Please click on a frequently asked question below to see its answer.

Q: Why take Geometry after Algebra I?

A: This has been the traditional route for many years.  If you have had an older sibling in high school, they likely took Geometry in the school year after they successfully completed Algebra I.  Students whose mathematics trajectory will take them as far as Precalculus in high school may benefit from taking Algebra II in the school year immediately preceding taking Precalculus because Algebra II is closely aligned with Precalculus, meaning that their mathematics course after Algebra I should be Geometry.

Most of the first semester content of Algebra 1 is associated with linear functions.  Much of the basis of a high school mathematics course in Geometry is lines. The connections are very natural, since graphs of linear functions are lines.  Geometry naturally extends and deepens student understanding of linear functions.


If the student has taken or plans to take Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC), then Geometry after Algebra 1 is an appropriate sequence.  In much the same way that Geometry naturally extends and deepens student understanding of linear functions, IPC also requires students to apply mathematical knowledge in science contexts that lead to deeper understanding of linear functions.


Q: Why can telescoping students take Algebra 2 & Geometry after Algebra I?


A: We have many structures in place to support middle school students taking Geometry, including sections on some middle school campuses, a zero period Geometry section, and availability online through iUniversity Prep. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, there will also be more ways for students still in middle school to also take Algebra 2 at the same time. If students desire further acceleration in mathematics beyond telescoping, our district recommends taking Algebra 2 and Geometry concurrently, or in the same school year. The availability of the specialized section of Algebra 2 Advanced known as "A2PC" will no longer be available after the 2022-2023 school year.

Q: Why take Algebra II after Algebra I?

A: This represents a change from what has been usual for many years.  Parents of students may have taken Algebra II before Geometry or Geometry before Algebra II, depending on where and when they went to high school.  


Students who successfully complete Algebra I through acceleration in middle school are often also accelerated in science.  Students who are accelerated in science generally enroll in AP Physics 1 in their sophomore year of high school. Teachers of AP Physics 1 report that students who have the highest level of algebraic skill are most successful in their class.  Given the amount of algebra needed to be successful in AP Physics 1, it might be advisable for an accelerated math student to take Algebra II in their freshman year and then take Geometry and AP Physics 1 concurrently in their sophomore year.


Students who struggle in Algebra I and successfully complete the course but are not on a trajectory for an algebraically-intensive major in college may benefit from taking Algebra II in the school year immediately following successful completion of Algebra I so that the flow of algebraic learning is not interrupted.  Geometry can then be taken after Algebra II, followed by less algebraically-intensive choices in high school mathematics that include Statistics.


Q: Why do STEM Academy students take Algebra II after Algebra I?

A: STEM Academy students are accelerated in math and science.  The STEM high school program was designed so that STEM students would enroll in designated STEM sections of core content courses in their freshman and sophomore years.  Knowing the sophomore science course would be AP Physics 1, the program was designed to support students’ algebraic skills by taking Algebra II in their freshman year followed by Geometry in their sophomore year.

Q: Can I take Algebra II and Geometry concurrently?

A: Any student who is willing to give two periods of their eight-period schedule to these two mathematics courses may take them concurrently. Students who are successful taking these two courses concurrently are often adept at mathematics and are seeking additional acceleration in mathematics. Taking Algebra II and Geometry concurrently is the best way for high school students to further accelerate their mathematics learning.  This opens the door to taking AP Calculus in high school for a student who has never previously telescoped or accelerated in mathematics. Algebra 2 and Geometry Concurrently Graphic

Q: Why take Math Models with Applications after Algebra I?

A: If you took Algebra I, struggled throughout the course, and are not on a trajectory for an algebraically-intensive major in college, then you may benefit from taking Math Models with Applications.  This course is designed to bridge algebraic skills from Algebra I to higher mathematics courses, including Geometry and Algebra II. It is a valid high school mathematics credit for graduation but is not recognized as a core high school course by NCAA for college athletics. Algebra 1 to Math Models to Geometry to Algebra 2 Graphic

If a student’s previous math performance indicates a need to take Math Models with Applications but the student also desires to study mathematics beyond Algebra 2 in high school, then the student can take Geometry and Math Models with Applications concurrently, in the same school year.  Taking the two courses in the same school year would require two periods in a student’s eight-period schedule, and it would also allow the student to study mathematics beyond Algebra 2 in high school.

Geometry and Math Models Concurrently Taken Graphic

Q: Can I take Math Models with Applications and Algebra II concurrently?

A: While this is possible, it is not advisable to do so. Students in need of Math Models with Applications are generally not equipped for success in Algebra II until they have successfully completed Math Models with Applications.

Q: Can I take Math Models with Applications and Geometry concurrently?

A: This is possible.  Both courses build upon students’ knowledge of Algebra I.  Any student who is willing to give two periods of their eight-period high school schedule to these two mathematics courses may take them concurrently. Taking both courses concurrently would be a way to build algebraic skill toward successful completion of AP Physics 1 while concurrently enrolled in Algebra II during a student’s junior year, or successful completion of a rigorous high level math course like Precalculus in the student’s senior year. Geometry and Math Models Concurrently Taken Graphic

Q: What is the difference between a math course, the Advanced version of the course, and the GT Advanced version of the course?

A: This answer applies to Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Precalculus.  High school math courses are all offered with similar scope and sequence because students who graduate with a high school math credit are responsible for knowledge and skill of the same state standards regardless of the version of the course the student enrolled in.  Our math courses are designed to equip students for mastery of the essential knowledge and skills and are graded on a 4.0 GPA scale.


Our Advanced math courses are designed also to equip students for mastery not only of essential knowledge and skills but also strategies and critical thinking skills required for success in future Advanced Placement math courses, such as Statistics and Calculus.  Students who enroll in Advanced high school math courses need strong number sense and an appreciation for multiple solution strategies. Advanced courses are graded on a 5.0 GPA scale.


GT Advanced math courses are designed to meet the social and emotional needs of gifted and talented students, especially those who talents are in mathematics, while equipping them for success in future Advanced Placement math courses, such as Statistics and Calculus.  GT students who need fewer repetitions and less direct instruction can benefit from GT Advanced sections of math classes that allow students to extend their learning and make deeper connections to other disciplines and careers. GT Advanced sections will involve more exploration and discussion of the “why” behind mathematics knowledge and skills.  GT Advanced courses are graded on a 5.0 GPA scale.


Q: What is the difference between Statistics Advanced and AP Statistics?

A: AP Statistics provides the potential for students to gain college credit for the introductory statistics course if students score high enough on the AP exam.  The course content of AP Statistics is determined by College Board. Statistics Advanced provides introductory exposure to statistics for students without the possibility of college credit. The course content of Statistics Advanced is determined by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Statistics.  There is a great deal of overlap in the content of the courses. The Advanced course is not a prerequisite for the AP course.

Q: What is the difference between Calculus Advanced and AP Calculus AB?

A: AP Calculus AB provides the potential for students to gain college credit for the introductory calculus course if students score high enough on the AP exam.  The course content of AP Calculus AB is determined by College Board. Calculus Advanced provides introductory exposure to calculus for students without the possibility of college credit unless the student independently takes a CLEP test.  The course content of Calculus Advanced is determined by the teacher who strives to provide students with as much exposure to the same content as AP Calculus AB as possible without having the same pacing as AP Calculus AB. There is a great deal of overlap in the content of the courses.  The Advanced course is not a prerequisite for the AP course. High school math credit cannot be awarded for both courses.

Q: What is the difference between AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC?

A: In GCISD, AP Calculus AB is approximately equivalent to the college course Calculus I and AP Calculus BC is approximately equivalent to the college course Calculus II. Hence in our district, AP Calculus AB is a prerequisite for AP Calculus BC just as Calculus I is a prerequisite for Calculus II in college.

Q: Can I level down if I select an Advanced high school math course?

A: Level down windows are described in the Course Selection Guide/Program of Studies.  Leveling down is only possible on the published timelines. It is possible to level down from Advanced mathematics to mathematics, however, it is best for student learning to choose the best course placement initially.

Q: Can I take a math course in the summer to accelerate?

A: GCISD does not generally offer high school credit mathematics courses in the summer for acceleration.  High school credit math courses offered in GCISD's secondary summer school are only for credit recovery.  Students have occasionally taken courses online through accredited institutions, such as UT High School or TTU K-12.  There is a tuition cost associated with this option and the student success rate in the compact time frame of summer is historically low.  Students must successfully complete any pre-requisite course PRIOR to accelerating to the next course. Students will not be allowed to accelerate with only partial credit for pre-requisite courses.  Partial credit includes credit for one semester but not both required semesters.

Q: Can I take an exam to accelerate?

A: In accordance with state law, GCISD offers four different opportunities annually during which students may attempt credit by exam (CBE) for certain high school credit courses, including the mathematics courses Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precalculus.  Students attempting to accelerate are students who have not had prior instruction in the course. By state law, students taking CBEs without prior instruction must score 80% or higher on both of the semester exams for each math course for which they are attempting to .  Students must successfully complete all CBEs for a prerequisite course PRIOR to accelerating to the next course. Students will not be allowed to accelerate with only partial credit via CBE. Partial credit includes a score of 80% or higher for one semester but not both required semesters, for example a score of 79% or lower for one semester.

College admissions standards may change over time. Parents and students are encouraged to research admittance requirements for each college the student is interested in applying to prior to taking a CBE as admissions standards can vary from college to college.  There is no guarantee colleges will recognize CBE credit as fulfilling a core requirement. NCAA/NAIA bound athletes need to research how taking a CBE can impact NCAA/NAIA eligibility.


Q: What are the math credit requirements for graduation?

A: A minimum of four math courses for all endorsement areas.  Algebra II will be required for all Endorsement areas.

Q: Are there other courses I can take for a math credit?

A: Yes.  The courses seen in graphics on this website are the most commonly taken courses in GCISD, however, there are even more options available if there are enough course requests for courses to make.  Here is a list of other math credit course options available in our 2019-2020 Course Selection Guide/Program of Studies:

AP Computer Science A 
Prerequisite: Algebra II
Recommended Prerequisite:  Pre-AP Computer Science I
Fulfills 4th year math credit

Engineering Mathematics 
Prerequisite: Algebra II
Fulfills 4th year math credit

College Algebra - Dual Enrollment - (fee-based)
Dual credit courses receive a weight equivalent to Pre-AP.
Fulfills 4th year math credit

Financial Mathematics
Prerequisite: Algebra I
This course satisfies a high school mathematics graduation requirement.

Accounting II
Prerequisite:  Accounting I
This course satisfies a mathematics graduation requirement

College Preparatory Mathematics
Students must be graduating on the minimum or foundation plans to take this course.





If you have any questions regarding math course sequence options that are not addressed here, please submit them to the Math Course Sequence FAQ survey.