Why do we need math? When I was in high school, I remember asking myself and my teachers that question. Today, some people argue that computer technology has rendered math classes obsolete. Actually, just the opposite has happened. According to Steven D. Levitt, the co-author of Freakonomics
, “In the past, one could get by on intuition and experience. Times have changed. Today, the name of the game is data.” In other words, today’s digital world requires us to sift through piles of information everyday, and mathematical problem-solving skills can help us make sense of everything. The website WeUseMath.org
states, “More and more, math is an essential tool to survive in today’s world. Math is a powerful tool for understanding the world, and almost everyone—from advertising agencies to doctors, from retailers to builders—who doesn’t want to be left behind is using math to do their job better and to get ahead in the world.”
In New York State, students must earn at least three credits and pass at least one Regents Exam in mathematics to receive a Regents diploma. To graduate with honors, or advanced designation, students must pass all three math Regents Exams. Below is a description of the NYS Regents Examinations in math. Each test is three hours long and includes a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions.
The Integrated Algebra Regents exam consists of four parts: one multiple-choice section and three open-ended sections, each with three questions for which you must show your work. Graphing calculators are required for the Integrated Algebra examination, and the test booklet includes a reference sheet containing formulas. The Integrated Algebra curriculum covers most of the topics previously included in Math A, except for some aspects of geometry, locus, geometric constructions, and combinations. In addition to topics on number theory, operations, variables and expressions, equations and inequalities, trigonometric functions, and coordinate geometry, Integrated Algebra also includes an introduction to sets, functions, lines of best fit, and exponential growth and decay.
The Geometry Regents exam consists of four parts: one multiple-choice section and three open-ended sections, for which you must show your work. Graphing calculators are required for the Geometry examination, and the test booklet includes a reference sheet containing formulas. The Geometry curriculum includes most of the topics previously included in the geometry units for Math A and Math B. In addition to covering geometric relationships, constructions, locus, informal and formal proofs, transformational geometry, and coordinate geometry, it also includes some additional geometry topics such as midpoint and concurrency theorems, similarity theorems, logical connectives, and aspects of solid geometry including parallel and perpendicular planes.
The Algebra 2/Trigonometry Regents exam consists of four parts: one multiple-choice section and three open-ended sections, for which you must show your work. Graphing calculators are required for the Algebra 2/Trig examination, and the test booklet includes a reference sheet containing formulas. The Algebra 2/ Trigonometry curriculum in covers the following topics: algebraic operations with fractions and radicals; operations with real and complex numbers; factoring; solving quadratic equations; solving systems of equations; transformations and functions; linear, quadratic, logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric functions and their graphs; trigonometric equations and laws; probability; statistics (including normal curve; fitting a line or curve to data using least squares regression); scatter plots; correlation coefficient; series and sequences.