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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


Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1

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 1 Explanation: 
Topic: Apply proportional thinking to estimate quantities in real world situations (Objective 0019).
Question 2

Which of the following is equivalent to

\( \large A-B+C\div D\times E\)?

A
\( \large A-B-\dfrac{C}{DE} \)
Hint:
In the order of operations, multiplication and division have the same priority, so do them left to right; same with addition and subtraction.
B
\( \large A-B+\dfrac{CE}{D}\)
Hint:
In practice, you're better off using parentheses than writing an expression like the one in the question. The PEMDAS acronym that many people memorize is misleading. Multiplication and division have equal priority and are done left to right. They have higher priority than addition and subtraction. Addition and subtraction also have equal priority and are done left to right.
C
\( \large \dfrac{AE-BE+CE}{D}\)
Hint:
Use order of operations, don't just compute left to right.
D
\( \large A-B+\dfrac{C}{DE}\)
Hint:
In the order of operations, multiplication and division have the same priority, so do them left to right
Question 2 Explanation: 
Topic: Justify algebraic manipulations by application of the properties of order of operations (Objective 0020).
Question 3

Aya and Kendra want to estimate the height of a tree. On a sunny day, Aya measures Kendra's shadow as 3 meters long, and Kendra measures the tree's shadow as 15 meters long. Kendra is 1.5 meters tall. How tall is the tree?

A

7.5 meters

Hint:
Here is a picture, note that the large and small right triangles are similar:

One way to do the problem is to note that there is a dilation (scale) factor of 5 on the shadows, so there must be that factor on the heights too. Another way is to note that the shadows are twice as long as the heights.
B

22.5 meters

Hint:
Draw a picture.
C

30 meters

Hint:
Draw a picture.
D

45 meters

Hint:
Draw a picture.
Question 3 Explanation: 
Topic: Apply geometric transformations (e.g., translations, rotations, reflections, dilations); relate them to similarity, ; and use these concepts to solve problems (Objective 0024) . Fits in other places too.
Question 4

There are six gumballs in a bag — two red and four green.  Six children take turns picking a gumball out of the bag without looking.   They do not return any gumballs to the bag.  What is the probability that the first two children to pick from the bag pick the red gumballs?

A
\( \large \dfrac{1}{3}\)
Hint:
This is the probability that the first child picks a red gumball, but not that the first two children pick red gumballs.
B
\( \large \dfrac{1}{8}\)
Hint:
Are you adding things that you should be multiplying?
C
\( \large \dfrac{1}{9}\)
Hint:
This would be the probability if the gumballs were returned to the bag.
D
\( \large \dfrac{1}{15}\)
Hint:
The probability that the first child picks red is 2/6 = 1/3. Then there are 5 gumballs in the bag, one red, so the probability that the second child picks red is 1/5. Thus 1/5 of the time, after the first child picks red, the second does too, so the probability is 1/5 x 1/3 = 1/15.
Question 4 Explanation: 
Topic: Calculate the probabilities of simple and compound events and of independent and dependent events (Objective 0026).
Question 5

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 5 Explanation: 
Topic: Use measures of central tendency (e.g., mean, median, mode) and spread to describe and interpret real-world data (Objective 0025).
Question 6

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 6 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and extend patterns using a variety of representations (e.g., verbal, numeric, pictorial, algebraic). (Objective 0021).
Question 7

The chart below gives percentiles for the number of sit-ups that boys of various ages can do in 60 seconds (source , June 24, 2011)

 

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

A

95% of 12 year old boys can do 56 sit-ups in 60 seconds.

Hint:
The 95th percentile means that 95% of scores are less than or equal to 56, and 5% are greater than or equal to 56.
B

At most 25% of 7 year old boys can do 19 or more sit-ups in 60 seconds.

Hint:
The 25th percentile means that 25% of scores are less than or equal to 19, and 75% are greater than or equal to 19.
C

Half of all 13 year old boys can do less than 41 sit-ups in 60 seconds and half can do more than 41 sit-ups in 60 seconds.

Hint:
Close, but not quite. There's no accounting for boys who can do exactly 41 sit ups. Look at these data: 10, 20, 41, 41, 41, 41, 50, 60, 90. The median is 41, but more than half can do 41 or more.
D

At least 75% of 16 year old boys can only do 51 or fewer sit-ups in 60 seconds.

Hint:
The "at least" is necessary due to duplicates. Suppose the data were 10, 20, 51, 51. The 75th percentile is 51, but 100% of the boys can only do 51 or fewer situps.
Question 7 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze and interpret various graphic and nongraphic data representations (e.g., frequency distributions, percentiles) (Objective 0025).
Question 8

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 8 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 9

M is a multiple of 26.  Which of the following cannot be true?

A

M is odd.

Hint:
All multiples of 26 are also multiples of 2, so they must be even.
B

M is a multiple of 3.

Hint:
3 x 26 is a multiple of both 3 and 26.
C

M is 26.

Hint:
1 x 26 is a multiple of 26.
D

M is 0.

Hint:
0 x 26 is a multiple of 26.
Question 9 Explanation: 
Topic: Characteristics of composite numbers (Objective 0018).
Question 10

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 10 Explanation: 
Topic: Distinguish between linear and nonlinear functions (Objective 0022).
Question 11

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 11 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze and justify standard and non-standard computational techniques (Objective 0019).
Question 12

On a map the distance from Boston to Detroit is 6 cm, and these two cities are 702 miles away from each other. Assuming the scale of the map is the same throughout, which answer below is closest to the distance between Boston and San Francisco on the map, given that they are 2,708 miles away from each other?

A

21 cm

Hint:
How many miles would correspond to 24 cm on the map? Try adjusting from there.
B

22 cm

Hint:
How many miles would correspond to 24 cm on the map? Try adjusting from there.
C

23 cm

Hint:
One way to solve this without a calculator is to note that 4 groups of 6 cm is 2808 miles, which is 100 miles too much. Then 100 miles would be about 1/7 th of 6 cm, or about 1 cm less than 24 cm.
D

24 cm

Hint:
4 groups of 6 cm is over 2800 miles on the map, which is too much.
Question 12 Explanation: 
Topic: Apply proportional thinking to estimate quantities in real world situations (Objective 0019).
Question 13

Given that 10 cm is approximately equal to 4 inches, which of the following expressions models a way to find out approximately how many inches are equivalent to 350 cm?

A
\( \large 350\times \left( \dfrac{10}{4} \right)\)
Hint:
The final result should be smaller than 350, and this answer is bigger.
B
\( \large 350\times \left( \dfrac{4}{10} \right)\)
Hint:
Dimensional analysis can help here: \(350 \text{cm} \times \dfrac{4 \text{in}}{10 \text{cm}}\). The cm's cancel and the answer is in inches.
C
\( \large (10-4) \times 350 \)
Hint:
This answer doesn't make much sense. Try with a simpler example (e.g. 20 cm not 350 cm) to make sure that your logic makes sense.
D
\( \large (350-10) \times 4\)
Hint:
This answer doesn't make much sense. Try with a simpler example (e.g. 20 cm not 350 cm) to make sure that your logic makes sense.
Question 13 Explanation: 
Topic: Applying fractions to word problems (Objective 0017) This problem is similar to one on the official sample test for that objective, but it might fit better into unit conversion and dimensional analysis (Objective 0023: Measurement)
Question 14

The Americans with Disabilties Act (ADA) regulations state that the maximum slope for a wheelchair ramp in new construction is 1:12, although slopes between 1:16 and 1:20 are preferred.  The maximum rise for any run is 30 inches.   The graph below shows the rise and runs of four different wheelchair ramps.  Which ramp is in compliance with the ADA regulations for new construction?

A

A

Hint:
Rise is more than 30 inches.
B

B

Hint:
Run is almost 24 feet, so rise can be almost 2 feet.
C

C

Hint:
Run is 12 feet, so rise can be at most 1 foot.
D

D

Hint:
Slope is 1:10 -- too steep.
Question 14 Explanation: 
Topic: Interpret meaning of slope in a real world situation (Objective 0022).
Question 15

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 15 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze the relationships among proportions, constant rates, and linear functions (Objective 0022).
Question 16

In each expression below  N represents a negative integer. Which expression could have a negative value?

A
\( \large {{N}^{2}}\)
Hint:
Squaring always gives a non-negative value.
B
\( \large 6-N\)
Hint:
A story problem for this expression is, if it was 6 degrees out at noon and N degrees out at sunrise, by how many degrees did the temperature rise by noon? Since N is negative, the answer to this question has to be positive, and more than 6.
C
\( \large -N\)
Hint:
If N is negative, then -N is positive
D
\( \large 6+N\)
Hint:
For example, if \(N=-10\), then \(6+N = -4\)
Question 16 Explanation: 
If you are stuck on a question like this, try a few examples to eliminate some choices and to help you understand what the question means. Topic: Characteristics of integers (Objective 0016).
Question 17

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 17 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and apply the concepts of variable, function, equality, and equation to express relationships algebraically (Objective 0020).
Question 18

A car is traveling at 60 miles per hour.  Which of the expressions below could be used to compute how many feet the car travels in 1 second?  Note that 1 mile = 5,280 feet.

A
\( \large 60\dfrac{\text{miles}}{\text{hour}}\cdot 5280\dfrac{\text{feet}}{\text{mile}}\cdot 60\dfrac{\text{minutes}}{\text{hour}}\cdot 60\dfrac{\text{seconds}}{\text{minute}} \)
Hint:
This answer is not in feet/second.
B
\( \large 60\dfrac{\text{miles}}{\text{hour}}\cdot 5280\dfrac{\text{feet}}{\text{mile}}\cdot \dfrac{1}{60}\dfrac{\text{hour}}{\text{minutes}}\cdot \dfrac{1}{60}\dfrac{\text{minute}}{\text{seconds}} \)
Hint:
This is the only choice where the answer is in feet per second and the unit conversions are correct.
C
\( \large 60\dfrac{\text{miles}}{\text{hour}}\cdot \dfrac{1}{5280}\dfrac{\text{foot}}{\text{miles}}\cdot 60\dfrac{\text{hours}}{\text{minute}}\cdot \dfrac{1}{60}\dfrac{\text{minute}}{\text{seconds}}\)
Hint:
Are there really 60 hours in a minute?
D
\( \large 60\dfrac{\text{miles}}{\text{hour}}\cdot \dfrac{1}{5280}\dfrac{\text{mile}}{\text{feet}}\cdot 60\dfrac{\text{minutes}}{\text{hour}}\cdot \dfrac{1}{60}\dfrac{\text{minute}}{\text{seconds}}\)
Hint:
This answer is not in feet/second.
Question 18 Explanation: 
Topic: Use unit conversions and dimensional analysis to solve measurement problems (Objective 0023).
Question 19

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 19 Explanation: 
Topic: Characteristics of Integers (Objective 0016)
Question 20

A class is using base-ten block to represent numbers.  A large cube represents 1000, a flat represents 100, a rod represents 10, and a little cube represents 1.  Which of these is not a correct representation for 2,347?

A

23 flats, 4 rods, 7 little cubes

Hint:
Be sure you read the question carefully: 2300+40+7=2347
B

2 large cubes, 3 flats, 47 rods

Hint:
2000+300+470 \( \neq\) 2347
C

2 large cubes, 34 rods, 7 little cubes

Hint:
Be sure you read the question carefully: 2000+340+7=2347
D

2 large cubes, 3 flats, 4 rods, 7 little cubes

Hint:
Be sure you read the question carefully: 2000+300+40+7=2347
Question 20 Explanation: 
Topic: Place Value (Objective 0016)
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