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NYS Regents – Math B, 2008

June 21, 2008 pm30 6:06 pm

This is a transition year for math Regents in New York State. Math A had its last June administration. Integrated Algebra was given for the first time. But our worst exam, Math B, has two more years to go.

This year’s Math B was fairly typical. The Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State runs a listserve, and you can find discussion of the exam there. Old Math B exams (not the current one yet), are posted by New York State here.

Math B covers a wide variety of topics that might normally fall into a geometry, algebra II, trig, or precalculus course. There are circles, law of cosines, transformations, logs, compound interest, composition, summations, imaginary numbers, regression… And fractions, coordinate geometry, quadratics…

Math B places these topics into bizarre context, in order to claim “application of math” or “real world math.” A sprinkler covering an angle of one radian? Children keeping score with complex numbers?

In other words, hello grab bag. Mile wide, inch deep. Unpredictable. So, you can concentrate on the exam, and teach over one hundred topics, fairly superficially. Or you can take your chances.

In my school, we teach Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and deal with the misfit. We add units to the end of the trig course to cover the missing material. Many other schools use curricula specially devised to strip depth from all topics and to cover exactly the right group of topics over two years.

The irony is, publishers have taken old Algebra, Geometry, and Trig books, made new covers with titles Math A, Math A/B and Math B, and sold them just fine in New York State. With minimal changes – usually a bit of front material. Blecch.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2008 pm30 11:52 pm 11:52 pm

    So, who takes the Math B exam? At what grade level? Same questions for the Integrated Algebra exam.

    What are the consequences for the student of not passing? Are these the tests used for the NCLB?

    Sorry, just an Illinois math teacher trying to follow along here.

    • June 23, 2009 am30 9:12 am 9:12 am

      The Math B Regents is take by Mostly Senior or Junior In High School. The Integrated Algebra is taken in 10th grade by default.

      There are no consequences of the Math B, its not required.
      Integrated Algebra wasn’t required until this year too, but not it is because of the removal of the Math A.

      The math B is about the be removed too because of too much student failing in 2010.

      btw. I have to take the Math B this afternoon.

  2. June 22, 2008 am30 6:28 am 6:28 am

    Old sequence: Math A followed by Math B
    New Sequence: Algebra, Geometry, Trig

    The old sequence was really messed up. Some students took and passed A in 8th grade. Some were still trying to pass it in 12th grade.

    It is several things at once, including an exit exam. Students can’t graduate without passing A.

    Probably most taking it were 9th graders.

    Math B some accelerated kids might have taken in 9th, bit more in 10th, most in 11th, and some in 12th. Math B (helps to) qualify students for an “advanced regents diploma.”

    Most taking it are 11th graders.

  3. June 22, 2008 pm30 4:49 pm 4:49 pm

    Ah. Thank you for the clarification.

  4. June 24, 2008 am30 4:57 am 4:57 am

    Eff Glencoe and Prentice Hall

  5. Diane permalink
    June 25, 2008 am30 4:53 am 4:53 am

    i believe i failed this years math b examination,i new what i was doing for the most part, but i did not have enough time to complete the exam. i need to pass in order to get into ap calculus next year, and i really wanted to be in this class! well i’ll find out how i did on june 30th.

  6. Nora permalink
    June 25, 2008 pm30 2:39 pm 2:39 pm

    I’m a 9th grader in Sleepy Hollow, and I got a 99 on the Math A Regents last year. However, I was only able to get an 80 on the Math B. The system seems messed up. Many 10th graders bombed the test, and even more 11th graders did horribly. I’m an above average math student, and I didn’t manage mastery. I’m just very dissapointed, but relieved that they are changing the system.

  7. nyublog permalink
    June 27, 2008 am30 1:59 am 1:59 am

    Nora, you have to remember that the Math B tests (along with the Language Regents) sets apart the regular diploma from the Advanced Regents Diploma. It’s designed to be a tricky test.

    Oddly, and thankfully the test is mainly about recognizing problems, and remembering formulas. And, I don’t know about you. But, I was learning a new topic every 2/3 days – Math B was a rough course.

    In addition, I am proud to say after ENDLESS studying, reciting formulas, practicing – and more.. I was able to achieve mastery on the test. :D (I got an 85.)

    • Chris permalink
      June 23, 2009 pm30 5:30 pm 5:30 pm

      85 is not mastery. You also forgot that Nora said she was in 9th grade. I’m sure you were at least in 10th. I didn’t study at all and still managed to get a 91.

  8. lisa nicole permalink
    July 3, 2008 am31 1:04 am 1:04 am

    that math b exam was really hard. maybe it was b/c i didnt have much practice but i considered it really hard and anyone who thouight it was easy u better wipe that smile of your face bec ause 95% of us agreed it was very hard. watch out new commers; you are in a hell of a ride!!!

  9. brandon permalink
    July 13, 2008 am31 5:26 am 5:26 am

    the math b final is ridiculous and horrible for the kids since i was one of them who took the final in june of 08. The final covered the very rare topics ever seen inside of the classroom. It is horrible that the kids had to suffer threw this time when new york state couldnt see the problem with this corriculum.

    sorry the misspellings i;m a horrible speller if there is no abc check sorry

  10. July 13, 2008 pm31 8:48 pm 8:48 pm

    I failed the math b regents and my school in queens makes us take it over and over until we pass and if we do not pass in time for graduation we do not receive our advanced regents diploma. thank god for the math a regents because if I did not pass that I would not be able to graduate. I think its completely ridiculous that new york state would make us take the math b regent, it is extremely difficult & has certain topics that are very hard to grasp. I am not a big fan of mathematics and the math b course made me hate math even more, luckily I passed the course for the year. I had an amazing teacher, without her I would probably have been completely lost.

  11. Chris permalink
    July 17, 2008 pm31 6:44 pm 6:44 pm

    Where can I find a copy of the Math B June 2008 test ?

  12. July 17, 2008 pm31 8:25 pm 8:25 pm

    The June 2008 Math B exam is available as a PDF from JMAP.

  13. Ken Brabant permalink
    December 9, 2008 am31 5:35 am 5:35 am

    What was the actual failure rate for all New York state students who took the exam in June 2008?

  14. Anonymous permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 3:03 am 3:03 am

    I agree that the June 2008 Math B regents covered many obscure topics in the curriculum rarely covered in class; the test overall was of a lower difficulty than previous years. I scored a 99 on the Math A regents, which I took in the January of 2007 as an eighth grader. I took the June 2008 Math B regents and got a 100, the first one at my school to ever do so.

    • January 12, 2009 am31 6:55 am 6:55 am

      There have been significant problems with the reliability (consistency of difficulty) of the State math exams since the transition from 1, 2, 3 to A and B. What you experienced is real, and it is a problem. There are also problems with validity, which are even more serious.

      But, that being said, congratulations on getting high grades, even if we know they don’t mean that much.

  15. January 27, 2009 am31 3:58 am 3:58 am

    what topics are not on the math b regents?

  16. Anonymous permalink
    January 28, 2009 am31 12:34 am 12:34 am

    what about the intergraded math regents??

  17. asia permalink
    January 30, 2009 am31 4:19 am 4:19 am

    hi my name is asia
    in my school medgar evers preparatory school
    in brooklyn newyork
    we take the math a regents in the 6th and 7th grade.
    I am now in the 8th grade…when i took these regents i got a 94
    we also take the global history and living environemt in the 7th grade
    i took global and got a 92
    in liv.environment i got a takin this over so i can start in an a.p class in june
    now in 8th grade we just took the math b regents, in june we’re takin chinese regents, u.s.history for 8th and 11th grades, english as well as physics
    although i got a 70 on the math b i am confident i will score in the 90’s when i retake it in june

  18. Anonymous permalink
    February 27, 2009 am28 1:41 am 1:41 am

    ok, that’s b/s there is no chinese regents
    the math b wasn’t too bad, i thought i would get like a 95 or something but i only got an 88, so i’m retaking

  19. February 28, 2009 pm28 10:52 pm 10:52 pm

    I don’t know how good an idea it is to retake Math B. Likely you already have a 90 average in 8 Regents, so you have the honors designation on your diploma. And likely no one, maybe just you, will care about 94 vs 88.

    Ask your counselor.

  20. Yani permalink
    June 3, 2009 pm30 9:18 pm 9:18 pm

    I still think it’s borderline impossible to be fully prepared for the math B regents.
    Many Many Many try and fail until they can’t take the test anymore.
    I personally think that the new sequence is better.
    The teachers know exactly what to teach, there’s no surprises when the test comes, and the students have a better chance of passing especially if the subject is just trig, geometry, or algebra 1 and 2.

    • Packy permalink
      June 26, 2009 am30 1:37 am 1:37 am

      Im really not trying to brag, but you couldn’t be more wrong. I was easily fully prepared for the math b (june 2009) and missed 1 question and only lost 1 credit(i was in radians instead of degrees) .. I really dont understand how so many people fail math b. All it takes is practice and a little bit of effort.


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