143 TExES Mathematics / Physics 8 - 12 Exam:
- Number Concepts (7 questions)
- Patterns and Algebra (16 questions)
- Geometry and Measurement (10 questions)
- Probability and Statistics (7 questions)
- Mathematical Processes and Perspectives (5 questions)
- Methods of Mathematical Instruction and Assessment (5 questions)
- Scientific Method, Scientific Inquiry, and Scientific Processes (7 questions)
- Physics (39 questions)
- Methods of Science Instruction and Assessment (4 questions)
The exam-taker will be supplied with a scientific calculator, but the individual may bring a graphing calculator to use on the exam as long as the calculator can be found on the list of approved brands and models for use on the TExES. It is also important to note that some of the questions on the exam are extremely difficult to solve without the aid of a graphing calculator. The exam-taker will have five hours to complete the exam and the exam will be scored on a scale of 100 - 300 with 240 set as the minimum score considered as passing for the exam. The registration fee for the Mathematics / Physics 8 - 12 Exam is $82 and the individual may choose to take the exam in either a paper-based or computerized format. However, there are usually other exams and fees that are required in addition to this exam in order to become certified as a high school mathematics or physics teacher within the state of Texas.
Sample Study Notes
1. Define mathematics, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability, statistics, trigonometry, calculus.
- ARITHMETIC: a system to count numbers using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
- ALGEBRA: an abstract form of arithmetic using symbols to represent numbers.
- GEOMETRY: the relationship of points, lines, angles, surfaces and solids.
- PROBABILITY: the calculation of the chances that certain events will occur.
- STATISTICS: the collection, organization and analysis of data.
- TRIGONOMETRY: the relationship of the sides and angles of triangles.
- CALCULUS: the limits, differentiation and integration of the functions of variables.
2. Define number concepts.
Number concepts are the building blocks of all mathematical calculations and representations. Students must understand what a number means, how it can and cannot be used, and its relationship to other numbers. They need to be able to depict numbers concretely, pictorially and symbolically. Students need to understand the basic definitions of number concepts in order to use numbers properly in whatever math discipline they are working. These definitions of some common math terms are from The American Heritage College Dictionary.
- INTEGERS are the positive and negative whole numbers and zero
- NATURAL NUMBERS or COUNTING NUMBERS are the positive integers.
- FRACTIONS are the result of dividing one quantity by another quantity.
- A PRIME NUMBER is any number which is only divisible by one (1) and itself.
- A PERCENTAGE is a fraction or ratio expressed as part of one hundred (100).
- A RATIO is the relation between two quantities expressed as the result (quotient) of one divided by the other.
- PLACE VALUE is the position of a figure in a numeral or series.
3. Discuss patterns and functions and equivalence and equations and what they represent.
There are some basic concepts students need to understand in order to begin to think algebraically, so they can use what they "see" to make generalizations about "unknowns." Patterns and functions represent change and relationships. Repeating patterns show the same unit over and over again; in growth patterns, each unit is dependent upon the one before it, as well as its position in the pattern. The function is the relationship between values, e.g. the second depends on the first. Using concrete examples helps students visualize what the function is describing. As students begin to understand functional relationships, symbols can be used as abstract stand-ins for the relationships. Equivalence and balance are critical concepts in understanding algebraic equations. It is important for teachers to explain that the equal sign represents some type of relationship between the numbers and symbols on each side of the sign: if a calculation is performed on one side, the same calculation must be performed on the other side. Each side is equal; the equation must balance.
4. Define geometry and discuss some of its practical applications.
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines geometry as investigation of "properties, measurements and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces and solids." Geometry developed from a practical need to determine land boundaries (survey), figure the size (area) of a field, measure the volume of a silo (cylinder), and determine the relative positions of three-dimensional objects in a defined space. Man's fascination with the stars and the heavens became the science of astronomy, which led to the development of trigonometry and its unique computational methods. Studying geometry helps students hone their spatial visualization skills, which helps them function better in the physical world. Points, lines, angles, surfaces and solids are all used in painting, sculpture and architecture. The artist must understand the relationship of these components in order to create in any medium. Various engineering disciplines use geometry to build bridges and dams, design freeway systems, mine for minerals and drill for oil. Geometry is used every day in many professions. Citing real-life examples makes the subject relevant to students' lives outside the classroom.
5. Discuss the importance of statistics.
Statistics is the collection, organization and interpretation of data. The data can be facts or isolated bits of information, but it all relates in one way or another to a specific topic. This precise, analytical system is used to identify, study, and solve problems in many industries. Statistics can help people interpret events and make decisions in uncertain and difficult situations. Healthcare professionals, financial analysts, scientists, engineers and insurance actuaries all use statistics to infer relationships, measure interactions and predict outcomes among variables. Descriptive statistics is the foundation for the entire system. It is used to define and explain the basic components in a study. Exploratory statistics tries to figure out what the collected data is saying. This method involves averages and percentages, which are usually displayed on a graph or in a table. Since by definition it relies on information from previous experiments, this data is sometimes called secondary research. Confirmatory statistics is the method that applies general ideas and concepts to an issue or a problem in an effort to answer specific questions.
6. Discuss the Probability Theory.
The Probability Theory is the study and analysis of random events, and especially whether those events can predict the behavior of a defined system. A probability is the numerical measure of the likelihood the event will happen. It is a number from zero (0) to one (1). Zero means it will definitely not happen, one means it definitely will happen and point five (0.5) means it is a draw, i.e. just as likely to happen as not happen. Probability is the possibility of an event happening or something being true. It is used to explain events that do not happen with any certainty. Probabilities must meet these general rules:
- All probabilities must be a non-negative number.
- The collection of all possible outcomes is equal to one (1).
- If there are two possible outcomes that cannot happen at the same time (non-overlapping), the possibility that either outcome will happen is the total of the individual outcomes.
7. Describe physics and define its core theories.
Physics is a fundamental, experimental science: the study of matter, motion, energy, space and time. The goal of a physicist is to understand the natural world by formulating and testing hypotheses in an effort to develop scientific laws that predict other phenomena. Physics is one of the oldest sciences. Physicists specialize in either theoretical (the development of new theories) or experimental (testing theories and discovering new phenomena) research. Physics is divided into four disciplines: condensed matter physics; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; high-energy physics; and astronomy and astrophysics. Other sciences are complex applications of the laws of physics. The core theories of physics, as described in Webster's New Explorer Desk Encyclopedia, are:
- CLASSICAL MECHANICS: the motion of objects
- ELECTROMAGNETISM: interaction between charged particles
- RELATIVITY: measurement changes in various states of motion
- THERMODYNAMICS: relationships between heat, work, temperature and energy
- QUANTUM MECHANICS: mathematical explanations of atomic and subatomic systems
- OPTICS: production, propagation, changes and manipulation of light
8. Define these terms: motion, space and time.
The following definitions are based on information from The American Heritage College Dictionary.
- MOTION is "the act or process of changing position or place." It is the continuous change of an object's location as a result of force (lift, push or pull). It is explained as velocity (rate of speed), acceleration (increase in speed), displacement (the act of moving from its usual place), and time. Once an object is in motion, it acquires momentum (a measure of a body in motion).
- SPACE is a fundamental quantity that describes the "expanse in which the solar system, stars, and galaxies exist, i.e., the universe." It is measured as the distance traveled by light in a vacuum.
- TIME is "a non-spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future." This is the view held by Immanuel Kant, who believed time is a measuring system devised by humans in an effort to sequence events. Sir Isaac Newton believed time is a fundamental, measurable dimension of the universe, in which events occur in a sequence.
9. Define scientific method, scientific inquiry, deductive and inductive reasoning.
- SCIENTIFIC METHOD: a set of procedures used to study natural phenomena. It provides guidelines with which to pose questions, analyze data and reach conclusions. It is used to investigate an event, gain knowledge or correct earlier conclusions about the occurrence and integrate the new information with previously learned data. Researchers pose hypotheses, and design experiments and studies to test them. The process must be objective, documented and shared with other researchers so the results can be verified by replicating the study in similar situations under the same conditions.
- SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY: used to explore theories and develop explanations for natural phenomena. It has two functions: to provide a description of how something happens and to explain why the process succeeds or fails.
- DEDUCTIVE REASONING: a process in which a specific conclusion logically follows from a general premise. If the premise is true, the conclusion is true. Deductive reasoning is used in mathematics.
- INDUCTIVE REASONING: a process in which a universal conclusion is formed from considering an individual example. Inductive reasoning is the methodology of the natural and social sciences.
10. Describe the steps used in the scientific method.
The steps of the scientific method described here are not necessarily used in exactly the same way in all sciences. Sometimes they happen at the same time or in a different order and may be repeated during the course of the study. Whatever order researchers use, the steps should be applied with intelligence, imagination and creativity. The following sequence is the one used most of the time.
1. A question is asked about a natural phenomenon. It should be stated in specific language to focus the inquiry.
2. The subject is thoroughly researched. Previous test results are studied. It is important to understand what the earlier experiment(s) proved or disproved.
3. With information gleaned from researching the topic, a hypothesis is formed about a cause or effect of the event, or its relationship to other occurrences.
4. An experiment is designed and conducted to test the hypothesis and gather information.
5. The resulting data is analyzed to determine if they support or refute the hypothesis.
It is common for test results to lead to more questions about the subject or a related phenomenon.
Last Updated: 03/13/2013