# Ch 19: MCAS STE Biology: Using Mathematics in Science

### About This Chapter

## MCAS STE Biology: Using Mathematics in Science - Chapter Summary

Having an understanding of mathematical concepts is crucial for interpreting data collected from scientific experiments. To help you feel prepared for questions related to analyzing and representing data on the MCAS STE Biology exam, the lessons in this chapter will review the following:

- Equations with decimals
- Math estimations
- Percents and scientific notation
- Ratios and proportions
- Pie charts and bar graphs
- Histograms and frequency distributions
- Plotting points on the coordinate plane
- Various linear equations
- Slopes, rates of change and tangents
- Calculating conditional probabilities
- Algebraic expressions
- Measures of central tendency and variability
- Correlation v. causation

Each of the lessons include a video created by educational professionals to provide you with a visual understanding of the information being covered. There is a clickable timeline below each video you can use if you would like to review a certain portion of the lesson. Take the self-assessment quizzes at the end of each lesson to test your abilities and see how questions may look on the exam.

### MCAS STE Biology: Using Mathematics in Science - Objectives

The MCAS STE Biology is exam assesses high school students' level of academic understanding of biology as set by the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework standards. The MCAS STE Biology exam is scored based on five content areas including biochemistry and cell biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, ecology, evolution and biodiversity. Because mathematical equations are essential in understanding all scientific data, questions related to using math in science could be part of any or all of these content areas.

The MCAS STE Biology exam is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions and five open-ended responses. A scaled score of 220 or higher is required on one of the four STE exams in order to qualify for graduation.

### 1. Solving Problems Using Decimal Numbers

Solving math problems using decimal numbers is essential for real world scenarios and word problems. Explore examples of calculations that include decimals and learn to solve problems involving money or sports.

### 2. How to Estimate in Math: Definition & Concept

Estimating is the use of approximation to arrive at a conclusion similar to the correct answer. Learn the general rule as well as applications of decimals and rounding in estimation in various places.

### 3. Percents: Definition, Application & Examples

Percent means per hundred and is expressed with the symbol %. Explore the definition, application, and example practice problems of percents and learn how to use percents with fractions and decimals.

### 4. Scientific Notation: Definition and Examples

Scientific Notation is the method of expressing very large or small numbers with exponents instead of a series of '0's. Discover how scientific notation is used, and examples to discern the difference in writing positive vs negative exponents.

### 5. Ratios and Proportions: Definition and Examples

Proportions are ratios, or value comparisons, that are equal to one another. Learn more about proportions and ratios, how to use them, and real world examples.

### 6. Understanding Bar Graphs and Pie Charts

Bar graphs and pie charts are some of the most used graphical ways to present data. Learn how to read bar graphs and pie charts, and explore some examples to understand how they are interpreted.

### 7. Creating & Interpreting Histograms: Process & Examples

A histogram is a diagram that provides a graphical picture of the points in a data set. Learn about creating and interpreting histograms by exploring the process and examples. Understand the purpose of histograms, practice interpreting a histogram, and recognize when data is skewed and what this means.

### 8. Frequency Distributions: Definition & Types

A frequency distribution is a list of numerical figures represented in a table diagram or histogram that detail how often each value occurs in a set of data. Learn about definition and types of frequency distributions.

### 9. Plotting Points on the Coordinate Plane

Plotting points on a coordinate plane requires knowing the parts of a graph and how to identify points. Discover the components to plotting points and Descartes's conceptualization of the Cartesian coordinate plane in this lesson.

### 10. Linear Equations: Intercepts, Standard Form and Graphing

To solve a linear equation, begin by determining whether it is written in the standard form or the slope-intercept form. Explore the differences between the slope-intercept form and the standard form of a linear equation, and learn how to graph the point of intercept for each.

### 11. Slopes and Rate of Change

The rate of change is shown through one variable as it changes the function of another variable and can be seen furthermore as location changes as a function of time. Learn more about slopes, rates of change, and the rate of velocity.

### 12. Slopes and Tangents on a Graph

In mathematics, slopes and tangents help determine ratios and rates of change. Learn how to show slopes and tangents as lines on a graph, explore the concept of slope as it pertains to hills, and recognize how slope can be used to describe steepness.

### 13. How to Calculate Simple Conditional Probabilities

Conditional probability refers to the probability that an event will occur provided a previous event occurs. Learn about simple conditional probabilities and how to calculate them. Explore dependent events, understand how they differ from conditional probabilities, and review conditional probability examples.

### 14. Expressing Relationships as Algebraic Expressions

Algebraic expressions, or mathematical sentences with numbers, variables, and operations, are used to express relationships. Learn how to solve algebraic expressions with various operations, such as addition and multiplication, and using multipe variables.

### 15. Evaluating Simple Algebraic Expressions

To evaluate simple algebraic expressions, substitute a number for each variable and solve. Learn the steps for evaluating simple algebraic expressions, including rules for order of operations and parentheses, and tackle the practice problems in this lesson.

### 16. Mean, Median & Mode: Measures of Central Tendency

In research, measures of central tendency are descriptive statistics that help researchers understand which data is more representative of a data set. Explore the mean, median, and mode. Understand how each measure is calculated, and learn how researchers use each measure to understand samples, as well as the populations that samples represent.

### 17. Measures of Variability: Range, Variance & Standard Deviation

In research, the variability of a data set helps researchers understand how much the data spreads out around the data set's midpoint, and it also helps researchers compare different sets of data. Explore measures of variability, including range, variance, and standard deviation. Learn how to use the formulas to calculate each measure, and review the definitions of research terms such as population, sample, and parameter.

### 18. Correlation vs. Causation: Differences & Definition

Correlation is when two sets of variables appear to have a relationship, which may look similar to Causation where there is an active influence of one variable on another. Learn the nuances of each, and learn to identify them through examples provided.

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### Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MCAS - Science & Technology-Engineering - Biology: Test Prep & Practice course

- MCAS STE Biology: Chemistry of Life
- MCAS STE Biology: Enzymatic Biochemistry
- MCAS STE Biology: Organelles
- MCAS STE Biology: Cellular Structure & Transport
- MCAS STE Biology: Classification & Evolution
- MCAS STE Biology: Cellular Respiration & Photosynthesis
- MCAS STE Biology: Cell Growth & Reproduction
- MCAS STE Biology: DNA Replication
- MCAS STE Biology: Transcription & Translation
- MCAS STE Biology: Genetics & Heredity
- MCAS STE Biology: Digestive & Circulatory Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: Nervous & Endocrine Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: Respiratory & Musculoskeletal Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: The Reproductive System
- MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity
- MCAS STE Biology: Ecology
- MCAS STE Biology: Scientific Method & Inquiry
- MCAS STE Biology: The Science Lab
- MCAS - Science & Technology-Engineering - Biology Flashcards