High School Math Assessment: What Students Need to Graduate

Is your high school student gearing up to take his or her exit examination? Are you trying to help him or her be as prepared as possible? If so, continue reading to learn which skills your child should be able to perform and how his or her assessment is likely to be formatted.

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What to Expect from High School Math Exit Exams

What Are Exit Exams?

High school assessments, commonly referred to as exit exams, are sometimes required by schools before 12th graders can graduate. Although each state can design their exit examination as they see fit, there are some similarities that your child should expect. For instance, both California and Alaska's high school exit exams are primarily made up of multiple-choice questions. However, these exams also have a few short response questions.

Exit examinations are typically not timed and will require your child to perform math operations that demonstrate his or her level of understanding on many math skills. Your child will be expected to solve math problems that utilize 12th grade math skills as well as skills learned in previous grade levels.

What Will My Child Be Expected to Know?

Like exit exams, standards vary from state to state. Typically, 12th graders should be able to rewrite expressions that involve radicals and rational exponents that use the properties of exponents. Your 12th grade student will also need to know how to add and multiply rational and irrational numbers.

Your student should expect many questions related to algebra on his or her exit exam. For instance, he or she should know how to solve quadratic equations in one variable, as well as how to write equivalent expressions to solve problems. Students at this grade level should also be able to solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients that are represented by a letter. For instance, your 12th grader will need to show that he or she can create an appropriate model, perform the operation, interpret the results and explain the reasoning behind the answer.

In geometry, 12th graders will know how to prove geometric theorems, solve problems with right triangles and understand similarity and congruence in relation to transformations. As your student works with functions, he or she will be expected to interpret and analyze them. Your child will also need to know how to prove and apply trigonometric identities, as well as how to construct and compare linear and exponential models. When working with statistics and probability, your student should be able to make inferences and justify the conclusions. You will also want to be sure that your child can use probability to evaluate the outcome of a decision and to summarize, represent and decipher a set of data.

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