Every year, thousands of students pay for college math courses that duplicate the math they mastered in their high school precalculus courses. That’s because they didn’t earn college credit for the college-level math that they learned. AP® Precalculus helps solve that problem by addressing some of the greatest challenges students face in achieving their bachelor’s degree.   

It also offers resources to support every stage of instruction as follows:  

1. Plan: AP Precalculus unit guides provide detailed support for teacher planning. An overview contextualizes and situates key unit content within the scope of the course. Topic pages define the essential questions and learning objectives for each topic. These pages include topic and skill pairings to take the guesswork out of systematically building skills throughout the course. Instructional activities within each unit that aren’t a required part of the course tie together the content and skills of a particular topic. Professional learning resources help teachers design relevant lessons for the most difficult topics or explain how to help students unpack each free-response question.  

Our students have been taking regular precalculus honors courses for years. By moving to the AP Precalculus curriculum this year, we have been able to offer them a more competitive experience. The resources available from College Board are unmatched. Spending that extra year building math skills at the AP level helps our students move into their next college-level math or science course with the confidence that they will succeed. For many of our students, that confidence makes the difference that propels them on to the next step.” ─Jennifer Staten, Principal, Largo High School, Largo, FL 

2. Teach: AP Daily videos can be used in a variety of ways. Teachers can use them to prepare for a lesson, have students watch them to prepare for a lesson, provide instruction to students when they are absent, or offer an alternative explanation to students when they need additional support for a topic.  

3. Practice: Topic questions are formative assessment questions that help diagnose student understanding for each course topic. They provide students with practice applying the content and skills for each topic within a unit, enable teachers to check understanding early and often to inform individual and class-level supports, provide just-in-time feedback to teachers to help them identify common student misunderstandings, and provide just-in-time feedback to students through rationales for multiple-choice question responses. Topic questions can be used before, during, or after instruction depending on what works best for the teacher.   

4. Assess: Progress checks include formative multiple-choice and free-response questions. They’re available in the middle and at the end of each unit. The formative questions closer to the beginning of the course are foundational and may not feel like they’re at the same level of difficulty students might see on the end of course exam. That’s intentional. We want students to see questions like those they’ll see on the AP Exam, but we also want questions to match the level of depth and complexity students are at in the course.   

5. Get and Give Feedback: AP Classroom reports allow multiple ways to review student data to drive instruction.  

6. Review and Prepare: Teachers can use the question bank and practice exams to help students prepare for the AP Precalculus Exam.  

I’m a firm believer in learning mathematics conceptually, and AP Precalculus emphasizes that in a way the traditional precalculus course doesn’t. This course gives students who plan to incorporate higher-level mathematics a foundational understanding in addition to theoretical knowledge and procedural skills. They get to see the bigger picture and build a lasting relationship in place of short-term memorization. Students who may take another pathway gain confidence and critical thinking skills they may have not had before.” ─Rachel Medved, AP Precalculus Teacher, Seminole Ridge Community High School, Palm Beach, FL 

AP Precalculus has a unique mission: to make the benefits of AP coursework broadly accessible—particularly for students who’ve never taken an AP course. Expand the opportunities you’re providing students by replacing all your existing precalculus courses with AP Precalculus. This course is designed for every student who has completed Geometry and Algebra 2. Every precalculus student should be an AP Precalculus student.   

About the Author

Judith Vigue is a senior director of AP Access at College Board and a former high school math teacher, high school assistant principal, and director of advanced mathematics with experience in both Florida and New Hampshire school districts.