Are you trying to figure out how to study and what you need to know cold for the Algebra 2 Regents exam?

Good news — this comprehensive guide covers all the best Algebra 2 Regents study tips and things to remember!

We’ll cover graphing calculator tricks, tips for multiple-choice and constructed response questions, the most commonly asked questions on the Regents exam, and the most important Algebra 2 vocabulary you need to memorize.

Keep reading for everything you need to pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam!

What We Review

**The Top 5 Most Common Topics on the Algebra 2 Regents Exam**

While each Algebra 2 Regents exam has different questions, there are clear patterns in what topics are most often assessed. Are you curious about the specific topics you should review and practice the most before test day?

We’ve got you covered!

We analyzed hundreds of official questions from the most recent Algebra 2 Regents exams and found the trends in what specific topics are often assessed. Below are the five most commonly-assessed topics on the Algebra 2 Regents exam:

### #1 Most Common Topic: Rewrite Expressions

**Description: **Use the structure of an expression to rewrite it in new ways.

**Frequency**: This topic has been assessed in 100% of recent exams.

**Pro Tip**: This topic is almost always assessed as a **multiple-choice** question in Part I of the exam.

**Math Standard**: 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) .*

**Example:**

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #1*

### #2 Most Common Topic: Solve Equations

**Description: **Solve rational and radical questions in one variable.

**Frequency**: This topic has been assessed in 100% of recent exams.

**Pro Tip**: This topic often shows up as both a multiple-choice question in Part I as well as a constructed response question in Parts II, III, or IV.

**Math Standard**: HS.A.REI.2 // *Solve simple rational and radical equations in one variable, and give examples showing how extraneous solutions may arise.*

**Example:**

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, June 2019, Question #26*

### #3 Most Common Topic: Graph Special Functions

**Description: **Graph and analyze exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions.

**Frequency**: This topic has been assessed in 100% of recent exams.

**Pro Tip**: This topic often shows up as both a multiple-choice question in Part I as well as a constructed response question.

**Math standard**: HS.F.IF.7e // *Graph exponential and logarithmic functions, showing intercepts and end behavior, and trigonometric functions, showing period, midline, and amplitude.*

**Example:**

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, January 2019, Question #13*

### #4 Most Common Topic: Sequences

**Description: **Write arithmetic and geometric sequences

**Frequency**: This topic has been assessed in 100% of recent exams.

**Pro Tip**: This topic often shows up as a multiple-choice question in Part I of the exam.

**Math standard**: HS.F.BF.2 // *Write arithmetic and geometric sequences both recursively and with an explicit formula, use them to model situations, and translate between the two forms.*

**Example:**

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #9*

### #5 Most Common Topic: Interpret Graphs and Tables

**Description: **Interpret key features of function graphs and tables, as well as draw graphs showing key features.

**Frequency**: This topic has been assessed in 100% of recent exams.

**Pro Tip**: This topic generally shows up as a constructed response question – often as the big 6-credit question in Part 4 of the exam.

**Math standard**: HS.F.IF.4 // *For a function that models a relationship between two quantities, interpret key features of graphs and tables in terms of the quantities, and sketch graphs showing key features given a verbal description of the relationship. Key features include: intercepts; intervals where the function is increasing, decreasing, positive, or negative; relative maximums and minimums; symmetries; end behavior; and periodicity.*

**Example:**

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, June 2019, Question #37*

**Key Algebra 2 Regents Question Vocabulary Cheat Sheet**

When we think about math, we don’t often think about vocabulary. However, incorporating vocabulary study into your Algebra 2 Regents practice is an effective way to build your test-taking confidence and improve your score.

We’ve analyzed released Algebra 2 Regents exams to find the most important vocabulary for you to learn. Check out our vocabulary cheat sheet for the words and phrases you need to know cold.

### 1. If your prompt says **INTEREST, **think about exponential growth.

Algebra 2 students are likely already familiar with the simple interest formula, but that’s not the kind of interest you’ll need to know for the Algebra 2 Regents exam.

Instead, you’ll need to know the **compound interest formula** for the Algebra 2 Regents exam. This is **not** one of the equations listed in the Algebra 2 Regents formula sheet, so take the time to study this formula.

Keep in mind that A stands for the final amount, P stands for the original principal amount, r is the interest rate as a decimal, n is the number of times the interest compounds per period, and t is the number of time periods that elapse.

Example question:

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #17*

### 2. If your prompt says **INVERSE,** think about switching your variables.

In Algebra 2, you learn about the existence of **inverse functions, **or functions that are the reverses of one another. We can express the inverse of a function f(x) as f^{-1}(x).

The easiest way to find the inverse of a function is to switch the variables of that function. For example, the inverse of y=6x+2 is simply x=6y+2. Notice that the only difference is that the x and y variables switched places.

When your prompt asks you for inverse functions, you’ll likely need to use inverse operations to isolate the dependent variable in the inverse function.

To verify that you’ve found the correct inverse of a function, you can check out our calculator tricks below.

Example question:

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, June 2019, Question #9*

### 3. If your prompt says **NORMAL DISTRIBUTION**, think about the empirical rule.

One tricky concept in the Algebra 2 Regents is that of normal distribution and standard deviation. This is another fact you should know cold, since it’s **not **on the Algebra 2 Regents formula sheet.

The **empirical rule** essentially states that when data has a normal distribution:

- About 68% of values are within one standard deviation of the mean
- About 95% of values are within two standard deviations of the mean
- About 99.7% of values are within three standard deviations of the mean

Remembering those three percentages can help you solve problems about standard deviation without having to do any actual math.

You can also use our calculator trick for standard deviation to solve problems and check your work.

Example question:

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, June 2019, Question #18*

### 4. If your prompt says **SEQUENCE **or **SERIES**, pull out your formula sheet.

The Algebra 2 Regents includes many questions on sequences and series. Fortunately for you, the Algebra 2 Regents equation sheet includes the formulas you need to solve these types of problems.

The trick here is knowing when to use which equation. Consider your options:

If your problem involves a list of terms or a certain number term in a list, then you’re dealing with a **sequence. **There are two types of sequences: **geometric** and **arithmetic.**

When the terms is a list increase by a common difference, your sequence is arithmetic. You can remember this because you’re *adding* to get each subsequent term, and “adding” and “arithmetic” both start with A. If the terms increase by a common ratio, your sequence is geometric.

If you need to identify the sum of terms in a list, then you’re considering a **series** and you should use the series formula.

Example question:

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, January 2019, Question #4*

### 5. If your prompt says **PERIOD **or **AMPLITUDE**, think about graphs of trigonometric functions.

Working with trigonometric functions and their graphs is likely a new experience for Algebra 2 students. Two key terms that frequently pop up in the Algebra 2 Regents exam are **period** and **amplitude,** so familiarize yourself with what these mean in terms of trigonometric functions.

Consider the graph of a trigonometric function:

The **period** is the horizontal length of a complete “cycle” of the function, or the distance between equivalent y values.

The **amplitude** is half of the distance between the maximum and minimum y values.

There’s so much more to know about trigonometric functions, but understanding these two vocabulary terms will give you a leg up on the Algebra 2 Regents exam.

Example question:

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #12*

**3 Strategies and Tips for Multiple Choice Questions on Regents Algebra 2 Exams**

### 1. Use the process of elimination

Whenever you’re presented with a wide range of answer options, it can be helpful to eliminate any answer choices that you know cannot be correct. This is called the “process of elimination”.

For the Algebra 2 Regents exam, you’ll be given 4 possible answer choices on all multiple-choice questions. It’s very likely you can eliminate at least one – and maybe even two – of the answer choices pretty easily. As you go through each possible answer choice, literally draw a line through any answer choice that **must** be wrong.

If you can’t decide on a final answer, take an educated guess or try a new strategy. Whatever you do: do NOT leave any question blank on your Regents exam. You do not lose credits for a wrong answer, so it’s much better to just guess instead of leaving something blank.

What makes the process of elimination such a great trick?

You originally start with 25% chance of randomly guessing the right answer (1 out of 4). If you can eliminate two of the answer choices, that means you’ve doubled your chances of getting the question correct to 50% (1 out of 2)!

### 2. Constantly ask yourself: “is my answer logical?”

Finding reasonable answers is especially important when solving word problems or “real-life application” problems. After you think you’ve found your final answer, pause for a moment. Check to see if your answer makes sense given the situation in the prompt.

Think to yourself: “Does my answer make sense?” or “Is my answer logical?”

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

### 3. Don’t get “stuck” on a single problem

Most students have plenty of time to finish all the questions on the Algebra 2 Regents exam. In fact, most students finish with many minutes leftover on the 3-hour time limit!

However, this doesn’t mean you should stay “stuck” on a single multiple-choice question as you work through the exam. It’s important to stay confident and focus on the questions you DO know really well. You can always go back to tricky questions and spend extra time thinking through different options. In fact, we often think of new ideas on how to solve tricky problems just by working on other problems elsewhere on the exam!

We generally suggest about 3 minutes for each multiple-choice question. For more details on how to pace yourself on the exam, check out our full Algebra 2 Regents review guide.

**3 Strategies and Tips for Constructed Response Questions on Regents Algebra 2 Exams**

### 1. Don’t get lazy (show your work)

One of the best parts of constructed response questions is that you can earn partial credit for questions even if your final answer isn’t totally correct!

To earn partial credit, it’s imperative that you show as much work as possible on every constructed response question. This means you should always write down anything you think might be relevant to solving the problem. The more accurate work you demonstrate on your test booklet, the more likely it is the exam grader will be able to award you credits.

### 2. Answer ALL parts of the question

The constructed response questions on the Algebra 2 Regents exam often have multiple parts.

For example, read this 4-credit question from an actual Regents exam:

*Source: **Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #33*

Answering BOTH parts of this question is required to earn full credit. A help tip might be to flip through every single question in Parts II, III, and IV of your exam before turning it in to make sure you didn’t skip any part of any question.

### 3. Start with your strengths

Some students like to read all the constructed response prompts on their Regents exam before actually writing down answers. When you begin Part II of the exam, quickly skim all the Part II questions. This might be helpful as you can find the questions you are most confident in and knock them out first.

You’ll 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 the questions provided.

*Remember: You should never leave a constructed response question with a blank answer.*

**Algebra 2 Regents Graphing Calculator Tips and Tricks**

The New York State Education Department test administration directions allow students to use graphing calculators for the entire Algebra 2 Regents exam. Don’t let this amazing opportunity go to waste!

We’ve created a cheat sheet of graphing calculator tricks and things to remember to help boost your Algebra 2 Regents score. This list builds off of our Algebra 1 Regents Calculator Tips and Tricks, so be sure to check that out as well to truly maximize your score.

### 1. Identify even and odd functions with your calculator’s graphing function

One thing you’ll need to remember for the Algebra 2 Regents is the difference between even and odd functions.

- A function is
**even**if it is symmetric with respect to the y-axis. - A function is
**odd**if it is symmetric with respect to the origin.

If you remember those two things, your graphing calculator can do the rest. Just hit **Y=**, input your function, and hit **GRAPH** to see whether your function is even or odd.

Regents Question | Calculator Tip (Click to Expand) |

### 2. Find inverse functions graphically

Functions that are **inverses** of one another have graphs that are symmetric about the line y=x.

If you are given a function and asked to find its inverse, you can do so using your calculator using the graphing function. Hit **Y= **and input the given function in Y_1. In Y_2, just enter x.

Then, input each answer choice one at a time as Y_3. Hit **GRAPH** to check if the functions are symmetric about the line y=x. When you find the function that is symmetric, you’ve found the inverse function!

Regents Question | Calculator Tip (Click to Expand) |

### 3. Find solutions to systems of equations in seconds

Remember, the solution to any system of equations is the ordered pair (or ordered pairs) where the graphs of the equations intersect.

So, to solve systems in your graph calculator, simply hit **Y= **and enter each function on a different row. Then hit **GRAPH** to see where the graphs intersect.

To find the *exact *point of intersection, hit **2ND **followed by **CALC **and then toggle down to select **intersection.** Move your cursor so that it is near the point of intersection on each line. Hit **ENTER** to see the x and y values of the point(s) of intersection.

Hint: if you’re having trouble seeing the graphs clearly, try hitting **WINDOW **to adjust the size of the graph.

Regents Question | Calculator Tip (Click to Expand) |

### 4. Evaluate expressions with imaginary numbers in a snap

Did you know that your graphing calculator is equipped to work with **imaginary numbers**? Follow our tips and you’ll save yourself valuable time on the Algebra 2 Regents exam.

This calculator trick works best for imaginary number questions *without* variables, but it’s good to remember that you can use imaginary numbers in the graphing function as well.

If you have a problem that involves imaginary numbers, first hit **MODE **and then toggle down to move from the default of “REAL” to a+bi. Then input i where necessary and treat the rest of the expression like normal.

Hint: On most calculators, the i key is located above the decimal key.

Hit **ENTER** to see the result. The output will include an imaginary number as well.

Regents Question | Calculator Tip (Click to Expand) |

### 5. Solve standard deviation problems with a calculator command

Solving **standard deviation **problems by hand can be time consuming and leave students vulnerable to making mistakes. Try using your calculator’s deviation function instead.

To input your quantities, hit **2ND** followed by **DISTR. **Then, toggle down to select “normalcdf.” Input the lower and upper limits of your target population as well as the mean and standard deviation.

Then, select “Paste” to return to the main screen. Hit **ENTER** to get the percentage of the population that falls within those limits. If you are looking for the value of a population, multiply the percentage by the population total.

Regents Question | Calculator Tip (Click to Expand) |

**Summary: What to Remember for the Algebra 2 Regents**

The Algebra 2 Regents is a high-stakes exam for many students. This guide of study tips, tricks, and things to remember can help you pass the exam with flying colors.

Here are some key takeaways from our comprehensive guide:

**Make sure you know how to answer the most commonly asked questions.**We can almost guarantee that certain types of questions will show up on the exam, so do yourself a favor and master these skills and concepts.**Memorize key Algebra 2 vocabulary. Let’s face it: math uses a lot of terms and phrases that we aren’t used to hearing in everyday life. Take the time to memorize some key terms and phrases from our Algebra 2 cheat sheet to set yourself up for success on the exam.****Familiarize yourself with question strategies. Taking tests can be a stressful experience for everyone. If you build your repertoire of strategies for multiple choice and constructed response questions, you’ll be able to tackle the Regents exam with confidence and end up improving your score.**- Let your calculator become your best friend. You can save yourself time and improve your Regents score by putting your graphing calculator to work. Spend time learning and practicing our calculator tips and tricks to maximize your Regents score.

We know you’ve got what it takes to pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam! For more information on boosting your score, check out our Algebra 2 Regents review guide.

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