College Board announces AP Precalculus


Photo by Ely Snow

Pre-Calculus teacher Brian Fairall takes attendance during 5th period before students engage in taking a Unit Test. In past years students were only offered Honors Pre-Calculus and on-level Pre-calculus with WJ in question about adding AP Pre-Calculus, many are wondering how many students will actually sign up for the course.

A new advanced placement course, AP Pre-Calculus will debut in Fall 2023, created by the College Board for students who want an extra push after the completion of Algebra 2. Even though WJ is not offering the course next year, staff and students have mixed feelings about being able to take it in the coming years.

When making the AP Pre-Calculus course, College Board collaborated with experienced high school teachers and college administrators to craft the course’s structure. College Board also stated that in creating this new course, it will help students to prepare for other college-level courses, give students an extra challenge and shape different careers for students in the near future.

“The course provides an excellent foundation for calculus but also serves as an appropriate capstone mathematics course that will open pathways to success in STEM fields…[It] provides students with mathematical knowledge and skills that will prove tremendously beneficial in biology, chemistry, environmental science, kinesiology and other sciences,” chief reader Michael Boardman said.

WJ does not yet have plans to incorporate this new course for the 2023-2024 school year. The math department and administration are planning to wait until other schools implement the course to see results.

“It’s unclear right now whether MCPS will offer it or not next year. If they offer it, it will probably first be piloted at a few schools that volunteer to offer it…I think most people want to wait and see for a number of reasons. First, it is unclear what the purpose of the course is or who the audience is…We’d like to see how that pans out and then also the other thing we would like to see pan out is what the course is like. No one has any example, you know for a course like AP Calculus there are decades worth of old tests that you could look at and problems,” head of the math department John Chase said.

College Board has also stated that colleges do not count Pre-Calculus as a college level course. Colleges will not take into consideration the credit for the completion of AP Pre-Calculus. Students are confused as to why AP Pre-Calculus is being offered, if they are not allowing you to obtain college credit.

“I think that it’s kind of stupid because Honors Pre-Calculus is already hard enough and the point of taking AP classes is to get the college credit. I think there are not gonna be a lot of students that will take it because it’ll be really hard,” sophomore and Honors Pre-Calculus student Hannah Schmidt said.