## Illinois Secondary Mathematics Content Exam Preparation

You should look at the Test Study Guide and the Test Framework.

Suggestions from students who have taken the Math Content test(of course, don't limit your studying to this list, but make sure to study these things):

• When given two polynomials multiplied together, what is the nth term.
• I would recommend studying your problems of the week I think a couple similar ones were on there.
• Word problems about percentages off, and others that are similar to the practice guide.
• There are pedagogical questions. A classroom scenario is give and you have to pick the best answer. It is important to read the scenario and each of the answers carefully. Each of the answers may be somewhat true, but you want to pick the best answer. These are harder to study for, but they are on the test.
• Congruent and similar triangle properties
• Law of cosines and sines
• Trigonometry (including arcsine, arccos, ...)
• Basic derivatives, as well as derivatives of the trig functions.
• Statistics (Stat 276)
• The Normal Curve and the percentages in it.
• Calculus: differentiation and integration. Especially the basics and what it means.
• Proofs. Finish the proof. For example of congruent triangles and proving properties of quadrilaterals.
• Become proficient with your graphing calculator. Many questions can be done easily with a graphing calculator, using for example, the intersection and maximum features.
• There are pedagogical questions. A classroom scenario is give and you have to pick the best answer. These are harder to study for, but they are on the test.

This mathematics content exam must be passed before you can student teach.

I (Dr. Olsen) have a couple of printed books with study materials and practice tests. Ask me for the study materials.

• Make a plan, listing steps you'll take to prepare. Check off the list as you do them.
• Make a list of key examples (perhaps on note cards).
• Make your own study guide of important facts (theorems, methods, etc.)  About 3 pages or less, nicely organized.  Review this right before the test.
• You might want to print out some reference sheets from the internet.
• Sit down and do an actual practice test.
• Study with another classmate, if you wish.
• Make sure you are actually doing practice problems. You don't learn math by just looking it over.

Study.com provides some practice for the 208 Test. (I have limited experience with the site, so I can't say if it is comprehensive or not.)

240tutoring.com - offers practice tests (for a fee) and have been successfully used by math majors preparing for the 208 test.

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James R. Olsen, Western Illinois University
E-mail: jr-olsen@wiu.edu
updated November 4, 2021 9:59 PM