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q Take as Much Time as You Need. If you need extra time, you can keep working through the school day. Just tell the person administering the exam that you need more time.

q Answer Easy Questions First.

If a question gives you trouble, skip it and focus on the ones that you understand. After you have answered the easy questions, return to the questions you skipped.

q Using an Answer Document Be certain you are marking the right question on your answer document, especially if you skip a question you want to answer later.

q Make Notes in the Test Booklet (But Not on the Answer Document). Writing a note to yourself can help you think through a question. Also, if you skip a question and return to it, a record of your thinking will often help you understand a test question in a new way. As you read, you can underline, mark up the passage, and take notes in the test booklet.

q Eliminate Answers You Know Are Wrong. If you are not sure about the answer to a question, cross out any choices you know are wrong.

q If You Must, Guess. On the CAHSEE, wrong answers do not count against you, so, it is to your advantage to answer every question. Even if you guess, you have a one-out-of-four chance of answering correctly. If you can eliminate two out of the four choices in any question, you have a 50- 50 chance of answering correctly.

q Review Your Work! When you finish the last question, go back over the exam to review your thinking and correct any mistakes. If you guessed at a question, change your answer only if you have a good reason; often, your first instinct will be your best. Also, check your answer document for stray marks and erase them as cleanly as you can.

Tips for Answering CAHSEE Mathematics Test Questions

q Don’t Give up Without Going Partway. Some students give up if they think they can’t solve the whole problem. But if you do as much as you can, you might be able to eliminate some answers—maybe even all but one.

q You Don’t Have to Read All the Answers to Start Working on a Problem. If the answers are confusing, it may be best to start in on the problem and then look at the answers once you have an idea of what’s going on. Go back and forth between working on the problem and looking at the answers until they begin to make sense.

q Reason Backwards From the Answers. This is especially important in some algebra questions. If you can’t solve an equation, you can plug in the possible answers and see which one works. Sometimes just trying one answer helps you see what’s going on.

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