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Course Guides and Frameworks

Pre-AP Algebra 2 Course Guide and Framework

The Pre-AP Algebra 2 Course Guide and Framework will be available by Spring 2022. It is the core document for this course. It will lay out the course framework, offer a program overview, describe our instructional approach, and provide assessment blueprints and examples.


The Pre-AP® Algebra 2 course capitalizes on, solidifies, and extends the conceptual understanding and procedural fluency of functions and data analysis that students developed in prior courses. They build upon linear, quadratic, and exponential functions as they work to define logarithmic, polynomial, rational, square root, cube root, and trigonometric functions. Quantitative literacy is developed by weaving data sets, contextual scenarios, and mathematical modeling throughout the course. Students are able to make sense of many real-world scenarios because of their increased toolbox of functions. These skills make students critical consumers of the day-to-day mathematics that surrounds them, as well as prepare them for subsequent coursework in mathematics and the sciences.

Addressing Inequities with Pre-AP Mathematics

The Pre-AP mathematics sequence of Algebra 1, Geometry with Statistics, and Algebra 2 is designed to create more equitable opportunities for students to take AP STEM courses, especially for those who are currently underrepresented in STEM courses and careers. By narrowing the scope of content across the three courses, it offers a strategic approach to mathematics that concentrates on the content and skills that matter most for college readiness. This intentional focus increases STEM readiness for a larger percentage of students, especially for courses such as AP Computer Science Principles, AP Statistics, and/or AP Calculus AB.

Areas of Focus

The Pre-AP mathematics areas of focus, shown below, are mathematical practices that students develop and leverage as they engage with content. They were identified through educator feedback and research about where students and teachers need the most curriculum support. These areas of focus are vertically aligned to the mathematical practices embedded in other mathematics courses in high school, including AP, and in college, giving students multiple opportunities to strengthen and deepen their work with these skills throughout their education. They also support and align to the AP Calculus mathematical practices, the AP Statistics course skills, and the mathematical practices listed in various state standards.

Pre-AP Algebra 2 Areas of Focus:

  • Connections among multiple representations: Students represent mathematical concepts in a variety of forms and move fluently among the forms.
  • Greater authenticity of applications and modeling: Students create and use mathematical models to understand and explain authentic scenarios.
  • Engagement in mathematical argumentation: Students use evidence to craft mathematical conjectures and prove or disprove them.

Underlying Unit Foundations

These big ideas are addressed across units:

  • Functions
  • Operations with Functions
  • Inverse Operations

Course at a Glance

The tables below show the four main units in Pre-AP Algebra 2, the recommended length for each unit, and the key topics in each.


Timeframe: ~7 weeks

Key concepts:

  • Choosing Appropriate Function Models
  • Rate of Change
  • Piecewise-Defined Models

Timeframe: ~6 weeks

Key concepts:

  • Composing Functions
  • Transforming Functions
  • Inverting Functions

Timeframe: ~9 weeks

Key concepts:

  • Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
  • Polynomial and Rational Functions
  • Square Root and Cube Root Functions

Timeframe: ~6 weeks

Key concepts:

  • Radian Measure and Sinusoidal Functions
  • The Tangent Function and Other Trigonometric Functions
  • Inverting Trigonometric Functions

Instructional Resources

Schools that officially implement a Pre-AP course will receive access to instructional resources for each unit. These resources don’t constitute a full day-by-day curriculum. Instead, they provide support for teachers as they design their instruction for each Pre-AP Algebra 2 unit.

Pre-AP Algebra 2 instructional resources include:

  • A course framework: the framework defines what students should know and be able to do by the end of the course. It serves as an anchor for model lessons and assessments, and it is the primary document teachers can use to align instruction to course content.
  • Teacher resources, available in print and online, include a robust set of model lessons that demonstrate how to translate the course framework, shared principles, and areas of focus into daily instruction.

Additional resources: All students need access to a graphing utility (such as graphing calculators or an app on a cellphone or a laptop with graphing software like Desmos) and don’t need to purchase any particular device or equipment.

Assessments for Learning

Each unit contains:

  • Short, open-ended formative assessment problems for each lesson to show the targeted content and skills, related to the lesson’s learning objectives, that students should master in throughout the lesson.
  • Two online learning checkpoints per unit that feature multiple-choice and technology-enhanced questions modeled closely after the types of questions students encounter on SAT tests and AP Exams. Learning checkpoints require students to examine graphs, data, mathematical expressions, and short texts— often set in authentic contexts—to respond to a targeted set of questions that measure student understanding of concepts and skills from the unit.
  • One performance task per unit that engages students in sustained problem-solving and asks them to synthesize skills and concepts from across the unit to answer questions about a novel context.
  • One or two practice performance tasks with scoring guidelines and instructional support suggestions for each unit.
  • A final exam will be piloted for the 2022-23 academic year and will be available for the 2023-24 academic year. The final exam will serve as a summative assessment that allows students to demonstrate their success on the skills and content outlined in the course frameworks. This exam is optional. If you are interested in participating in the final exam pilot, email us.