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Mathematics Placement

The ACT COMPASS math test is a self-adaptive test, which potentially tests students within four different levels of math including pre-algebra, algebra, college algebra, and trigonometry. As you answer questions correctly, you will move into more difficult levels of math. Similarly, if you answer questions incorrectly, the computerized test will begin to ask questions from a lower level of math. Multiple-choice items in each of the five mathematics placement areas test the following: basic skillsperforming a sequence of basic operations applicationapplying sequences of basic operations to novel settings or in complex ways analysisdemonstrating conceptual understanding of principles and relationships in mathematical operations Students are permitted to use approved calculators when completing the COMPASS mathematics placement or diagnostic tests. An online calculator is available for those students who wish to access it via Microsoft Windows. Because this is an adaptive test, you may change your answer while you are still on a problem, but once you go on to another problem, you may not go back to a question.

Mathematics Placement Sample Questions (College Algebra)

Following are 9 sample College Algebra Placement Test Questions taken from the ACT COMPASS website. First you will see the question, then the following slide will have the answer. If you need some additional refreshers, the remainder of the slides cover the content from the College Algebra section.

College Algebra Placement Test

College Algebra Placement Test Items in the College Algebra Test focus on algebra knowledge and skills in a variety of content areas. The majority of items come from the following content areas: Functions Exponents Complex Numbers Arithmetic and Geometric Sequences and Series Matrices (basic operations, equations, and determinants)

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Arithmetic and Geometric Sequences and Series. The correct answer is C (1/16). See Arithmetic and Geometric Sequences and Series slides for additional information on this topic. To solve: Determine the pattern. Each number is in the sequence is being divided by -4, so the next term is - 4 = -1/16

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Functions. The correct answer is E (70). See Functions slides for additional information on this topic. To solve: Using process A: A(7) = 72 + 2(7) = 63 Using process B: B(7) = 10(7) = 70

Therefore, the maximum output of refined material, in tons, is using process B, 70 tons.

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Functions. The correct answer is B (-3). See Functions slides for additional information on this topic. To solve: You are to find g(f(3)), so first you find the f(3) = 2, then find the g(2) = -3.

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Exponents. The correct answer is D. See Exponents slides for additional information on this topic. To solve:

x y z

1 2

2 3

5 6

x y z

3 6

4 6

5 6

x y z

4 5

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Matrices (basic operations, equations, and determinants). The correct answer is E. See Matrices slides for additional information on this topic. To solve:

2 6

4 0

2 4 6 0

2 6

2 6

4 4 0 0

4 12

8 0

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Functions (basic operations, equations, and determinants). The correct answer is A (g(x) = cx). See Functions slides for additional information on this topic. To solve: The larger the exponent of 2 , the greater the value f(x) = 2x will have. To show this further, lets choose values for c & x that meet the requirements of c>1 and x>1. Let c=2 and x=3: To use the calculator to determine the f(cx) = 2cx = 26 = 64 common logarithmic function, use the f(c/x) = 2 c/x = 2 2/3 = 1.58 Change of Base Formula: f(x/c) = 2 x/c = 2 3/2 = 2.82 log 10 x f(x-c) = 2x-c = 23-2 = 2 log a x log 3 log 10 a f(logcx) log x log 3 log 2 ..477 .143 301
10

10

1.10

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Functions (basic operations, equations, and determinants). The correct answer is E (0 only). See Functions slides for additional information on this topic. To solve: f(x + y) = f(x) + f(y) So x + y = 0 where x = 0 and y = 0 Then possible values of f(0) are 0 only

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Complex Numbers (basic operations, equations, and determinants). The correct answer is C (-1). See Complex Numbers slides for additional information on this topic. To solve: The sum of the any four i terms with consecutive exponents = 0. Therefore, i + i2 + i3 + i20 = 0. So we would need to add i21 = i i22 = -1 i23 = -i Therefore, the sum of i + -1 + -i = -1

College Algebra Placement Test Sample Questions

This is an example of Arithmetic and Geometric Sequences and Series. The correct answer is A (3, 10, 17). See Sequences and Series slides for additional information on this topic. n a a a1 n 1 n an a1 ( n 1) d 1. Find how many terms. 2 To solve: i 1 2. Find the 3 136 136 3 ( 20 1) d difference 1390 n 2 between the 136 3 19d terms. 139 Therefore, the first 1390 n 133 19d 2 3 terms are: 3, 10, 17 d 7 n 20

Mathematics Placement (College Algebra)

The following slides review the concepts found on the COMPASS College Algebra Placement Test.

Sequences and Series

1. Sequences 2. Arithmetic Series 3. Geometric Series

Sequences and Series

A pattern is a series of numbers or symbols that follow a rule. A sequence is a series of numbers placed in a specific order. A sequence can be finite (has an end) or infinite (goes on forever). A term is a number in a sequence. An arithmetic sequence is a sequence formed by adding the same number to the previous term or substracting the same number from the previous term. A geometric sequence is a sequence formed by multiplying the previous term by the same number or dividing the previous term by the same number.

Arithmetic Progression
Here are some common patterns:
1. The numbers increase by a certain amount. Example: 10, 13, 16, ? , 22 Rule: Each number is 3 more than the previous number. Answer: 19 is the missing number
2. The numbers decrease by a certain amount. Example: 40, 30, 20, ? , 0 Rule: Each number is 10 less than the previous number. Answer: 10 is the missing number

Arithmetic progression a sequence of numbers in which the difference of two consecutive numbers is the same. The difference of the two consecutive numbers is called the common difference. Example: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, . . . The common difference is this arithmetic progression is 3. Every arithmetic sequence has an nth term that is of the form an = a1 + (n 1)d, where d is the common difference of the sequence.

Arithmetic Series
The sum of an arithmetic series with n terms is a n a a
n 1 n 1 i 1

This sum can also be written as: n(2a1 + (n 1)d) Every arithmetic sequence has an nth term that is of the form: an = a1 + (n 1)d, where d is the common difference of the sequence.

Geometric Progression (Series)

Here are some common patterns:
1. The numbers increase or decrease by multiples. Example: 10, 13, 19, 28, ? Rule: These numbers increase in multiples of 3: first by 3, then by 6, then by 9, etc. Answer: 40 is the missing number

Geometric progression (series) a sequence of numbers in which each succeeding term is obtained by multiplying the preceding term by the same number. That number is called the ratio or common ratio of the geometric progression. Example: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, . . . The common ratio in this geometric progression is 2. If r is the common ratio of a geometric sequence, then the formula for the nth term of the sequence is n 1

an

a1r

Geometric Progression (Series)

If r is the common ratio of a geometric sequence, then the formula for the nth term of the sequence is

an

a1r

n 1

The sum of the geometric series a1 + a1r + a1r2 + + a1rn-1 with common ratio r 1 is
n

a1r
i 1

i 1

1 rn a1 1 r

Alg.: A

A linear relationships is represented by an equation where x is raised to the first power (y = 6x + 2). The graph will be a line.

A quadratic relationship is represented by an equation where x is raised to the second power (y = x2). The graph will be a parabola.

An exponential relationship is represented by an equation where x is raised to an exponent other than 1. Example: x-1, x1/2, x3, x4). The graph will not be linear.

Determine Sequence
The first thing to determine is the pattern that shows by how much the consecutive term value (t) increase:

Term Value (t)

11

18

27

+3 +5 +7 +9 Since this sequence increases by a different number each time (first 3, then 5, then 7 and so on), the equation will not be linear. In other words, the n will not be raised to the first power. The n will have to be n2, or another power other than 1 (n3, n4, n5, ).

Determine Sequence
Next it can be helpful to look at the difference between the differences: Term Number (n)
1 2 3 4 5

Term Value (t)

11

18

27

+3 +5 +7 +9 +2 +2 +2 Notice that each value increases by 2, and then remember that +2. It will be used in the final equation! The next step is to try to find the pattern. To do this, subtract 2 from the t values in the second row and see if there is an obvious pattern in the numbers that remain. Notice they are all perfect squares.

Term Number (n)

Term Value (t) ~subtracting 2 from t~

1 3 1

2 6 4

3 11 9

4 18 16

5 27 25

Determine Sequence
Now, examine the top row of numbers and compare them to the bottom row. Each number in the top row has been squared (n2) to get to the bottom number. The equation can now be written: t = n2 + 2 The final step is to test the equation to be sure it works for all the values: Check: t = n2 + 2 t = 12 + 2 = 1 + 2 = 3 a t = 22 + 2 = 4 + 2 = 6 a t = 32 + 2 = 9 + 2 = 11 a t = 42 + 2 = 16 + 2 = 18 a t = 52 + 2 = 25 + 2 = 27 a

Term Number (n) Term Value (t)

1 3

2 6

3 11

4 18

5 27

Once it checks out correctly for all of the values, the equation, t = n2 + 2, is correct!

Functions
1. Relations and Functions 2. Inverse Functions

Relations
A relation is a set of ordered pairs (x, y). It can be described in a number of ways, including ordered pair sets and graphs. The domain is the set of data that is the input of the function. These are the independent values that may be selected for input into the function. They are often called the x-values. The range is the set of data that is the output of the function. These are the dependent values that are calculated by using the input values. They are often called the y-values. The rule for a relation shows the relationship between the domain and range.

Relations and Functions

Some relations are also functions. A function is a relation in which each element of the domain (1st element of a function) is paired with exactly one element of the range (2nd element of a function). (For every input, there is one and only one output!) The input set of numbers, called the domain, enters the function box that performs the function (in this case tripling them), and then forms an output set, called the range. Example 1 The set of ordered pairs below is a relation, but is NOT a function because 2 is paired with both -2 and 4. (0,1), (2,-2), (1,-1), (2,4), (-3,5) Example 2 The set of ordered pairs below is both a relation and a function because each x-coordinate is paired with exactly 1 y-coordinate. (-4,-1), (-2,-2), (0,-1), (2,5), (3,8) Notice that it is still a function, even if the relation has 2 of the same y-coordinates (like (-4,-1) and (0,-1)).

Functions

If this same example is represented using function notation, it will look like this: Domain: { 1, 2, 3, 4} Range: { 3, 6, 9, 12} Function: f(x) = 3x f(1) = 3(1) = 3 f(2) = 3(2) = 6 f(3) = 3(3) = 9 f(4) = 3(4) = 12 Notice that in a function, each number in the domain corresponds to one number in the range. This is called a oneto-one correspondence. Every member of the domain can be matched to every member of the range.

Functions
Typically, equations are written using symbolic or algebraic notation. Functions are just equations written using a different notation, function notation. Equations that are set equal to y (or the independent variable) can easily be written as functions. Simply replace the y in the equation with the function notation, f(x), which simply means the function of x or in a shortened form it is read as f of x, where x is the independent variable.

Form of Equation
Algebraic form Function notation form

Equation Example 1
y = 4x + 2 f(x) = 4x + 2

Equation Example 2
y = x3 f(x) = x3

Another way of determining if a relation is a function is called the Vertical Line Test. If a vertical line intersects a graph in more than one point, then the graph does not show a function. Example 3 The graph below is a function because no vertical line would intersect more than one point.

Alg.: B

Example 4 The graph below is NOT a function because the vertical line of x=3 intersects the points (3,2) and (3,-2).

Linear or Nonlinear Functions

Data sets, equations and functions can be classified as linear or nonlinear. To determine whether a set of values is linear or nonlinear, the pattern and sequence of the data is examined.
When determining if a table of values is linear or nonlinear, finding the algebraic function or graphing the function is not necessary. Simply find the pattern in the numbers. If the pattern increases by the same value, it is linear. If the pattern increases by different values, it is nonlinear.

Linear Function
Linear refers to data, an equation, or function whose graph is a line. Any equation or function that is linear will only have x raised to the first power and can be expressed in the form of a linear equation f(x) = mx + b. Example: {(1,2), (2,3), (3,4), (4,5), } (Note: The means the function has an infinite number of members) Expressed as an equation, this function is y = x + 1 (the second member of each ordered pair is 1 greater than the first member) The following is a graph of this linear function.

Nonlinear refers to data, an equation, or function whose graph is not a line. Examples: parabola, hyperbola, circle.
Quadratic Function f(x) = x2 - 3 Hyperbolic Function f(x) = 1/x (remember 1/x = x-1) Cubic Function f(x) = x3

Nonlinear Functions

Trigonometric Function f(x) = sin(x)

Translating Information
Information used in solving problems algebraically can be found in many different formats. The information is interchangeable among the four basic types of formats. 1. written words like those found in application problems 2. tables 3. equations 4. graphs Changing from table to graph form requires substituting the x-values into the equation to find the f(x) values. Graphing the points on a Cartesian coordinate system converts the equation of the function to graph form.

Translating Information
Example: Graph the function f(x) = 2x2 + 1. This function is quadratic. Quadratic functions are functions where at least one term is x raised to the second power and there are not any other terms raised to a higher power. The graph of the quadratic function will always be a parabola (a U-shape). It will either open up U, or open down . If the coefficient for the x2 term is positive it will open upward, and if the coefficient for the x2 term is negative it will open downward.

Translating Information
Set up a table of values. For quadratic equations, the following values may be used to get a general idea of the shape of the graph. Next use the function and substitute the x-values to get the f(x)-values:
x -3 -2 f(x) = 2x2 + 1 f(-3) = 2(-3)2 + 1 = 2(9) + 1 = 18 + 1 = 19 f(-2) = 2(-2)2 + 1 = 2(4) + 1 = 8 + 1 = 9 f(x) = 19 9

-1
0 1 2 3

f(-1) = 2(-1)2 + 1 = 2(1) + 1 = 2 + 1 = 3

f(-0) = 2(0)2 + 1 = 2(0) + 1 = 0 + 1 = 1 f(1) = 2(1)2 + 1 = 2(1) + 1 = 2 + 1 = 3 f(2) = 2(2)2 + 1 = 2(4) + 1 = 8 + 1 = 9 f(3) = 2(3)2 + 1 = 2(9) + 1 = 18 + 1 = 19

3
1 3 9 19

Once the points have been found, the ordered pairs (x, y) can be placed on the graph. The xvalue represents the x-coordinate and the f(x)value represents the y-coordinate. Simply plot the points and draw the parabola:

Translating Information
Consider this basic example of what a function does. It starts with one set of data called the domain, places it in the function, and spits out another set of data called the range. In word format, this function would be stated as: The function of x is found by squaring x and then adding it to one. In table format, this function would appear as: x 1 2 3 4
f(x) 2 5 10 17

x x2 + 1

In an equation format using function notation, f(x), this function would be written as: f(x) = x2 + 1 In graphic format, this function would be drawn as:
This is an example of a quadratic relationship. It is represented by an equation where x is raised to the second power. The graph is a parabola.

Translating Information
The following example is a linear function that has been represented in each of the four ways: In word format, this function would be stated as: The function of x is equal to the number three subtracted from twice the value of x. In table format, this function would appear as:
x f(x) 1 -1 2 1 3 3 4 5 5 7 x 2x-3

In an equation format: using symbolic algebraic form: y = 2x 3 using function notation: f(x) = 2x 3 In graphic format, this function would be drawn as:
This is an example of a linear relationship. It is represented by an equation where x is raised to the first power. The graph is a line.

More Functions Examples

Example 1: If f(x) = x2 -3x + 2 and g(x) = 8x 3, then find f[g(2)]. Solution: g(2) = 8(2) 3 = 16 3 = 13 f(13) = 132 3(13) + 2 = 169 39 + 2 =132 Example 2: If f(x) = x2 3x + 5, then find f(a + 2) Solution: f(a + 2) = (a + 2)2 3(a + 2) + 5 = a2 + 4a + 4 3a 6 + 5 = a2 + a + 3 Example 3: If f(x) = 8x + 5 and g(x) = x2 7, then find 2f(3) 4g(-2). Solution: f(3) = 8(3) + 5 = 24 + 5 = 29 g(-2) = (-2)2 7 = 4 7 = -3 so 2f(3) 4g(-2) = 2(29) 4(-3) = 58 + 12 = 70

More Functions Examples

Example 4: If d = 1000 200q and c = 4000 + 20d, then find c as a function of q. Solution: c = 4000 + 200(1000 200q) = 4000 + 20000 4000q = 24000 4000q Example 5: If f(x) = x2 3x + 2 and g(x) = 5 x, then find f[g(x)]. Solution: f[g(x)] = (5 x)2 3(5 x) + 2 = 25 10x + x2 15 + 3x + 2 = x2 7x +12

Example 6: If f(x) = 2x2 + 1 and g(x) = 6x3 2x2 + 3x -1, then find g ( x) f ( x) Solution: g ( x) 6 x 3 2 x 2 3x 1
f ( x) 2x2 1 2 x 2 (3x 1) 1(3x 1) 2x2 1 (2 x 2 1)(3x 1) 3x 1 2x2 1

Inverse Functions
The inverse of a relation is the set of ordered pairs obtained by switching the coordinates of each ordered pair in the relation.
The graph of the inverse is a reflection of the original relation.

If the functions f and g are inverses of each other, then f(g(x)) = x and g(f(x)) = x.

More Functions Examples

Example 7: If the point (5, -7) is on the graph of y = f(x), what point must be on the graph of y = f-1(x)? Solution: The inverse of a function interchanges x and y. So, (-7, 5) would be a point on the graph of y = f-1(x).
Example 8: If f(x) = (2x + 5)/3, then find f-1(x). Solution: 2x 5
3 2x 5 Replace f(x) with y y 3 2 y 5 Interchange x and y x 3 3 x 2 y 5 Solve for y. 3x 5 2 y 3x 5 y 2 3x 5 f 1 ( x) 2 f ( x)

Matrices
1. Matrix operations

Matrix Operations
A matrix is a rectangular arrangement of numbers in rows and columns. The numbers in a matrix are its entries. To add and subtract matrices, you simply add or subtract corresponding entries. You can add or subtract matrices only if they have the same order. You cannot, for instance, add a matrix that has three rows to a matrix that has only two rows. 4 2 4 2 2 4 4 0 0 Ex: 2
6 Ex: 2 6 0 4 0 6 0 2 4 6 0 6 2 6 6 2 6 0 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 4 8 12 0

Matrix Operations
In matrix algebra, a real number is often called a scalar. To multiply a matrix by a scalar, you multiply each entry in the matrix by the scalar. Multiplication of a matrix by a scalar obeys the Distributive Property. 2 4 4(2) 4( 4) 8 16 Ex:
4 6 0 4(6) 4(0) 24 0

Ex:

2 4 6 0

6 0

2 6

4 4

6 0 0

8 16 24 0

12 0

Matrix Operations
Matrix multiplication of A and B is defined only If the number of columns in A equals the number of rows in B. If A is an m x n matrix and B is an n x p matrix, then the product of AB is an m x p matrix. Ex:
AB 1 4 5 3 2 0 3 2 4 1 1( 3) (3)( 4) 1(2) (3)(1) 4( 3) ( 2)( 4) 4(2) ( 2)(1) 5( 3) (0)( 4) 5(2) (0)(1) 9 1 4 6 15 10

To find the entry in the first row and first column of AB, multiply corresponding entries in the first row of A and the first column of B. Then add. Continue process.

Properties of Exponents
Rule: am an = am+n To multiply two or more exponential expressions that have the same base, add the exponents. Example: 53 x 52 = 5(3+2) = 55 To divide two or more exponential expressions that have the same base, subtract the exponents. Example: 53 52 = 5(3-2) = 51 = 5 To raise a power to a power, multiply the exponents. Example: (a6)5= a6x5 = a30 To raise a product to a power, raise each factor to that power. Example: (ab)5= a5 b5

Rule: (am)n= am(n) Rule: (ab)m= ambm

Rule: a am b bm where b0

To raise a fraction to a power, raise both the numerator and the denominator to that power. Example:

Exponents
When dealing with particular operations, there are rules for simplifying or evaluating an exponential expression. Exponent of 1: Exponent of 0: Negative Exponents: 1 to a Power: a1 = a a0 = 1, when a 0 a-n = 1 an = 1/an , where a0 1n = 1

To add and subtract exponential expressions, like bases with like exponents are required. Example: LIKE bases with LIKE exponents can be simplified. a2 + a2 = 2a2 5b2 - 3b2 = 2b2

An expression with radicals is in simplest from if the following are true. 1. No radicands (expressions under radical signs) have perfect square factors other than 1. Example: 50 25 2 5 2

2. No radicands contain fractions. Example: 3 3 3

3. No radicals appear in the denominator of a fraction. Example: Note: To simplify this expression, 1 1 2 multiply the numerator and 2 2 2 denominator by 2. This is algebraically justified because it is 1 2 2 equivalent to multiplying the original 2 2 2 fraction by 1.

Rule:

ab

The square root of a product equals the product of the square roots of the factors. Example: 50 25 2 5 2 The square root of a quotient equals the quotient of the square roots of the numerator and denominator. Example:

Rule:

a b

a b

3 4

3 4

3 2

Examples:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 83 80 = 831 or 83+0 = 83 = 888 = 512 x3 x2 = x3+2 = x5 3y y4 = 3y1+4 = 3y5 x-3= 1/ x3 -10x5/2x2 = -5x5-2 = -5x3
36 a 5b 0 c 2 9 a 5b 3 x x y y 4a 5
y y
( 5 ) 0 ( 3)

4a10b 3c

4a10b 3 c2

xy y

More Examples:
1. If 4x = 32, then find x. Solution: Make the bases the same, then set exponents equal to each other. 4x = 32 (22)x = 25 2x = 5 so x = 5/2 Simplify Solution:

2.

27
27
2 3

2 3

1 27
2 3 3

1 27
2

1 32

1 9
2 5 2 5 2x 8x x
2x 4

3.

2 If 5

2x 4

5 , then find x. Solution: 2

6x 5

5 2

6x 5

2x 4

4 1 1 8

2 5 6x 5

( 6 x 5)

Make the denominators the same by flipping the fraction and changing the sign of the exponent. Set exponents equal to each other and solve for x.

Complex Numbers
1. Imaginary Numbers 2. Complex Numbers 3. Properties of Complex Numbers

Imaginary Numbers
If a is a positive real number, then a is an imaginary number and a i a The imaginary number i property that i a 2 a
a

has the

Complex Numbers
A complex number is a number that can be written in the form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i = -1. the form a + bi is called the standard from of a complex number. If a = 0, then a + bi becomes bi, and it is called an imaginary number. Examples of complex numbers: 3 + (-6) 4 + 7i 2 3i 6i

Complex Numbers
To add (or subtract) two complex numbers, add (or subtract) the real and imaginary parts of the numbers. Sum: (a + bi) + (c + di) = (a + c) + (b + d)i
Difference: (a + bi) - (c + di) = (a - c) + (b - d)i Example: 3 (-2 + 3i) + (-5 + i) = 3 + 2 3i 5 + i = 3 + 2 5 3i + i = 0 2i = -2i

Complex Numbers
The following properties of real numbers hold for complex numbers as well.
Associative Properties of Addition and Multiplication Commutative Properties of Addition and Multiplication Distributive Property of Multiplication over Addition

Example 1: i(-3i) = -3i2 = -3(-1) = 3 Example 2: i(4 + 3i) = 4i + 3i2 = 4i + 3(-1) = -3 + 4i Example 3: (2 i)(4 + 3i) = (2 i)(4) + (2 i)(3i) = 8 4i + 6i 3i2 = 8 4i + 6i 3(-1) = 8 4i + 6i + 3 = 11 + 2i

Complex Numbers
The sum of the first four i terms with consecutive exponents = 0. i0 = 1 i1 = i i2 = -1 i3 = -i From this point on, the pattern repeats. i4 = 1 i5 = i i6 = -1 i7 = -i Therefore, the sum of any four consecutive i terms will equal 0. Example 1: Simplify: i + i2 + i3 + i4 Solution: i + i2 + i3 + i4 = 0 Example 2: Simplify: i43 Solution: Divide the exponent by 4 and match the remainder with the exponent. 43/4 = 10R3 so i3 = -i

College Algebra Practice Problems The following slides are additional practice problems for the COMPASS College Algebra Placement Test.