## About This Quiz

Math is, sadly, one of the worst-taught subjects out there. There is no reason it needs to be dull or - below collegiate level - excessively difficult. What it needs is to be taught by enthusiastic teachers to students whose parents support them and understand that failing a lot in order to succeed once is a perfectly decent way to make it as a student. Unfortunately, far too many of us hit a wall and feel too embarrassed or stupid to say so, then we don't get the tools we need to realize that we can actually get over that wall and scale the giddy heights of numeracy.

Smartphones only make this problem worse, by masking mathematical illiteracy behind the veil of tip-calculating apps and suchlike. However, you do need to be able to do mental arithmetic and to know mathematical concepts and ideas without using anything that has an "on" switch. You need this because the language of math underlies everything we do. It helps keep your brain flexible and ready for work, and stops you having your life ruined by the errors of your accountant, bank or landlord. Math fluency is a vital life skill. Do you have it?

Put your arms out to 90 degrees then look along one. Now the other. You have just turned your head through an angle! That's because an angle is the amount of turn.

Advertisement

Think of how, "I ain't got none" means that technically, you do have some. Negative numbers are like this: Multiply them together and they are positive. Negative people, alas, do not work this way!

Advertisement

11/12 has a numerator (top number) and a denominator (bottom number).

Advertisement

35% is 35/100 as a fraction, and 0.35 as a decimal. Decimals to percentages are typically pretty easy; you just divide by 100.

Advertisement

A prime number is a whole number that cannot be divided by anything but itself and 1. They are very important in a variety of mathematical principles and theories. 49/7 = 7, hence it is not a prime.

Advertisement

This graph doesn't touch the X axis. It certainly LOOKS like it does because ink takes up space on paper and you can't draw infinity - but it doesn't. It's two curves that swoop from Y to X and never touch either axis.

Advertisement

Chaos simply means things are random. A chaotic graph has points dotted about with no pattern. A chaotic math lesson has some students sleeping, some listening and some passing notes, and an unknown number being sent to the principal's office. A chaotic set of numbers bear no relation to one another, etc.

Advertisement

Complementary angles add up to 90. That means if you put them together, you get a shape with an outline that has a right angle in it.

Advertisement

The reciprocal of x/y is y/x; that is, you just invert it. Thus, 1/x is the reciprocal of x/1. Of course, the correct way to write that is just ... x.

Advertisement

A radian is a way of measuring angles and turn that is designed to deal with the reality of Pi being the trickiest darn number there is. There are two times Pi radians in a circle, hence a single radian is 360 / (2*3.14159...) = 57.296 degrees!

Advertisement

The lowest common denominator isn't how we choose politicians (though it often is that!). It's the lowest number you could use as a denominator for all the fractions in a set. In this example, you could write the three fractions as 4/10, 7/10, and 3/10.

Advertisement

Integers are whole numbers with no decimals or fractions.

Advertisement

An improper fraction is one where the numerator is bigger than the denominator. That is, 11/7 is improper because 11 is bigger than 7.

Advertisement

The greater number is on the wide side, so in this case, you look for a symbol that is more open on the left. The underscore on the bottom shows the "equal to" part. Hence, ≥ is the right answer.

Advertisement

Triangular numbers mean you can make a perfectly equilateral (same-length sides) triangle out of dots in that number. The right answer is 1, 3, 6, 10, 15. The wrong answers here, for fun, are actually the square, pentagonal, and octagonal numbers!

Advertisement

Newton is one of the most important mathematicians of all time. Gravity is only one of his contributions; he also made enormous contributions to the broader field of calculus.

Advertisement

The cosine of an angle in a right-handed triangle is the length of the adjacent side divided by the length of the hypotenuse. That is, how long the nearest side is compared to the longest side. It means even if you only know one side and the cosine of one angle, you can calculate the other sides.

Advertisement

This is called a factorial. It's when you multiply a number by each term smaller. So 5*4*3*2*1 = 120. Amusingly when you read the ! symbol aloud, in math, you pronounce it "shriek". So for this one, you'd say "five shriek".

Advertisement

This is Pythagoras' Theorem, and it's likely the first big theorem you'll learn in math. On a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

Advertisement

Differentiation is when you calculate how something changes over time. Speed is the differential of location (ie, it's how fast the latter is changing). Acceleration is the differential of speed (ie, how fast speed is changing).

Advertisement

Fibonacci's Sequence is where you add two consecuritve terms to get the next. It's actually incredibly common in nature; go find it in the spirals on the face of a sunflower, plus a million other places.

Advertisement

A tetrahedron means a pyramid with a triangular base. A vertex (plural vertices) means a corner on such a shape. A tetrahedron has four.

Advertisement

Recurring decimals have a pattern that repeats. It also never stops. Some of them can be expressed as a fraction though eg 0.333333333 ... can be shown as 1/3.

Advertisement

Half is 0.5. A quarter is 0.25. Thus, 0.125 is an eighth!

Advertisement

A mole is not just a super cute but dangerous pest. It's also the amount that a substance weighs if you have an Avogadro's number of molecules of it. The number is 6.022140857 × 10^23, which is a lot. And don't worry, this is by far the hardest question on the test!

Advertisement

A polynomial is a fancy way of saying a rather complicated-looking equation, or rather, one that has several algebraic terms in it. It's especially common for them to have different powers of one variable, for example: x^3 - 2x^2 +4 is a polynomial.

Advertisement

A Cartesian coordinate system means you know where something is in two dimensions because it's pinpointed on two axes (usually x and y). So any of these COULD be Cartesian coordinates. It depends what the context is!

Advertisement

The shape of this graph, like any exponential graph, is parabolic. That's the shape that a Frisbee or ball makes if you throw it properly.

Advertisement

Plotted on a graph, sine and cosine are both wiggly lines like a snake. Tan is where things get super weird-looking; it's sort of a series of monumental spikes with a jink in the middle as they each go up toward an infinite limit.

Advertisement

Pythagorean Triples are sets of numbers that describe right-angled triangles whose sides are integers of the measuring unit (whether cm, m, or other). These triples always require integers.

Advertisement

Pi goes on forever. That means you can't write it a a fraction, and thus it is considered to be an "irrational number".

Advertisement

Supplementary angles add up to 180 degrees. That means if you put them together you get an outline that has a straight line on one side.

Advertisement

A quadratic equation is one which looks like this: ax² + bx + c = 0. The above formula will help you calculate literally any quadratic equation. What's fun about it is the proof, which is actually rather beautiful.

Advertisement

This ratio is very important in nature. You see it in buildings, for example the Parthenon is built almost entirely using it. It also expresses the ratio of terms in the Fibonacci Sequence with increasing accuracy as they get bigger.

Advertisement

On a sphere, all bets are off. If you draw a "perfect" right-angled triangle linking three towns that are really far apart on the surface of the Earth, then test the distances between them, you'll see that the square of the "hypotenuse" on your map actually is NOT the sum of the square of the other two sides. This is called "non-Euclidean geometry" and it'll blow your mind.

Advertisement