Preparing for College
High School CourseTaking Suggestions
Students intending to enroll in postsecondary education are well advised
to complete four years of college preparatory mathematics as found in
Courses 14 of the CorePlus Mathematics program.
Although preparing for college is not synonymous with preparing for
calculus, high school students planning to enroll in college mathematics,
science, or engineering programs should be prepared to take calculus
courses in college or an Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus course while
still in high school.
Schools using CorePlus Mathematics with all students report
increases in the percentage of students electing to take AP Calculus
in high school. These districts often also find that students' scores
on the AP Calculus exams administered by the College Board are higher
than scores prior to implementing the CorePlus Mathematics program.
(See CPMP School Reports.)
The College Board issues a document for high schools that assists schools
in developing a strong mathematics program to prepare their students
for college mathematics and statistics. A document is
available which identifies where the College Board's standards
can be found in the CorePlus Mathematics textbooks.
Most students attending college do not take calculus courses, but rather
take college courses containing algebra and statistics content. The integrated
nature of the CorePlus Mathematics curriculum allows districts
to prepare their students for the range of mathematics and statistics
courses required by college programs. (See the 2nd edition Scope
and Sequence.) Schools using the CPMP program are reporting increased
student enrollments in AP Statistics courses and high passing rates on
the College Board AP Statistics test. (See CPMP
School Reports.)
Acceleration Paths
It is recommended that (as with the typical algebra, geometry, advanced
algebra, precalculus courses) students study four mathematics courses
prior to enrolling in an AP Calculus course. In addition to acceleration
by having students attend pullout mathematics and science magnet schools,
forms of acceleration currently in use in districts teaching CorePlus
Mathematics include:

Model 1: accelerating 8thgrade classes using Course 1

Model 2: providing some Course 1 work to 8thgraders in addition
to their 8thgrade material to allow enrollment in Course 2
as 9thgraders

Model 3: accelerating selected 8thgraders who have studied a problembased
middle school program directly into Course 2 (Course 1
content is supplemented as needed during the Course 2 class.)

Model 4: providing two class periods of mathematics courses each
semester, allowing students to learn, for example, Course 1 one semester
and Course 2 the second semester or dual enrollment in Courses 1
and 2

Model 5: teaching Courses 14 in three years
As you will notice from the chart above, AP Statistics can be taken
the same year as Course 4. This approach allows students to receive
an AP credit (college credit) without following an acceleration path. Caution:
Students should not replace CorePlus Mathematics Course 4
with an AP Statistics course. Course 4 provides additional formal
algebraic skill development needed for college placement tests that is
not present in AP Statistic courses.
For more information on acceleration methods, you may wish to read the article
in Volume 4 Issue 1 of the MathLink newsletter summarizing approaches
of several schools to acceleration.
Preparing for College Placement Tests
The Unit Resource Masters for each unit of CorePlus Mathematics Course 4
contains sets of problems called Preparing for Undergraduate Mathematics
Placement (PUMP). These problem sets include sample problems of the type
often found on college placement tests. The practice sets are written
in multiplechoice format as commonly used on placement tests. Teachers
can use this feature of the curriculum to help students become proficient
on these types of problems in a timed situation.
On a Mathematics Department Placement Test from a large Midwestern university,
students completing fieldtest versions of CorePlus Mathematics Courses 1,
2, and 3 plus the precalculus path of Course 4 performed as well
as students completing traditional precalculus on basic algebra and advanced
algebra subtests and performed better on the calculus readiness subtest.
These results would have placed 50.6% of the CorePlus sample into calculus
and 39% of the comparison sample into calculus. (See the FAQ.)
