Math Tips for the HSPT, COOP, and TACHS - dummies

By Lisa Zimmer Hatch, Scott A. Hatch

Part of Catholic High School Entrance Exams For Dummies Cheat Sheet

All three Catholic high school entrance exams feature some type of math section. You can score well on the math section of the HSPT, COOP, or TACHS if you follow these tips:

  • Use your test booklet to perform calculations, draw diagrams, and cross out answer choices that are just plain wrong. Just don’t use it to answer estimations on the TACHS.

  • Remember that easy questions are worth the same amount of points as hard questions. Don’t rush through the easy questions and make careless mistakes.

  • Memorize common math formulas before you take your entrance exam. Here are some important ones to know:

    Perimeter of a rectangle: A = 2l + 2w or 2(l + w)

    Perimeter of a square: A = 4s

    Area of a triangle: A = (1/2)bh

    Area of a rectangle: A = bh or lw

    Area of a square: A = S2

    Diameter of a circle: d = 2r

    Circumference of a circle: C = 2πr or πd

    Area of a circle: A = πr2

    Volume of rectangular solids: V = lwh

    Pythagorean theorem: a2 + b2 = c2

    Average of a set of numbers: Average = Sum of the numbers ÷ The amount of numbers in the set

  • Commit properties of angles to memory. These five are the ones to know for your exam:

    Right angles measure 90°.

    The sum of the interior angles of a triangle is 180°.

    The sum of the interior angles of a quadrilateral is 360°.

    Complementary angles add up to 90°.

    Supplementary angles add up to 180°.

  • Memorize common measurement equivalents. The following ones are important:

    1 foot = 12 inches

    1 yard = 3 feet

    1 meter = 100 centimeters

    1 kilometer = 1,000 meters

    1 pound = 16 ounces

    1 cup = 8 ounces

    1 pint = 2 cups

    1 quart = 2 pints or 4 cups

    1 gallon = 4 quarts

    1 kilogram = 1,000 grams

  • Commit the order of operations to memory: Think of PEMDAS — Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction — and you’ll be set.