Comparison of Illinois mathematics content test to other states.
Michigan Mathematics content exam
The first thing I noticed on the Michigan content test was the lack of emphasis on instructional/ pedagogical techniques. While the Illinois test framework test mention as a part of each and every category that you should essentially have knowledge of how to teach or demonstrate each concept the Michigan test framework almost completely leaves it out. The exam seems to have a much smaller range of topics in comparison to the Illinois test, for example the framework doesn’t say much about the use of technology or instructional methods in the classroom as well as a seemingly small emphasis on calculus. In that respect this may not be a very good resource for studying for the Illinois exam. What I can say is that the majority of the topics remaining are almost identical and they do a very good job in describing what exactly they expect you to understand which can be a positive in understanding and preparing for the Illinois exam.
The following question is an example from their review questions that I believe can do an equally good job in helping a student in Illinois prepare for the 208 exam.
9. A wildlife biologist discovers that a bird population in a certain area is being reduced by half every 6.3 years. The population will be unable to sustain itself if it drops below its lower limit of viability, which is 1,500. If the original population of birds is 5,000, how long will it take for the population to reach its lower limit of viability?
A. 6.3 years
B. 8.8 years
C. 10.9 years
D. 11.3 years
New York Mathematics content exam
The New York content exam initially reminds me a lot of the 115 Illinois content exam in the way that the frameworks are very similar. The New York test has almost identical subareas to the 208 although the difference comes in that they have a separate category for pedagogical content knowledge. The pedagogical content knowledge is incorporated into every subarea of the 208 which I think is a better way to organize it. These similarities make the New York content test a valuable resource for Illinois students because you will find many problems and ideas to be the same with similar emphasis as well. The review questions also proved to be quite useful and this one I found specifically is a good question in practicing for statistics and probability.
6. A bottling company uses a machine to fill juice bottles. The quantity of juice that goes into each bottle is normally distributed, with a mean of 471.5 mL and a standard deviation of 1.75 mL. Approximately what percentage of the bottles receives less than 468 mL?