bnbacademy Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 Please verify a statement I heard lately... We are considering enrolling our oldest ds in private high school next year. As we look at the courses offered, I have a question re: HS math classes. Our ds would be college-bound, so we are looking at the offered classes with that goal in mind. "College entrance personnel prefer a proficiency/ mastery of Algebra concepts (ie: Algebra 1 + 2 even if it means not having Trigonometry or Calculus) exposure"? For example: I was told that a HS math teacher, engineer by trade, had her dc take algebra 1 + 2 TWICE, rather than the higher math courses to prepare for college, because she believed the above statement. Is this just advertising for the school or is this true? 1) Is this true? 2) Is this true, even for math-heavy majors, ie: Engineering, etc? thank you for your help... ETA: In my experience (as a Science major), I felt very well-prepared for college. I tested out of all math classes after taking Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus in HS. It is difficult to see otherwise, but I also graduated many, many years ago... :001_smile: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

snowbeltmom Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 For example: I was told that a HS math teacher, engineer by trade, had her dc take algebra 1 + 2 TWICE, rather than the higher math courses to prpare for college, because she believed the above statement. Is this just advertising for the school or is this true? While a student needs to have a solid foundation in algebra before advancing further, a student intending to enter engineering should not need to repeat Algebra I or Algebra II. Either the class is deficient or the student should plan to major in another field. Many colleges would expect those students entering engineering to have studied at a minimum through pre-calculus. In my neck of the woods, students majoring in engineering have taken calculus in high school. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

regentrude Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 This is mixing two different things. Students interested in STEM should have studied through precalculus; college algebra and trig are remedial courses at our university that do not count for the required credits towards most STEM majors. Calculus in HS is not strictly necessary; most schools prefer the students take the entire calc sequence there. BUT: it is absolutely true that for the performance of the students in intro science courses, the ALGEBRA (and prealgebra ) skills are the deciding factor. All of the students who struggle in our physics classes because of math do so because their algebra is not rock solid, NOT because they are weak in calculus! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

LisaKinVA Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 Honestly, I do not believe a sequence of Alg 1/Alg1/Alg2/Alg2 would meet graduation requirements or requirements for 3 or 4 years of math for most colleges. In fact, in the local schools here, if you repeat a course (unless you received an F), you will not receive any credit for that course, nor will it count toward your GPA. Competitive colleges want to see that you (a) took the most advanced courses you *could* in your school setting and (B) mastered the material. So, if a student takes Algebra 2 and aces it, and then repeats Algebra 2 again that would not look good. A course in Trig/Pre-calculus will continue to use and build upon the Algebra skills... What I could see, is a child finishing Algebra 1 during the school year, and "repeating" it during the summer (as extra reinforcement). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Julie in MN Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 While a student needs to have a solid foundation in algebra before advancing further, a student intending to enter engineering should not need to repeat Algebra I or Algebra II. Either the class is deficient or the student should plan to major in another field. I agree. If you want more algebra, then there is College Algebra 3. A student heading for a math-heavy career should be ready for faster and more in-depth Algebra, rather than going back to the slow pace of Algebra 1. Julie Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

creekland Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 I'd at least want through Pre-Calc for a stem major and through Alg 2 for anything else. I had my guys do Calc in high school, but without taking the AP test for it. Oldest had to retake Business Calc in college and was thoroughly bored. He wishes he had taken the AP test. Middle retook regular Calc in college and it was an easy A - very helpful for the college transition esp since he's thinking Pre-med and needs a great GPA. I'm a strong advocate of going through Calc in high school, then repeating it in college for math heavy majors - UNLESS the student can test out using the college's placement tests (something I should have had oldest do, but we didn't want to with middle as an easy A was good for him). BUT, I agree with the others that one wants to be certain the Alg foundation is strong. It just doesn't have to be strong due to taking 2 years to get through each class. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Candid Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 Honestly, I do not believe a sequence of Alg 1/Alg1/Alg2/Alg2 would meet graduation requirements or requirements for 3 or 4 years of math for most colleges. In fact, in the local schools here, if you repeat a course (unless you received an F), you will not receive any credit for that course, nor will it count toward your GPA. Competitive colleges want to see that you (a) took the most advanced courses you *could* in your school setting and ( B) mastered the material. So, if a student takes Algebra 2 and aces it, and then repeats Algebra 2 again that would not look good. A course in Trig/Pre-calculus will continue to use and build upon the Algebra skills... What I could see, is a child finishing Algebra 1 during the school year, and "repeating" it during the summer (as extra reinforcement). :iagree: Based on what I have read this is totally true. Cynically, I suspect a lot of what colleges "want" or "look for" are just vetting tools. They want students who have pushed themselves as hard as possible. They look for this in science and history as well. Will the students really need those skills in college? Depends on their major. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Arcadia Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 For example: I was told that a HS math teacher, engineer by trade, had her dc take algebra 1 + 2 TWICE, rather than the higher math courses to prepare for college, because she believed the above statement. Is this just advertising for the school or is this true? That would raise a red flag around here. The immediate reaction would be the child failed Algebra 1 and 2. A friend's daughter re-toke Algebra 1 in summer because she fail the course and took the summer class offered by the school district for credit recovery. Besides, it would not fulfill the three year requirement for math. I copied this from a public high school letter to parents for students taking precalculus. "This is a college preparatory math class in which students need to earn a â€œCâ€ or better in order to fulfill the â€œa-gâ€ admission requirements for California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC). Students who are enrolled in Precalculus have met the minimum requirements for college admission to CSU and UC which include the three previous math courses, Algebra, Geometry, and Intermediate Algebra." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

bnbacademy Posted May 1, 2013 Author Share Posted May 1, 2013 The HS we are seriously considering offers these classes: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, pre-Calculus, Calculus, Personal Finance. So, it looks like we choose between pre-Calc or Calc and don't get Trig, and would not do Personal Finance in favor of the higher math classes. I am not sure what Algebra 2 covers, maybe some Trig is included, but don't know that. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Arcadia Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 So, it looks like we choose between pre-Calc or Calc and don't get Trig, and would not do Personal Finance in favor of the higher math classes. I am not sure what Algebra 2 covers, maybe some Trig is included, but don't know that. Trig is covered under Algebra 2 here. ETA: Prentice Hall Algebra 2 with Trigonometry information page McGraw-Hill NY Algebra 2 with Trigonometry student workbooks page Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

kiana Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 bnb, it looks likely that a student who started in alg 1 there would not get to calculus, and a student who had alg 1 in 8th grade would be able to do calculus as a senior. Personal finance is likely an alternative for strugglers. As far as math: Competency in algebra should be prioritized over 'exposure' to higher levels of math with a weak foundation. But this does NOT mean that repeating those courses is ideal! However, a student who struggles for a C or lower in Alg 1 should consider repeating, summer review, or tutoring rather than leaping blithely into geometry. It would be better for a student to have a schedule that repeats alg 1 and then A's or B's in all subsequent courses rather than a schedule that goes straight through and has all C's and D's. But it would be better yet to have a schedule that does NOT repeat algebra and still has all A's and B's. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Tiramisu Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 Dd applied to colleges in the "somewhat selective" category. Most wanted three years of math, but that meant she'd be fine for admissions if she finished up through algebra 2, according to admissions people we spoke with. She did algebra in 8th, so that would have been only two years of math on the transcript. I remember reading on the college websites that pre-calculus was required for those going into engineering. That could hold true for other science majors. Our umbrella school does not allow credit for repeating the same class, but I think more algebra would have been worthwhile and sometimes wonder if we should have done another year of algebra in 9th when we had the chance. I almost regret deciding to do pre-calc this year, but a music professor encouraged me to continue when I questioned the usefulness relative to the other things she could be spending time on. He said the abstract thinking will help with music theory. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Musicmom Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 So, it looks like we choose between pre-Calc or Calc and don't get Trig, and would not do Personal Finance in favor of the higher math classes. I am not sure what Algebra 2 covers, maybe some Trig is included, but don't know that. Trig is likely to be covered in their Precalculus--that's where it was for both my dc (one did EPGY precalculus which uses the Lial's text, and one did Thinkwell Precalculus.) Back in the dark ages when I went to high school, trig was a separate course--but you rarely see that today. It's almost always rolled into precalc (maybe Alg 2, but that would be unusual, I think.) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

kiana Posted May 1, 2013 Share Posted May 1, 2013 Tiramisu, on a more strictly pragmatic level, it will also help her retain her skills so that she will hopefully be able to avoid remedial math in college. At most colleges, even music majors need some sort of math class, and if she placed into algebra 2 (which would be possible after a year off from math) she'd have to retake it for no credit and THEN take the math class. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Tiramisu Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 Tiramisu, on a more strictly pragmatic level, it will also help her retain her skills so that she will hopefully be able to avoid remedial math in college. At most colleges, even music majors need some sort of math class, and if she placed into algebra 2 (which would be possible after a year off from math) she'd have to retake it for no credit and THEN take the math class. She has to take statistics and I am very afraid she'll have to take something remedial. I may have her do ALEKS over the summer or the summer before she has to take it. Now I'm thinking very carefully about how I'll do algebra with my next one up. Thanks for the input, Kiana. :) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

bnbacademy Posted May 2, 2013 Author Share Posted May 2, 2013 It is a requirement that ds take a math placement test, so the progression of classes will be decided by the results. He did Lial's Basic College Math in 6th, Pre-Algebra for 7th, Algebra in 8th. We did switch thru a couple Algebra texts, so I hope that did not adversely effect him. Started with Jacob's, then MUS Algebra 1, now Lial's, which finally fits. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

creekland Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 My youngest is not doing Calc in high school. He has chosen Stats for his senior year instead. That's pretty common for kids at our school who are not heading into math heavy fields. This year (as a junior) he's doing Pre-Calc (which is where the bulk of Trig is, but parts of Trig are also covered in Alg 2 and Geom). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

mom2bee Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 The HS we are seriously considering offers these classes: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, pre-Calculus, Calculus, Personal Finance. So, it looks like we choose between pre-Calc or Calc and don't get Trig, and would not do Personal Finance in favor of the higher math classes. I am not sure what Algebra 2 covers, maybe some Trig is included, but don't know that. There is probably a unit of Trig. in Algebra 2 and/or PreCalculus. According to some of the posters on this board, Trig is usually included in PreCalculus. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Dmmetler Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 Pre-calculus usually includes trigonometry, Analytic geometry, and some Algebra III stuff (or, more likely, review of Algebra II). If you're in an ACT state, you may see some trig in Algebra II or geometry because the ACT includes Trig, so it helps the schools get their scores up if they include a bit of it before the kids start taking the ACT. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

bnbacademy Posted May 2, 2013 Author Share Posted May 2, 2013 I am glad to hear that Trig is incorporated into other classes and not just dropped. Of course, back in my day, there was no Algebra 2. I am hoping we can get to Calculus. Ds likes math, but I have little to no way of evaluating his proficiency as a homeschooled child, besides the yearly CAT. He has been a real trooper with the changes in texts this year, so hopefully, he will be able to move smoothly into HS math. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Teachin'Mine Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 The placement test he'll take at school should tell you where he's at. If you want some vague indication ahead of time, you can give him an online test. I'm sure there are many others, but the one I know about is available free through Saxon math. If your son is at all interested in a STEM major, I'd suggest continuing with math at home until he takes the placement test to give him the best possible outcome. I'd also suggest supplementing math at home if he wants to move faster than the math class or feels it's not rigorous enough. I can't imagine college admissions being happy to see algebra 1 and 2 twice on the transcript of a student applying for a STEM major unless that was absolutely the highest math offered in the school or there were other extenuating circumstances. IOW it shouldn't be a goal. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Julie in MN Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 Of course, back in my day, there was no Algebra 2. I had Algebra 2, and that would be the early 70's. It did include trig, during the extra time typically available at the end of the year. Julie Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Arcadia Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 (edited) I am hoping we can get to Calculus. Ds likes math, but I have little to no way of evaluating his proficiency as a homeschooled child, besides the yearly CAT. He has been a real trooper with the changes in texts this year, so hopefully, he will be able to move smoothly into HS math. I'll let him try your state's standardized test for Algebra 1 just for a dry run for the placement test. Usually it is similar since schools do not like to re-invent the wheel. e.g. California's Algebra 1 test http://www.cde.ca.go...trtqalgebra.pdf Mississippi http://www.mde.k12.m...-practice-tests North Carolina http://www.ncpublics...g/releasedforms Florida http://fcat.fldoe.or..._ISB_WT_r4g.pdf New York http://www.nysedrege...gents_math.html Algebra 1 is commonly taken in 8th grade for California. Edited May 2, 2013 by Arcadia Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

J-rap Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 Two of my children took Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra 2, plus a semester of Trig. They did well in all of them, and they got into the schools of their choice. The other three took Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra 2 but nothing else. So far just one of them is in college, but she got into the college of her choice, no problem. She did high school in three years though and graduated early, so that was all she had time for. (We always started Algebra I in 9th grade.) My remaining two spent two years covering Algebra 2. It was just harder for them, and I wanted to make sure they had a good grasp of it. I will not count it as two years of Algebra 2 though, just one. I feel they have a good mastery of Algebra, and to me that was more important than rushing to the next level. Neither of them plan to go into math, engineering, or the sciences though, so perhaps that makes a difference. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Sebastian (a lady) Posted May 2, 2013 Share Posted May 2, 2013 I found an interesting table showing high school math sequencing in our local schools. http://www.fcps.edu/is/math/middleschool/documents/sequence.pdf Students can take algebra and geometry in 7-8 grade. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

## Recommended Posts

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.