 = -8/1, a ratio of integers.
Question 20 Explanation: 
Topic: Identifying rational and irrational numbers (Objective 0016).
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