No Child Left Behind legislation requires students to prove that they have acquired basic math and literacy skills before earning a high school diploma. In California, students must pass the California High School Exit Examination to prove they have these skills. Passing the mathematics portion of the CAHSEE can be difficult, but there are ways to improve a student's chances.
The most important way to ensure a passing score on the CAHSEE math test is to study. Download the study guide for free by going to the California Department of Education website. There you will find practice questions and tests. Students should start by solving five questions per day and checking their answers. If they get one wrong, they can make note of it so they can practice similar questions until they understand the concept.
Each California high school has minimum overall passing requirements for the CAHSEE. This means that when students don't pass the CAHSEE, teachers and administrators must answer to the state government. Thus, it is in their best interest to make sure students pass. For this reason, most schools offer study groups and test-preparation classes. Students who struggle with math should sign up for one of these classes.
Students should focus their study on the types of problems most likely to appear on the CAHSEE math test. This is generally math learned between sixth and ninth grades. Algebra I questions are the most advanced that a student will encounter. Although the test includes questions about geometry, they are basic and measurement-based. Students should practice problems that fit under the CAHSEE math categories, which are number sense, statistics and probability, algebra functions, measurement and geometry, mathematical reasoning and Algebra I.
Students shouldn't wait until the last minute to start preparing for the CAHSEE. It is a long test that covers a lot of material. Students should begin studying during the summer after their freshman year of high school. They can plan to set aside 10 to 15 minutes each night to work through the test-preparation book. Struggling students shouldn't be afraid to ask their math teacher for clarification. Remember, it's in the teacher's best interest to help students pass.
Based in Sacramento, Calif., Beth Wenbourne Katz has been writing about education topics since 2006. Katz has taught in the California public schools, working primarily with students with learning, behavioral and emotional challenges. She holds a Master of Arts in special education from San Diego State University.