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

The histogram below shows the number of pairs of footware owned by a group of college students.

Which of the following statements can be inferred from the graph above?

A

The median number of pairs of footware owned is between 50 and 60 pairs.

Hint:
The same number of data points are less than the median as are greater than the median -- but on this histogram, clearly more than half the students own less than 50 pairs of shoes, so the median is less than 50.
B

The mode of the number of pairs of footware owned is 20.

Hint:
The mode is the most common number of pairs of footwear owned. We can't tell it from this histogram because each bar represents 10 different numbers-- perhaps 8 students each own each number from 10 to 19, but 40 students own exactly 6 pairs of shoes.... or perhaps not....
C

The mean number of pairs of footware owned is less than the median number of pairs of footware owned.

Hint:
This is a right skewed distribution, and so the mean is bigger than the median -- the few large values on the right pull up the mean, but have little effect on the median.
D

The median number of pairs of footware owned is between 10 and 20.

Hint:
There are approximately 230 students represented in this survey, and the 41st through 120th lowest values are between 10 and 20 -- thus the middle value is in that range.
Question 1 Explanation: 
Topics: Analyze and interpret various graphic and data representations, and use measures of central tendency (e.g., mean, median, mode) and spread to describe and interpret real-world data (Objective 0025).
Question 2

Below is a portion of a number line:

 Point B is halfway between two tick marks.  What number is represented by Point B?

 
A
\( \large 0.645\)
Hint:
That point is marked on the line, to the right.
B
\( \large 0.6421\)
Hint:
That point is to the left of point B.
C
\( \large 0.6422\)
Hint:
That point is to the left of point B.
D
\( \large 0.6425\)
Question 2 Explanation: 
Topic: Using Number Lines (Objective 0017)
Question 3

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 3 Explanation: 
Topics: Scientific notation, exponents, simplifying fractions (Objective 0016, although overlaps with other objectives too).
Question 4

Which of the following sets of polygons can be assembled to form a pentagonal pyramid?

A

2 pentagons and 5 rectangles.

Hint:
These can be assembled to form a pentagonal prism, not a pentagonal pyramid.
B

1 square and 5 equilateral triangles.

Hint:
You need a pentagon for a pentagonal pyramid.
C

1 pentagon and 5 isosceles triangles.

D

1 pentagon and 10 isosceles triangles.

Question 4 Explanation: 
Topic:Classify and analyze three-dimensional figures using attributes of faces, edges, and vertices (Objective 0024).
Question 5

Exactly one of the numbers below is a prime number.  Which one is it?

A
\( \large511 \)
Hint:
Divisible by 7.
B
\( \large517\)
Hint:
Divisible by 11.
C
\( \large519\)
Hint:
Divisible by 3.
D
\( \large521\)
Question 5 Explanation: 
Topics: Identify prime and composite numbers and demonstrate knowledge of divisibility rules (Objective 0018).
Question 6

Which of the following nets will not fold into a cube?

A
Hint:
If you have trouble visualizing, cut them out and fold (during the test, you can tear paper to approximate).
B
C
Hint:
If you have trouble visualizing, cut them out and fold (during the test, you can tear paper to approximate).
D
Hint:
If you have trouble visualizing, cut them out and fold (during the test, you can tear paper to approximate).
Question 6 Explanation: 
Topic: Match three-dimensional figures and their two-dimensional representations (e.g., nets, projections, perspective drawings) (Objective 0024).
Question 7

Here is a method that a student used for subtraction:

Which of the following is correct?

A

The student used a method that worked for this problem and can be generalized to any subtraction problem.

Hint:
Note that this algorithm is taught as the "standard" algorithm in much of Europe (it's where the term "borrowing" came from -- you borrow on top and "pay back" on the bottom).
B

The student used a method that worked for this problem and that will work for any subtraction problem that only requires one regrouping; it will not work if more regrouping is required.

Hint:
Try some more examples.
C

The student used a method that worked for this problem and will work for all three-digit subtraction problems, but will not work for larger problems.

Hint:
Try some more examples.
D

The student used a method that does not work. The student made two mistakes that cancelled each other out and was lucky to get the right answer for this problem.

Hint:
Remember, there are many ways to do subtraction; there is no one "right" algorithm.
Question 7 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze and justify standard and non-standard computational techniques (Objective 0019).
Question 8

A teacher has a list of all the countries in the world and their populations in March 2012.  She is going to have her students use technology to compute the mean and median of the numbers on the list.   Which of the following statements is true?

A

The teacher can be sure that the mean and median will be the same without doing any computation.

Hint:
Does this make sense? How likely is it that the mean and median of any large data set will be the same?
B

The teacher can be sure that the mean is bigger than the median without doing any computation.

Hint:
This is a skewed distribution, and very large countries like China and India contribute huge numbers to the mean, but are counted the same as small countries like Luxembourg in the median (the same thing happens w/data on salaries, where a few very high income people tilt the mean -- that's why such data is usually reported as medians).
C

The teacher can be sure that the median is bigger than the mean without doing any computation.

Hint:
Think about a set of numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, 10,000 -- how do the mean/median compare? How might that relate to countries of the world?
D

There is no way for the teacher to know the relative size of the mean and median without computing them.

Hint:
Knowing the shape of the distribution of populations does give us enough info to know the relative size of the mean and median, even without computing them.
Question 8 Explanation: 
Topic: Use measures of central tendency (e.g., mean, median, mode) and spread to describe and interpret real-world data (Objective 0025).
Question 9

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 9 Explanation: 
Topic: Find a linear equation that represents a graph (Objective 0022).
Question 10

Use the graph below to answer the question that follows:

 

The graph above best matches which of the following scenarios:

A

George left home at 10:00 and drove to work on a crooked path. He was stopped in traffic at 10:30 and 10:45. He drove 30 miles total.

Hint:
Just because he ended up 30 miles from home doesn't mean he drove 30 miles total.
B

George drove to work. On the way to work there is a little hill and a big hill. He slowed down for them. He made it to work at 11:15.

Hint:
The graph is not a picture of the roads.
C

George left home at 10:15. He drove 10 miles, then realized he‘d forgotten something at home. He turned back and got what he‘d forgotten. Then he drove in a straight line, at many different speeds, until he got to work around 11:15.

Hint:
A straight line on a distance versus time graph means constant speed.
D

George left home at 10:15. He drove 10 miles, then realized he‘d forgotten something at home. He turned back and got what he‘d forgotten. Then he drove at a constant speed until he got to work around 11:15.

Question 10 Explanation: 
Topic: Use qualitative graphs to represent functional relationships in the real world (Objective 0021).
Question 11

Use the graph below to answer the question that follows.

 

Which of the following is a correct equation for the graph of the line depicted above?

 
A
\( \large y=-\dfrac{1}{2}x+2\)
Hint:
The slope is -1/2 and the y-intercept is 2. You can also try just plugging in points. For example, this is the only choice that gives y=1 when x=2.
B
\( \large 4x=2y\)
Hint:
This line goes through (0,0); the graph above does not.
C
\( \large y=x+2\)
Hint:
The line pictured has negative slope.
D
\( \large y=-x+2\)
Hint:
Try plugging x=4 into this equation and see if that point is on the graph above.
Question 11 Explanation: 
Topic: Find a linear equation that represents a graph (Objective 0022).
Question 12

Here is a student€™s work on several multiplication problems:

For which of the following problems is this student most likely to get the correct solution, even though he is using an incorrect algorithm?

A

58 x 22

Hint:
This problem involves regrouping, which the student does not do correctly.
B

16 x 24

Hint:
This problem involves regrouping, which the student does not do correctly.
C

31 x 23

Hint:
There is no regrouping with this problem.
D

141 x 32

Hint:
This problem involves regrouping, which the student does not do correctly.
Question 12 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze computational algorithms (Objective 0019).
Question 13

Here are some statements:

I) 5 is an integer    II)\( -5 \)  is an integer    III) \(0\) is an integer

Which of the statements are true?

A

I only

B

I and II only

C

I and III only

D

I, II, and III

Hint:
The integers are ...-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ....
Question 13 Explanation: 
Topic: Characteristics of Integers (Objective 0016)
Question 14

A map has a scale of 3 inches = 100 miles.  Cities A and B are 753 miles apart.  Let d be the distance between the two cities on the map.  Which of the following is not correct?

A
\( \large \dfrac{3}{100}=\dfrac{d}{753}\)
Hint:
Units on both side are inches/mile, and both numerators and denominators correspond -- this one is correct.
B
\( \large \dfrac{3}{100}=\dfrac{753}{d}\)
Hint:
Unit on the left is inches per mile, and on the right is miles per inch. The proportion is set up incorrectly (which is what we wanted). Another strategy is to notice that one of A or B has to be the answer because they cannot both be correct proportions. Then check that cross multiplying on A gives part D, so B is the one that is different from the other 3.
C
\( \large \dfrac{3}{d}=\dfrac{100}{753}\)
Hint:
Unitless on each side, as inches cancel on the left and miles on the right. Numerators correspond to the map, and denominators to the real life distances -- this one is correct.
D
\( \large 100d=3\cdot 753\)
Hint:
This is equivalent to part A.
Question 14 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze the relationships among proportions, constant rates, and linear functions (Objective 0022).
Question 15

Taxicab fares in Boston (Spring 2012) are $2.60 for the first \(\dfrac{1}{7}\) of a mile or less and $0.40 for each \(\dfrac{1}{7}\) of a mile after that.

Let d represent the distance a passenger travels in miles (with \(d>\dfrac{1}{7}\)). Which of the following expressions represents the total fare?

A
\( \large \$2.60+\$0.40d\)
Hint:
It's 40 cents for 1/7 of a mile, not per mile.
B
\( \large \$2.60+\$0.40\dfrac{d}{7}\)
Hint:
According to this equation, going 7 miles would cost $3; does that make sense?
C
\( \large \$2.20+\$2.80d\)
Hint:
You can think of the fare as $2.20 to enter the cab, and then $0.40 for each 1/7 of a mile, including the first 1/7 of a mile (or $2.80 per mile).

Alternatively, you pay $2.60 for the first 1/7 of a mile, and then $2.80 per mile for d-1/7 miles. The total is 2.60+2.80(d-1/7) = 2.60+ 2.80d -.40 = 2.20+2.80d.
D
\( \large \$2.60+\$2.80d\)
Hint:
Don't count the first 1/7 of a mile twice.
Question 15 Explanation: 
Topic: Identify variables and derive algebraic expressions that represent real-world situations (Objective 0020), and select the linear equation that best models a real-world situation (Objective 0022).
Question 16

Use the solution procedure below to answer the question that follows:

\( \large {\left( x+3 \right)}^{2}=10\)

\( \large \left( x+3 \right)\left( x+3 \right)=10\)

\( \large {x}^{2}+9=10\)

\( \large {x}^{2}+9-9=10-9\)

\( \large {x}^{2}=1\)

\( \large x=1\text{ or }x=-1\)

Which of the following is incorrect in the procedure shown above?

A

The commutative property is used incorrectly.

Hint:
The commutative property is \(a+b=b+a\) or \(ab=ba\).
B

The associative property is used incorrectly.

Hint:
The associative property is \(a+(b+c)=(a+b)+c\) or \(a \times (b \times c)=(a \times b) \times c\).
C

Order of operations is done incorrectly.

D

The distributive property is used incorrectly.

Hint:
\((x+3)(x+3)=x(x+3)+3(x+3)\)=\(x^2+3x+3x+9.\)
Question 16 Explanation: 
Topic: Justify algebraic manipulations by application of the properties of equality, the order of operations, the number properties, and the order properties (Objective 0020).
Question 17

Which of the lists below is in order from least to greatest value?

A
\( \large \dfrac{1}{2},\quad \dfrac{1}{3},\quad \dfrac{1}{4},\quad \dfrac{1}{5}\)
Hint:
This is ordered from greatest to least.
B
\( \large \dfrac{1}{3},\quad \dfrac{2}{7},\quad \dfrac{3}{8},\quad \dfrac{4}{11}\)
Hint:
1/3 = 2/6 is bigger than 2/7.
C
\( \large \dfrac{1}{4},\quad \dfrac{2}{5},\quad \dfrac{2}{3},\quad \dfrac{4}{5}\)
Hint:
One way to look at this: 1/4 and 2/5 are both less than 1/2, and 2/3 and 4/5 are both greater than 1/2. 1/4 is 25% and 2/5 is 40%, so 2/5 is greater. The distance from 2/3 to 1 is 1/3 and from 4/5 to 1 is 1/5, and 1/5 is less than 1/3, so 4/5 is bigger.
D
\( \large \dfrac{7}{8},\quad \dfrac{6}{7},\quad \dfrac{5}{6},\quad \dfrac{4}{5}\)
Hint:
This is in order from greatest to least.
Question 17 Explanation: 
Topic: Ordering Fractions (Objective 0017)
Question 18

Which of the following is equal to one million three hundred thousand?

A
\(\large1.3\times {{10}^{6}}\)
B
\(\large1.3\times {{10}^{9}}\)
Hint:
That's one billion three hundred million.
C
\(\large1.03\times {{10}^{6}}\)
Hint:
That's one million thirty thousand.
D
\(\large1.03\times {{10}^{9}}\)
Hint:
That's one billion thirty million
Question 18 Explanation: 
Topic: Scientific Notation (Objective 0016)
Question 19

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 19 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 20

Use the samples of a student€™s work below to answer the question that follows:

This student divides fractions by first finding a common denominator, then dividing the numerators.

\( \large \dfrac{2}{3} \div \dfrac{3}{4} \longrightarrow \dfrac{8}{12} \div \dfrac{9}{12} \longrightarrow 8 \div 9 = \dfrac {8}{9}\)

\( \large \dfrac{2}{5} \div \dfrac{7}{20} \longrightarrow \dfrac{8}{20} \div \dfrac{7}{20} \longrightarrow 8 \div 7 = \dfrac {8}{7}\)

\( \large \dfrac{7}{6} \div \dfrac{3}{4} \longrightarrow \dfrac{14}{12} \div \dfrac{9}{12} \longrightarrow 14 \div 9 = \dfrac {14}{9}\)

Which of the following best describes the mathematical validity of the algorithm the student is using?

A

It is not valid. Common denominators are for adding and subtracting fractions, not for dividing them.

Hint:
Don't be so rigid! Usually there's more than one way to do something in math.
B

It got the right answer in these three cases, but it isn‘t valid for all rational numbers.

Hint:
Did you try some other examples? What makes you say it's not valid?
C

It is valid if the rational numbers in the division problem are in lowest terms and the divisor is not zero.

Hint:
Lowest terms doesn't affect this problem at all.
D

It is valid for all rational numbers, as long as the divisor is not zero.

Hint:
When we have common denominators, the problem is in the form a/b divided by c/b, and the answer is a/c, as the student's algorithm predicts.
Question 20 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze Non-Standard Computational Algorithms (Objective 0019).
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect. Get Results
There are 20 questions to complete.
List
Return
Shaded items are complete.
12345
678910
1112131415
1617181920
End
Return

If you found a mistake or have comments on a particular question, please contact me (please copy and paste at least part of the question into the form, as the numbers change depending on how quizzes are displayed).   General comments can be left here.