20 Random Questions

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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


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Question 1

Use the expression below to answer the question that follows.

      \( \large 3\times {{10}^{4}}+2.2\times {{10}^{2}}\)

Which of the following is closest to the expression above?

A

Five million

Hint:
Pay attention to the exponents. Adding 3 and 2 doesn't work because they have different place values.
B

Fifty thousand

Hint:
Pay attention to the exponents. Adding 3 and 2 doesn't work because they have different place values.
C

Three million

Hint:
Don't add the exponents.
D

Thirty thousand

Hint:
\( 3\times {{10}^{4}} = 30,000;\) the other term is much smaller and doesn't change the estimate.
Question 1 Explanation: 
Topics: Place value, scientific notation, estimation (Objective 0016)
Question 2

Use the table below to answer the question that follows:

Each number in the table above represents a value W that is determined by the values of x and y.  For example, when x=3 and y=1, W=5.  What is the value of W when x=9 and y=14?  Assume that the patterns in the table continue as shown.

A
\( \large W=-5\)
Hint:
When y is even, W is even.
B
\( \large W=4\)
Hint:
Note that when x increases by 1, W increases by 2, and when y increases by 1, W decreases by 1. At x=y=0, W=0, so at x=9, y=14, W has increased by \(9 \times 2\) and decreased by 14, or W=18-14=4.
C
\( \large W=6\)
Hint:
Try fixing x or y at 0, and start by finding W for x=0 y=14 or x=9, y=0.
D
\( \large W=32\)
Hint:
Try fixing x or y at 0, and start by finding W for x=0 y=14 or x=9, y=0.
Question 2 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and extend patterns using a variety of representations (e.g., verbal, numeric, pictorial, algebraic) (Objective 0021)
Question 3

The letters A, B, and C represent digits (possibly equal) in the twelve digit number x=111,111,111,ABC.  For which values of A, B, and C is x divisible by 40?

A
\( \large A = 3, B = 2, C=0\)
Hint:
Note that it doesn't matter what the first 9 digits are, since 1000 is divisible by 40, so DEF,GHI,JKL,000 is divisible by 40 - we need to check the last 3.
B
\( \large A = 0, B = 0, C=4\)
Hint:
Not divisible by 10, since it doesn't end in 0.
C
\( \large A = 4, B = 2, C=0\)
Hint:
Divisible by 10 and by 4, but not by 40, as it's not divisible by 8. Look at 40 as the product of powers of primes -- 8 x 5, and check each. To check 8, either check whether 420 is divisible by 8, or take ones place + twice tens place + 4 * hundreds place = 18, which is not divisible by 8.
D
\( \large A =1, B=0, C=0\)
Hint:
Divisible by 10 and by 4, but not by 40, as it's not divisible by 8. Look at 40 as the product of powers of primes -- 8 x 5, and check each. To check 8, either check whether 100 is divisible by 8, or take ones place + twice tens place + 4 * hundreds place = 4, which is not divisible by 8.
Question 3 Explanation: 
Topic: Understand divisibility rules and why they work (Objective 018).
Question 4

The “houses” below are made of toothpicks and gum drops.

How many toothpicks are there in a row of 53 houses?

A

212

Hint:
Can the number of toothpicks be even?
B

213

Hint:
One way to see this is that every new "house" adds 4 toothpicks to the leftmost vertical toothpick -- so the total number is 1 plus 4 times the number of "houses." There are many other ways to look at the problem too.
C

217

Hint:
Try your strategy with a smaller number of "houses" so you can count and find your mistake.
D

265

Hint:
Remember that the "houses" overlap some walls.
Question 4 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and extend patterns using a variety of representations (e.g., verbal, numeric, pictorial, algebraic). (Objective 0021).
Question 5

What is the mathematical name of the three-dimensional polyhedron depicted below?

A

Tetrahedron

Hint:
All the faces of a tetrahedron are triangles.
B

Triangular Prism

Hint:
A prism has two congruent, parallel bases, connected by parallelograms (since this is a right prism, the parallelograms are rectangles).
C

Triangular Pyramid

Hint:
A pyramid has one base, not two.
D

Trigon

Hint:
A trigon is a triangle (this is not a common term).
Question 5 Explanation: 
Topic: Classify and analyze three-dimensional figures using attributes of faces, edges, and vertices (Objective 0024).
Question 6

A sales companies pays its representatives $2 for each item sold, plus 40% of the price of the item.   The rest of the money that the representatives collect goes to the company.  All transactions are in cash, and all items cost $4 or more.   If the price of an item in dollars is p, which expression represents the amount of money the company collects when the item is sold?

A
\( \large \dfrac{3}{5}p-2\)
Hint:
The company gets 3/5=60% of the price, minus the $2 per item.
B
\( \large \dfrac{3}{5}\left( p-2 \right)\)
Hint:
This is sensible, but not what the problem states.
C
\( \large \dfrac{2}{5}p+2\)
Hint:
The company pays the extra $2; it doesn't collect it.
D
\( \large \dfrac{2}{5}p-2\)
Hint:
This has the company getting 2/5 = 40% of the price of each item, but that's what the representative gets.
Question 6 Explanation: 
Topic: Use algebra to solve word problems involving fractions, ratios, proportions, and percents (Objective 0020).
Question 7

Which of the lines depicted below is a graph of \( \large y=2x-5\)?

A

a

Hint:
The slope of line a is negative.
B

b

Hint:
Wrong slope and wrong intercept.
C

c

Hint:
The intercept of line c is positive.
D

d

Hint:
Slope is 2 -- for every increase of 1 in x, y increases by 2. Intercept is -5 -- the point (0,-5) is on the line.
Question 7 Explanation: 
Topic: Find a linear equation that represents a graph (Objective 0022).
Question 8

What fraction of the area of the picture below is shaded?

A
\( \large \dfrac{17}{24}\)
Hint:
You might try adding segments so each quadrant is divided into 6 pieces with equal area -- there will be 24 regions, not all the same shape, but all the same area, with 17 of them shaded (for the top left quarter, you could also first change the diagonal line to a horizontal or vertical line that divides the square in two equal pieces and shade one) .
B
\( \large \dfrac{3}{4}\)
Hint:
Be sure you're taking into account the different sizes of the pieces.
C
\( \large \dfrac{2}{3}\)
Hint:
The bottom half of the picture is 2/3 shaded, and the top half is more than 2/3 shaded, so this answer is too small.
D
\( \large \dfrac{17}{6} \)
Hint:
This answer is bigger than 1, so doesn't make any sense. Be sure you are using the whole picture, not one quadrant, as the unit.
Question 8 Explanation: 
Topic: Models of Fractions (Objective 0017)
Question 9

The Venn Diagram below gives data on the number of seniors, athletes, and vegetarians in the student body at a college:

How many students at the college are seniors who are not vegetarians?

A
\( \large 137\)
Hint:
Doesn't include the senior athletes who are not vegetarians.
B
\( \large 167\)
C
\( \large 197\)
Hint:
That's all seniors, including vegetarians.
D
\( \large 279\)
Hint:
Includes all athletes who are not vegetarians, some of whom are not seniors.
Question 9 Explanation: 
Topic: Venn Diagrams (Objective 0025)
Question 10

Elena is going to use a calculator to check whether or not 267 is prime. She will pick certain divisors, and then find 267 divided by each, and see if she gets a whole number. If she never gets a whole number, then she’s found a prime. Which numbers does Elena NEED to check before she can stop checking and be sure she has a prime?

A

All natural numbers from 2 to 266.

Hint:
She only needs to check primes -- checking the prime factors of any composite is enough to look for divisors. As a test taking strategy, the other three choices involve primes, so worth thinking about.
B

All primes from 2 to 266 .

Hint:
Remember, factors come in pairs (except for square root factors), so she would first find the smaller of the pair and wouldn't need to check the larger.
C

All primes from 2 to 133 .

Hint:
She doesn't need to check this high. Factors come in pairs, and something over 100 is going to be paired with something less than 3, so she will find that earlier.
D

All primes from \( \large 2\) to \( \large \sqrt{267}\).

Hint:
\(\sqrt{267} \times \sqrt{267}=267\). Any other pair of factors will have one factor less than \( \sqrt{267}\) and one greater, so she only needs to check up to \( \sqrt{267}\).
Question 10 Explanation: 
Topic: Identify prime and composite numbers (Objective 0018).
Question 11

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 11 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 12

At a school fundraising event, people can buy a ticket to spin a spinner like the one below.  The region that the spinner lands in tells which, if any, prize the person wins.

If 240 people buy tickets to spin the spinner, what is the best estimate of the number of keychains that will be given away?

A

40

Hint:
"Keychain" appears on the spinner twice.
B

80

Hint:
The probability of getting a keychain is 1/3, and so about 1/3 of the time the spinner will win.
C

100

Hint:
What is the probability of winning a keychain?
D

120

Hint:
That would be the answer for getting any prize, not a keychain specifically.
Question 12 Explanation: 
Topic: I would call this topic expected value, which is not listed on the objectives. This question is very similar to one on the sample test. It's not a good question in that it's oversimplified (a more difficult and interesting question would be something like, "The school bought 100 keychains for prizes, what is the probability that they will run out before 240 people play?"). In any case, I believe the objective this is meant for is, "Recognize the difference between experimentally and theoretically determined probabilities in real-world situations. (Objective 0026)." This is not something easily assessed with multiple choice .
Question 13

Which of the graphs below represent functions?

I. II. III. IV.   
A

I and IV only.

Hint:
There are vertical lines that go through 2 points in IV .
B

I and III only.

Hint:
Even though III is not continuous, it's still a function (assuming that vertical lines between the "steps" do not go through 2 points).
C

II and III only.

Hint:
Learn about the vertical line test.
D

I, II, and IV only.

Hint:
There are vertical lines that go through 2 points in II.
Question 13 Explanation: 
Understand the definition of function and various representations of functions (e.g., input/output machines, tables, graphs, mapping diagrams, formulas). (Objective 0021).
Question 14

The prime factorization of  n can be written as n=pqr, where p, q, and r are distinct prime numbers.  How many factors does n have, including 1 and itself?

A
\( \large3\)
Hint:
1, p, q, r, and pqr are already 5, so this isn't enough. You might try plugging in p=2, q=3, and r=5 to help with this problem.
B
\( \large5\)
Hint:
Don't forget pq, etc. You might try plugging in p=2, q=3, and r=5 to help with this problem.
C
\( \large6\)
Hint:
You might try plugging in p=2, q=3, and r=5 to help with this problem.
D
\( \large8\)
Hint:
1, p, q, r, pq, pr, qr, pqr.
Question 14 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize uses of prime factorization of a number (Objective 0018).
Question 15

Which of the numbers below is a fraction equivalent to \( 0.\bar{6}\)?

A
\( \large \dfrac{4}{6}\)
Hint:
\( 0.\bar{6}=\dfrac{2}{3}=\dfrac{4}{6}\)
B
\( \large \dfrac{3}{5}\)
Hint:
This is equal to 0.6, without the repeating decimal. Answer is equivalent to choice c, which is another way to tell that it's wrong.
C
\( \large \dfrac{6}{10}\)
Hint:
This is equal to 0.6, without the repeating decimal. Answer is equivalent to choice b, which is another way to tell that it's wrong.
D
\( \large \dfrac{1}{6}\)
Hint:
This is less than a half, and \( 0.\bar{6}\) is greater than a half.
Question 15 Explanation: 
Topic: Converting between fraction and decimal representations (Objective 0017)
Question 16

A solution requires 4 ml of saline for every 7 ml of medicine. How much saline would be required for 50 ml of medicine?

A
\( \large 28 \dfrac{4}{7}\) ml
Hint:
49 ml of medicine requires 28 ml of saline. The extra ml of saline requires 4 ml saline/ 7 ml medicine = 4/7 ml saline per 1 ml medicine.
B
\( \large 28 \dfrac{1}{4}\) ml
Hint:
49 ml of medicine requires 28 ml of saline. How much saline does the extra ml require?
C
\( \large 28 \dfrac{1}{7}\) ml
Hint:
49 ml of medicine requires 28 ml of saline. How much saline does the extra ml require?
D
\( \large 87.5\) ml
Hint:
49 ml of medicine requires 28 ml of saline. How much saline does the extra ml require?
Question 16 Explanation: 
Topic: Apply proportional thinking to estimate quantities in real world situations (Objective 0019).
Question 17

The polygon depicted below is drawn on dot paper, with the dots spaced 1 unit apart.  What is the perimeter of the polygon?

A
\( \large 18+\sqrt{2} \text{ units}\)
Hint:
Be careful with the Pythagorean Theorem.
B
\( \large 18+2\sqrt{2}\text{ units}\)
Hint:
There are 13 horizontal or vertical 1 unit segments. The longer diagonal is the hypotenuse of a 3-4-5 right triangle, so its length is 5 units. The shorter diagonal is the hypotenuse of a 45-45-90 right triangle with side 2, so its hypotenuse has length \(2 \sqrt{2}\).
C
\( \large 18 \text{ units} \)
Hint:
Use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the lengths of the diagonal segments.
D
\( \large 20 \text{ units}\)
Hint:
Use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the lengths of the diagonal segments.
Question 17 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and apply connections between algebra and geometry (e.g., the use of coordinate systems, the Pythagorean theorem) (Objective 0024).
Question 18

Four children randomly line up, single file.  What is the probability that they are in height order, with the shortest child in front?   All of the children are different heights.

A
\( \large \dfrac{1}{4}\)
Hint:
Try a simpler question with 3 children -- call them big, medium, and small -- and list all the ways they could line up. Then see how to extend your logic to the problem with 4 children.
B
\( \large \dfrac{1}{256} \)
Hint:
Try a simpler question with 3 children -- call them big, medium, and small -- and list all the ways they could line up. Then see how to extend your logic to the problem with 4 children.
C
\( \large \dfrac{1}{16}\)
Hint:
Try a simpler question with 3 children -- call them big, medium, and small -- and list all the ways they could line up. Then see how to extend your logic to the problem with 4 children.
D
\( \large \dfrac{1}{24}\)
Hint:
The number of ways for the children to line up is \(4!=4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1 =24\) -- there are 4 choices for who is first in line, then 3 for who is second, etc. Only one of these lines has the children in the order specified.
Question 18 Explanation: 
Topic: Apply knowledge of combinations and permutations to the computation of probabilities (Objective 0026).
Question 19

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 19 Explanation: 
Topic: Match three-dimensional figures and their two-dimensional representations (e.g., nets, projections, perspective drawings) (Objective 0024).
Question 20

How many lines of reflective symmetry and how many centers of rotational symmetry does the parallelogram depicted below have?

 
A

4 lines of reflective symmetry, 1 center of rotational symmetry.

Hint:
Try cutting out a shape like this one from paper, and fold where you think the lines of reflective symmetry are (or put a mirror there). Do things line up as you thought they would?
B

2 lines of reflective symmetry, 1 center of rotational symmetry.

Hint:
Try cutting out a shape like this one from paper, and fold where you think the lines of reflective symmetry are (or put a mirror there). Do things line up as you thought they would?
C

0 lines of reflective symmetry, 1 center of rotational symmetry.

Hint:
The intersection of the diagonals is a center of rotational symmetry. There are no lines of reflective symmetry, although many people get confused about this fact (best to play with hands on examples to get a feel). Just fyi, the letter S also has rotational, but not reflective symmetry, and it's one that kids often write backwards.
D

2 lines of reflective symmetry, 0 centers of rotational symmetry.

Hint:
Try cutting out a shape like this one from paper. Trace onto another sheet of paper. See if there's a way to rotate the cut out shape (less than a complete turn) so that it fits within the outlines again.
Question 20 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze geometric transformations (e.g., translations, rotations, reflections, dilations); relate them to concepts of symmetry (Objective 0024).
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