The Best Algebra 1 Regents Study Tips | Albert Resources (2024)

Looking for the best Algebra 1 Regents study tips? Then you’re at the right place.

In this detailed guide, we provide you with graphing calculator tips and tricks, hacks for tackling the multiple choice questions and constructed response questions, a breakdown of the most common questions asked on Regents Algebra 1, and more.

So if you want to pass your Algebra 1 Regents exam with flying colors, read on!

What We Review

Algebra 1 Regents Graphing Calculator Tips and Tricks

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Did you know that your graphing calculator can help you pass the Algebra 1 Regents Exam? Our list of graphing calculator tips and tricks can help you plug and chug to find the correct answer or check your work so you can feel confident about your score.

1. Identify equivalent expressions with your calculator’s “table” function.

Sure, you can add, subtract, multiply, and even factor polynomial expressions. However, this creates tons of opportunities for human error.

Try entering the given expression and each answer choice as “equations” in your calculator’s Y= function. Then, hit “TABLE” to check the tables of each equation against one another. If two tables have equivalent x and y values, their equations are equivalent as well.

Regents QuestionCalculator Trick (Click to Expand)
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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #3

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #8

2. Verify your variables with “plug and chug.”

Let’s face it — solving complex equations can trip up even Algebra 1 all-stars. It’s so easy to miss a negative sign or make a mental math mistake.

You can double check your computations or use the guess and check method to ensure your answer is correct. Simply substitute each possible value for the variable in the original equation to find what works.

Regents QuestionCalculator Trick (Click to Expand)
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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #4

3. Find equivalent functions by comparing graphs.

Don’t be intimidated by quadratic or exponential functions. They may look complicated, but just remember that equivalent functions mean identical graphs.

Enter two functions into your calculator’s Y= utility. Then, compare their graphs to see if they match up. Same graph, equivalent function.

Note: you may have to adjust the size of the coordinate plane using the “WINDOW” function.

Regents QuestionCalculator Trick (Click to Expand)
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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #13

4. Solve quadratic equations with input-output tables.

Don’t have time to complete the square? Find quadratic roots in seconds with your graphing calculator.

Isolate the entire quadratic expression on one side of the equals sign with 0 on the other side. Then, input the equation into your calculator’s Y= function and check out the input-output table. Any x values when y=0 are the equation’s roots. This is a great way to check your work, too!

Regents QuestionCalculator Trick (Click to Expand)
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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2018, Question #14

5. Identify irrational numbers in one easy step.

Having trouble keeping the definitions of rational and irrational numbers straight? We’ve got you covered.

To test if an expression is rational or irrational, just enter it into your calculator and hit “Math” → “Frac”. If it converts into a fraction, it’s rational. If it remains a decimal, it’s irrational.

Regents QuestionCalculator Trick (Click to Expand)
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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2019, Question #3

6. Evaluate functions in a snap.

Recall that f(x) is the output value for an input of x. So, we can evaluate f(-3) by substituting -3 for each variable in the function. The output is f(-3).

You can do this by hand, but using your graphing calculator will save you time and ensure accuracy. Don’t lose points over a silly mistake.

Regents QuestionCalculator Trick (Click to Expand)
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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, June 2019, Question #2

7. Identify features of graphs visually.

Visual learners, this one’s for you. Identify the domain, range, vertex, and intercepts of any function by graphing it in your calculator.

Enter the function in the Y= utility and hit “Graph.” Then, use the arrow keys to see the x and y values of different points on the line or curve.

Note: you may have to adjust the size of the coordinate plane using the “WINDOW” function.

Regents QuestionCalculator Trick (Click to Expand)
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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #5

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #23

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4 “Hacks” for the Multiple Choice Questions on Regents Algebra 1 Exams

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Are you looking to earn every point possible on your Regents Algebra 1 exam? Below are some helpful multiple choice hacks to remember as you prepare to pass the big exam:

Hack #1) Use Process of elimination

Every multiple choice question on the Algebra 1 Regents exam has 4 possible choices. For questions where you’re not sure what the correct answer is, try eliminating at least 1-2 of the answer choices that definitely do not make sense.

As you go through each possible answer choice, cross out every option that you know is wrong. If you started with 4 answer options, that means you have a 25% chance of randomly guessing the right answer. If you can eliminate two of the answer choices, that means you’ve doubled your chances of getting the question correct to 50%!

Hack #2) Constantly think: “is my answer reasonable?”

Once you’ve selected your answer for each question, you should always double check your work. One great way to check your answer is to ask “is my answer reasonable?” or “does my answer make sense?”.

For example, if a question is asking you to find the slope of a line that goes up from left to right on a graph and you selected a negative slope…your answer is not reasonable because the slope must be positive.

Hack #3) Lookout for “not”

Almost every Regents Algebra 1 exam includes at least one tricky question that includes the word “not” in the prompt. It is always helpful to have a consistent annotation strategy, including circling the word “not” anytime it shows up on a question.

For example, here is a prompt from the 2019 Regents Algebra 1 exam:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #16

Be extra careful when you read each question to make sure you don’t fall for any of the “tricks” like this that the exam tries to pull!

Hack #4) Answer everything (but not randomly)

The Regents Algebra 1 exam does not subtract points from your score if you get an answer wrong. This means you should be sure to answer every single multiple choice question (even if you truly have no idea how to solve the question).

However, this doesn’t mean you should just answer randomly for questions that you are unsure about. Use the strategies we’ve listed above – especially process of elimination – to give yourself the best chance possible to earn the credits you need to pass the exam.

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3 “Hacks” for the Constructed Response Questions on Regents Algebra 1 Exams

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Hack #1) Show as much work as possible

The beauty of constructed response questions is that you can earn partial credit for answers even if you aren’t 100% correct. This means you should always write down anything you think might be relevant to solving the problem. The more accurate thinking you demonstrate on your exam, the more likely it is the grader will be able to award you credits for your answer.

Hack #2) Watch your units

Most Regents Algebra 1 exams include at least one real-world constructed response question that requires unit conversion. For any question that mentions units (feet, miles, pounds, liters, etc.), you should pay close attention to how the question wants you to state your final answer.

Here’s an example Regents question that requires careful attention to units:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2017, Question #30

Hack #3) Start with your strengths

Before immediately diving into answering all the constructed response questions, you could quickly skim all the questions to find the ones you feel most confident answering. This will help you feel motivated as you begin the constructed response questions and will allow you extra time for the questions that will take you longer to solve.

If you decide to answer questions in your own order for the exam, just be sure you answer all questions provided.

Remember: You should never leave a constructed response answer completely blank.

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The Top 5 Most Common Questions Asked on the Regents Algebra 1 Exam

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In order to pass the Regents Algebra 1 exam, you likely want to know which specific questions are most commonly asked on the test. Well, our Albert math team has done the work for you!

We analyzed hundreds of official questions from the most recent Regents Algebra 1 exams to find the trends among the math topics and standards most frequently assessed. Check out the results below:

#1 Most Common Question:

Solve linear equations or inequalities

Frequency: asked 14 times in the last 3 yearsStandard: HS.A.REI.3

“Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.”

Practice this skill for free on Albert!
Tip: This skill almost always shows up as a multiple choice question in Part I.
Example:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, June 2018, Question #30

#2 Most Common Question:

Model real-world scenarios by writing equations, inequalities, and systems of equations or inequalities

Frequency: asked 13 times in the last 3 yearsStandard: HS.A.CED.3

“Represent constraints by equations or inequalities, and by systems of equations and/or inequalities, and interpret solutions as viable or non- viable options in a modeling context. For example, represent inequalities describing nutritional and cost constraints on combinations of different foods.”

Practice this skill for free on Albert!
Tip: This skill almost always shows up as a medium constructed response question in Part III or a long constructed response in Part IV.
Example:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2019, Question #37

#3 Most Common Question:

Reveal properties of expressions by writing equivalent forms of an expression

Frequency: asked 12 times in the last 3 yearsStandard: HS.A.SSE.3

“Choose and produce an equivalent form of an expression to reveal and explain properties of the quantity represented by the expression.”

Practice this skill for free on Albert!
Tip: This skill often shows up as a multiple choice question in Part I or as a short constructed response question in Part II.
Example:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2018, Question #21

#4 Most Common Question:

Use the structure of an expression to rewrite the expression in new ways

Frequency: asked 11 times in the last 3 yearsStandard: HS.A.SSE.2

“Use the structure of an expression to identify ways to rewrite it. For example, see x^4 – y^4 as (x^2)^2 – (y^2)^2, thus recognizing it as a difference of squares that can be factored as (x^2 – y^2)(x^2 + y^2).”

Practice this skill for free on Albert!
Tip: This skill often shows up as a multiple choice question in Part I.
Example:

The Best Algebra 1 Regents Study Tips | Albert Resources (29)Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, August 2018, Question #7

#5 Most Common Question:

Understand the definition of a function, including domain and range

Frequency: asked 10 times in the last 3 yearsStandard: HS.F.IF.1

“Understand that a function from one set (called the domain) to another set (called the range) assigns to each element of the domain exactly one element of the range. If f is a function and x is an element of its domain, then f(x) denotes the output of f corresponding to the input x. The graph of f is the graph of the equation y = f(x).”

Practice this skill for free on Albert!
Tip: This skill often shows up as a multiple choice question in Part I or as a short constructed response question in Part II.
Example:

The Best Algebra 1 Regents Study Tips | Albert Resources (30)Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2019, Question #7

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Key Algebra 1 Regents Question Vocabulary

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Here’s the unfortunate truth: some students struggle on math assessments because they have trouble reading and comprehending lengthy word problems. To best prepare for the Algebra 1 Regents exam, practice some strategic reading strategies specific to mathematics.

Still not feeling confident about your literacy skills? We’ve analyzed released Algebra 1 Regents exams to find the most common words and phrases used in prompts. Follow our guide to get comfortable with some key Algebra 1 Regents vocabulary:

1. If your prompt says SOLUTION, think about the value of the variable.

We often use the word solution to mean the same thing as “answer”. However, in the Algebra 1 Regents, “solution” refers to the value of the variable in an equation.

We can find an equation’s solution by isolating the variable in an equation, usually by using inverse operations. Remember, subtraction and addition “undo” one another, as do multiplication and division.

The great thing about solution problems is that you can check your work to ensure your answer is correct. When you’ve found the value of a variable, substitute it back into the original equation and simplify. If the resulting equation is true (5=5), you’ve got the right answer! If the resulting equation is false (4=5), you’ve made a mistake. Double check your work to see where you went wrong.

But wait: a solution doesn’t always refer to one value. The solution(s) to a system of equations in two variables will be in the form (x,y). The solution to an inequality can include a range of values.

Example problem:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2019, Question #15

2. If your prompt says ZEROS or ROOTS, think about the x-intercepts.

When we solve a polynomial equation, we are finding its x values when y=0. There are multiple names for these values, including zeros and roots.

You have many options on how to tackle these kinds of problems. You can factor the expression, complete the square, use the quadratic formula, or solve by graphing. We recommend using our graphing calculator tips and tricks to get started.

Once you have a graph of your function, finding the roots is easy. Just identify any points where the graph crosses the x-axis.

Example problem:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2019, Question #9

3. If your prompt says SHIFT, think about function transformations.

When a “parent function”, or original function, is transformed, its graph is shifted up, down, left, or right on the coordinate plane.

Function transformations can get a little tricky, but these basic guidelines will help you solve most problems. Given a function f(x):

  • Addition inside parentheses means a shift left. So, f(x+3) means f(x) shifts 3\text{ units} left.
  • Subtraction inside parentheses means a shift right. So, f(x-3) means f(x) shifts 3\text{ units} right.
  • Addition outside parentheses means a shift up. So, f(x)+5 means f(x) shifts 5\text{ units} up.
  • Subtraction outside parentheses means a shift down. So, f(x)-5 means f(x) shifts 5\text{ units} down.

Example problem:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2019, Question #10

4. If your prompt says EQUIVALENT, think about rewriting equations.

Equivalent is a common math term synonymous with “equal” or “the same”. In the Algebra 1 Regents, we usually are asked to identify equivalent expressions or functions.

This means that we might need to factor, use the distributive property, and combine like terms to rewrite a given expression or equation in another form.

You can also refer to our graphing calculator tips and tricks [LINK] for ways to verify that two equations are indeed equivalent.

Example problem:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, June 2019, Question #1

5. If your prompt says DOMAIN or RANGE, think about inputs and outputs.

The domain of a function is the set of possible inputs, or x-values. The range of a function is the set of outputs, or y-values, for each input.

Hint: you can remember the difference between domain and range with help from the alphabet. “D” comes before “R” just like x comes before y.

To find the domain and range of a function, consider its input and output values from a table, graph, equation, or solution set. This is another great opportunity to take advantage of our graphing calculator tips and tricks. [LINK]

Example problem:

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Source: Regents Algebra 1 Exam, January 2019, Question #14

Need help preparing for your Algebra 1 Regents exam?

Albert has a number of Algebra 1 Regents practice tests for you to practice with!

Unique from other Regents prep sites, Albert not only provides access to the previously released Regents tests, but also includes original New York Algebra 1 Regents practice questions. Create your free account today.

Start your Regents test prep here

Also, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to also check out our How to Pass Algebra 1 Regents review guide here.

We also have a free 30-day Algebra 1 Regents study guide here.

The Best Algebra 1 Regents Study Tips | Albert Resources (2024)
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