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Question about AOPS Intermediate Algebra

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My 10th grader has been working through Intermediate Algebra for almost a year. She completed AOPS' Intro to Algebra and Intro to Geometry. We've decided to continue with a less rigorous pre-cal text.


I know that the Intro to Algebra contains material standard to both Algebra I and II. For those of you familiar with the books, at what point in the Intermediate Algebra textbook will she have covered all of the necessary Algebra II topics? My husband, who has taught college level Calculus and is helping my daughter through the course, recognizes that AOPS is much more in depth than the typical Algebra course, but isn't sure at what point she'll have covered enough to move on to pre-calculus.


Is that clear? 


Thanks in advance for your help!





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I've asked the same question. I took my oldest through AoPS Int. Algebra and I want to move my second straight on to precalc. In looking at a lot of algebra texts, all or almost all of Algebra 2 is covered in the AoPS intro book. Some books cover hyperboles and ellipses. Matrices are occasionally touched on in algebra (but often wait until precalc).


Precalc is a combination of more advanced algebra plus trig. I will be taking my second son straight from the Intro to Algebra text to precalc.

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What precalc text are you planning on using?


Unless it's a very advanced one I'd just go for it now. I'd expect a lot of the algebra portion of it to be review already. AOPS intermediate algebra covers all of the algebra portion of a standard precalc text and more. If you find any holes, you can always go back to fill them in.

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This probably won't be a popular answer, but I'd suggest finishing it out.  Yes, that course is harder than your typical algebra I/II sequence.  It is also not one of my favorite AOPS texts, though it is still excellent. 


Here are my reasons:  1) Precalculus will be easy afterwards, and contain a good bit of review, as it was meant to be; 2) The depth is extremely beneficial in calculus - .  Ultimately, #2 is the real reason to stick it out.  It isn't because "you've covered enough" or "haven't covered enough" - it's because calculus is the first real exposure most kids have to mathematical analysis.  While most students will have had only cursory exposure to analysis, your child will have established a proper foundation.  The benefits in two years' time are extraordinary compared to the slight increase in effort now.


Don't be tempted by the urge to race to calculus.  If she is doing intermediate algebra in 10th, she's in fantastic shape.  You thought it out and set yourselves on the correct course from the beginning.  Hold true.


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The polynomial chapters are pretty crazy aren't they!  It covers way more than I ever studied.  I haven't compared it to the aops precalculus book, but there's a lot of good stuff you won't want to skip.  conic sections, quadratics, vieta's, sequences and series, am-gm, logs, piecewise functions.  


My dd got quite bogged down in the polynomials, but by the time we reached chapter 8 (where we are now), she seems to hit her stride.  Real roots, rational roots, complex roots, irrational roots, on and on and on.  


Eek.  I just realized we have yet another polynomial chapter after this one!  

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Guest Carla K

Thanks for all of the input. I appreciate all of the wisdom offered. I think my dd is feeling frustrated and bogged down and needs to see the end of the tunnel, so to speak. I'm still not sure what we will do, but you have helped greatly to inform our decision!

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