Frequently Asked Questions
About the Core-Plus Mathematics Project

Last Updated: 21 September 2005


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Student Preparation

Student Preparation

Q Are the topics recommended by the College Board as preparation for Advanced Placement Calculus covered in the Core-Plus Mathematics curriculum?
A Yes, all of the topics for Algebra and Trigonometry, for Geometry, and for Coordinate Geometry are developed in the CPMP four-course curriculum. In some cases, topics appear in multiple courses. For a list of all topics recommended by the College Board, including Graphing Calculators and Other Topics, and corresponding page references in CPMP Courses 1-4, download this printable PDF file.

Q When should students who are taught using the Core-Plus Mathematics Project curriculum take AP Calculus and AP Statistics?
A After completing three years of the CPMP curriculum, students are very well prepared to take AP Statistics. Some schools are finding that one semester is enough to teach the statistics in the AP syllabus that had not already been learned in the first three CPMP courses.

After completing four years of the CPMP curriculum, students are very well prepared to take AP Calculus. (See School Reports for AP results from some schools using the published CPMP curriculum, Contemporary Mathematics in Context.) Just as in a traditional four-year curriculum (Algebra-Geometry-Advanced Algebra-Precalculus), some form of acceleration is needed for students who want to take calculus as seniors. The second question in the section on Local Implementation questions identifies several acceleration options that schools have used successfully to enable students to complete the four years of the CPMP curriculum prior to their senior year.

Q Does the Core-Plus Mathematics Project curriculum prepare students for college?
A Yes. Evaluation research has shown that students using the field-test version of the CPMP curriculum do as well as, or better than, non-CPMP students on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. Also, a study at the University of Michigan of two Michigan high schools found that in collegiate mathematics courses at the University of Michigan, graduates of the CPMP program performed as well, or better than, graduates of a traditional mathematics curriculum. Finally, students completing pilot and field-test versions of the CPMP curriculum have been accepted at over 450 schools around the country, including Harvard University, Stanford, Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Notre Dame, the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, the University of California at Berkeley, Clemson University, the University of Virginia, Purdue University, Boston College, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Rice University, the University of Washington, Georgetown University, the Air Force Academy, Northwestern University, Morehouse College, the University of Arizona, Vanderbilt University, the University of Hawaii, and Pennsylvania State University. Students who study the final published version of the CPMP curriculum should be even better prepared for college.

(Other indicators of preparedness for college based on SAT, ACT, and AP Calculus and AP Statistics from schools using the published version of Core-Plus Mathematics are reported at School Reports.)

Q Does the Core-Plus Mathematics Project curriculum provide the mathematics necessary to be successful on traditional college math placement exams?
A Yes. In particular, there is a set of skill practice problems at the end of every lesson in Course 4. These problem sets are designed to provide practice on the specific types of problems that are often found on college math placement exams. As with any curriculum, the students' degree of preparation will depend on their own efforts.


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