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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

The first histogram shows the average life expectancies for women in different countries in Africa in 1998; the second histogram gives similar data for Europe:

  

How much bigger is the range of the data for Africa than the range of the data for Europe?

A

0 years

Hint:
Range is the maximum life expectancy minus the minimum life expectancy.
B

12 years

Hint:
Are you subtracting frequencies? Range is about values of the data, not frequency.
C

18 years

Hint:
It's a little hard to read the graph, but it doesn't matter if you're consistent. It looks like the range for Africa is 80-38= 42 years and for Europe is 88-64 = 24; 42-24=18.
D

42 years

Hint:
Read the question more carefully.
Question 1 Explanation: 
Topic: Compare different data sets (Objective 0025).
Question 2

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 2 Explanation: 
Topic: Analyze Non-Standard Computational Algorithms (Objective 0019).
Question 3

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 3 Explanation: 
Topic: Justify algebraic manipulations by application of the properties of order of operations (Objective 0020).
Question 4

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 4 Explanation: 
Topic: Integers (Objective 0016)
Question 5

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 5 Explanation: 
Topics: Place value, scientific notation, estimation (Objective 0016)
Question 6

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 6 Explanation: 
Topics: Scientific notation, exponents, simplifying fractions (Objective 0016, although overlaps with other objectives too).
Question 7

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 7 Explanation: 
Topic: Ordering Fractions (Objective 0017)
Question 8

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

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 9 Explanation: 
Topic: Apply proportional thinking to estimate quantities in real world situations (Objective 0019).
Question 10

Use the table below to answer the question that follows:

Gordon wants to buy three pounds of nuts.  Each of the stores above ordinarily sells the nuts for $4.99 a pound, but is offering a discount this week.  At which store can he buy the nuts for the least amount of money?

A

Store A

Hint:
This would save about $2.50. You can quickly see that D saves more.
B

Store B

Hint:
This saves 15% and C saves 25%.
C

Store C

D

Store D

Hint:
This is about 20% off, which is less of a discount than C.
Question 10 Explanation: 
Topic: Understand the meanings and models of integers, fractions, decimals,percents, and mixed numbers and apply them to the solution of word problems (Objective 0017).
Question 11

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 11 Explanation: 
Topics: Identify prime and composite numbers and demonstrate knowledge of divisibility rules (Objective 0018).
Question 12

Which of the following is equal to eleven billion four hundred thousand?

A
\( \large 11,400,000\)
Hint:
That's eleven million four hundred thousand.
B
\(\large11,000,400,000\)
C
\( \large11,000,000,400,000\)
Hint:
That's eleven trillion four hundred thousand (although with British conventions; this answer is correct, but in the US, it isn't).
D
\( \large 11,400,000,000\)
Hint:
That's eleven billion four hundred million
Question 12 Explanation: 
Topic: Place Value (Objective 0016)
Question 13

The pattern below consists of a row of black squares surrounded by white squares.

 How many white squares would surround a row of 157 black squares?

A

314

Hint:
Try your procedure on a smaller number that you can count to see where you made a mistake.
B

317

Hint:
Are there ever an odd number of white squares?
C

320

Hint:
One way to see this is that there are 6 tiles on the left and right ends, and the rest of the white tiles are twice the number of black tiles (there are many other ways to look at it too).
D

322

Hint:
Try your procedure on a smaller number that you can count to see where you made a mistake.
Question 13 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and extend patterns using a variety of representations (e.g., verbal, numeric, pictorial, algebraic) (Objective 0021).
Question 14

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 14 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 15

What is the least common multiple of 540 and 216?

A
\( \large{{2}^{5}}\cdot {{3}^{6}}\cdot 5\)
Hint:
This is the product of the numbers, not the LCM.
B
\( \large{{2}^{3}}\cdot {{3}^{3}}\cdot 5\)
Hint:
One way to solve this is to factor both numbers: \(540=2^2 \cdot 3^3 \cdot 5\) and \(216=2^3 \cdot 3^3\). Then for each prime that's a factor of either number, use the largest exponent that appears in one of the factorizations. You can also take the product of the two numbers divided by their GCD.
C
\( \large{{2}^{2}}\cdot {{3}^{3}}\cdot 5\)
Hint:
216 is a multiple of 8.
D
\( \large{{2}^{2}}\cdot {{3}^{2}}\cdot {{5}^{2}}\)
Hint:
Not a multiple of 216 and not a multiple of 540.
Question 15 Explanation: 
Topic: Find the least common multiple of a set of numbers (Objective 0018).
Question 16

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 16 Explanation: 
Topic: Converting between fractions and decimals (Objective 0017)
Question 17

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 17 Explanation: 
Topic: Recognize and extend patterns using a variety of representations (e.g., verbal, numeric, pictorial, algebraic). (Objective 0021).
Question 18

Below are front, side, and top views of a three-dimensional solid.

Which of the following could be the solid shown above?

A

A sphere

Hint:
All views would be circles.
B

A cylinder

C

A cone

Hint:
Two views would be triangles, not rectangles.
D

A pyramid

Hint:
How would one view be a circle?
Question 18 Explanation: 
Topic: Match three-dimensional figures and their two-dimensional representations (e.g., nets, projections, perspective drawings) (Objective 0024).
Question 19
I. \(\large \dfrac{1}{2}+\dfrac{1}{3}\) II. \( \large   .400000\)  III. \(\large\dfrac{1}{5}+\dfrac{1}{5}\)
     
IV. \( \large 40\% \) V. \( \large 0.25 \) VI. \(\large\dfrac{14}{35}\)

 

Which of the lists below includes all of the above expressions that are equivalent to \( \dfrac{2}{5}\)?

A

I, III, V, VI

Hint:
I and V are not at all how fractions and decimals work.
B

III, VI

Hint:
These are right, but there are more.
C

II, III, VI

Hint:
These are right, but there are more.
D

II, III, IV, VI

Question 19 Explanation: 
Topic: Converting between fractions, decimals, and percents (Objective 0017)
Question 20

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 20 Explanation: 
Identify variables and derive algebraic expressions that represent real-world situations (Objective 0020).
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