Pre-AP Algebra 2

Offer Pre-AP Algebra 2 at your school.

In Pre-AP Algebra 2, students solidify and extend the understanding of functions and data analysis developed in prior courses.

Students 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.


Addressing Inequities with Pre-AP Mathematics

The Pre-AP mathematics sequence—algebra 1, geometry with statistics, and algebra 2—has been designed to create more equitable opportunities for students who want to take AP STEM courses, especially for those currently underrepresented in STEM courses and careers.

By narrowing the scope of content, Pre-AP offers a strategic approach that concentrates on the mathematics 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 AP Calculus AB.

Areas of Focus

The Pre-AP mathematics areas of focus are vertically aligned to the mathematical practices that are fundamental to the discipline of mathematics in high school, AP courses, and beyond. This gives students multiple opportunities to think and work like mathematicians as they develop and strengthen these disciplinary reasoning skills throughout their education:

  • 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.

Unit Foundations

These big ideas are addressed across units:

  • Functions
  • Operations with Functions
  • Inverse Functions

Course at a Glance

Pre-AP Algebra 2 has four main units, with two options for Unit 4. Their key topics and recommended length are outlined here:

  • Unit 1: Modeling with Function (~7 weeks)
  • Unit 2: Algebra of Functions (~6 weeks)
  • Unit 3: Function Families (~9 weeks)
  • Unit 4T: Trigonometric Functions (~6 weeks)
  • Unit 4M: Matrices and their Applications (~6 weeks)

Schools can choose one of the two available fourth units based on the best alignment to their state and local standards. Students are not prepared to go directly into calculus following Pre-AP Algebra 2 if they have not completed the Trigonometric Functions unit. Instead, they will need to complete a math course with the necessary trigonometry content.

Instructional Resources

These resources support teachers as they design instruction for each unit, but do not constitute a full day-by-day curriculum. They are intended to be used alongside local school or district materials to address objectives of the course framework:

  • Course framework: An anchor for model lessons and assessments, the framework defines what students should know and be able to do by the end of the course. Teachers can use this as the primary document to align instruction and course content. 
  • Teacher resources: Available in print and online, these 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 a graphing calculator, app on a cellphone, or a laptop with graphing software like Desmos but do not need to purchase any particular device or equipment.

Assessments for Learning

Each unit contains:

  • In-lesson formatives: Short, open-ended problems that highlight the targeted content and skills for each lesson.
  • 2 learning checkpoints: These multiple-choice and technology-enhanced questions modeled closely after the types of questions students encounter on AP Exams and the SAT. Learning checkpoints require students to examine graphs, data, and short texts—often in authentic contexts—to respond to questions that measure students' understanding of the unit’s concepts and skills.
  • 1 performance task: A sustained problem-solving task that asks students to synthesize the unit’s skills and concepts while answering questions about a novel context.
  • Practice performance tasks: 1 or 2 practice performance tasks with scoring guidelines and instructional suggestions.

A final exam will be piloted for the 2022-23 academic year and will be available for the 2023-24 academic year. If you are interested in participating in the final exam pilot, email us. 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. Pre-AP has not offered practice exams or published exam questions from prior years.