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The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

AP Precalculus: A Familiar Journey with a Fresh Name

Ryan Kim
Junior Landon Toman studies in AP Precalculus forthe upcoming Fall 2023 midterm.

Over the summer of 2023, College Board enacted a new change to be made to a course offered in nearly every high school: AP Precalculus.

Precalculus has been a course offered at GBHS for over 20 years, and this is not the first time its title has been altered. Up until 2021, the course had an “Honors” title, which offered a grade bump to students who took the class. Then, the RJUHSD board decided to take away the title – with the reasoning that GBHS had an unfair advantage over other schools because of it – making the class graded on a standard scale. Now, with the course being given an AP title, the grade bump has returned.

“I think it’s good that they made the class an AP because it’s a really hard curriculum.” Victoria Turo, a sophomore taking AP Precalculus said, ”It should count for AP credit for sure.”

Even before the change was announced by College Board, Precalculus at GBHS was regarded as one of the more difficult math classes, as it is the first math course out of the “Integrated Math” classes students take. Comparatively, the course has a dramatic shift in its curriculum, containing far more information, and thus far less time to learn individual topics.

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“ The curriculum is pretty difficult. I’ve definitely been falling behind this year,” Turo said, “I’m catching up now, but I wouldn’t say it’s manageable for everybody.”

Additionally, the course being turned into an AP might represent a larger motion College Board is gradually integrating into education: Adjusting to how students have changed and how they absorb information over time.

“In my 25 years of teaching, I’ve actually seen the rigor decrease in mathematics. This course used to have two or so more units,” AP Precalculus teacher Shayne Stedman said.

It is important to note that this does not mean there will be any changes made to the course curriculum. The only aspect of the course being altered is its title. Now that Precalculus has an AP in its title, students will have the opportunity to take the AP test at the end of every school year just like every other AP.

“Nothing has changed in the format of the class.” Stedman said, “In fact, we have always taught more than what was expected on the AP course.”

According to a statement released by College Board regarding the AP title being added to Precalculus, “AP Precalculus prepares students for other college-level mathematics and science courses. The framework delineates content and skills common to college precalculus courses that are foundational for careers in mathematics, physics, biology, health science, social science, and data science.”

The change of the course was made by College Board in an effort to emphasize the course’s ability to prepare students for college-level courses and how Precalculus is on a level next to many other APs taught in high schools. With the grade bump now added, the incentive to take the class will be heightened.

“People then tend to focus a lot on AP classes and how important they are,” Shroud said, “So I imagine [the change] would probably influence a lot of people to choose it.”

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About the Contributor
Ryan Kim
Ryan Kim, Editor
Ryan is a senior and Entertainment Editor. This is his third year on the Gazette staff.

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