Getting on the right Math Track – Blog Post

Math Course  Grade 
Pre-Algebra Before 8th Grade
Algebra 1  8th Grade
Geometry 9th Grade
Algebra 2 9th/10th Grade
Pre Calc (aka Math Analysis) 10th/11th Grade
Single Variable Calc 11th/12th Grade
Multivariable Calc/AP Calc BC/Statistics 12th Grade 

Wondering what your child should be doing to get ahead over the summer? We say, focus on math! 

We cannot stress enough the importance of students getting on the upper-level math track before they get to high school. While chasing after the advanced math courses may not be a top summer priority for every sixth-grader, it should be. Beyond math’s obvious usefulness for problem-solving and cognitive growth, the level of courses students take in middle school determines what options are available in high school, and the level of math courses students take in high school is a significant factor in college admissions, even for students majoring in, say, English. We urge parents and students to start thinking about this NOW, before precious opportunities for advancement slip away. 

For admission into UCs, elite universities, and especially for engineering and STEM majors at any university, taking calculus by senior year is a minimum requirement. Taking a statistics class can make a very compelling addition, especially for students who want to study Economics or any other social science, but should not in any case be considered a substitute. 

If you plan to major in STEM, taking the most rigorous math courses offered at your high school is virtually a requirement throughout your whole high school career. Even for non-STEM students, remember that GPA is both quantitative and qualitative; colleges are looking for students who maximized their high school opportunities and took the most challenging courses available. 

Middle school may seem too early to some parents to start thinking about college admissions, but be sure to set your child up for success by completing advanced Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 before entering high school. Getting into the highest level class available as a freshman should be a top priority. 

If you found your child struggling in math class last year, we highly recommend seeking out math enrichment over the summer. Without the hectic scheduling of the school year, students can focus on building their foundations to prepare them for the upcoming school year. 

Whatever path you choose, remember that it’s never too early to start investing in your child’s future by pushing them forward on the right track!