I am entering 8th grade and I recently took a placement test. I am hoping to get into the 11th grade mathematics course (Algebra 2), but I am not sure whether or not I will qualify. The school that I will be attending has three advanced classes for 8th graders: (Intro to Algebra, Algebra 1, and Algebra2). Last year in 7th grade, I took Pre-Algebra, not Algebra 1. I am wondering what general topics are taught in Algebra 1 for the state of Pennsylvania so that I will be able to determine if I could possibly skip this course. Please let me know. Thank you!

Also, I had a little trouble with two out of nine of the Algebra 1 questions on the placement exam, so would this mean that I would not be qualified for Algebra 2? I have not yet received results to the exam.

  • $\begingroup$ Wait for the results! You can "what-if" all you want in the meantime, but that can drive one crazy. I know that uncertainty and waiting it out can feel agonizing, but no amount of "what-iffing" is going to erase the uncertainty. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Jun 30 '14 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ Also, this is not an "all or nothing" situation. Even if you wind up taking Algebra 1, you can still get an Algebra 2 book (ask a teacher, your parents, etc.) and read through the Algebra 2 book on your own. My school didn't offer Algebra 1 until 9th grade, but by then I had already learned a little algebra from public library books, so I borrowed an Algebra 2 book from my teacher and worked through it on my own. I did the same for calculus in 10th grade, with a public library book. (My school didn't offer calculus.) $\endgroup$ – Dave L. Renfro Jun 30 '14 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Don't assume that things will be the same in Pennsylvania - see article ! thebentinel.com/041201-alternative-value-for-pi.html $\endgroup$ – Tom Collinge Jun 30 '14 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I guess you're right. There's no reason for me to worry about it. Thank you for reminding me! $\endgroup$ – user160922 Jun 30 '14 at 19:18

If it's anything like Louisiana, algebra I deals with:

Simplifying polynomials (adding and subtracting like terms, distributing when multiplying, polynomial division, etc.) Basic quadratic stuff (Depending on class) Basics of matrices Beginner probability (permutations and combinations)

Of course, there are a lot of simpler topics that I'm sure an algebra I class would review throughout the year (things like fraction simplification, decimal-fraction conversion, scientific notation, maybe some basic geometry).

For the most part it heavily involves being able to manipulate expressions with variables (if my brother's Algebra I textbook is a good indicator of your algebra I).

I wouldn't think different states would have wildly different curriculums for algebra I.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply--I appreciate you assistance. I am sure that the curriculum is fairly similar in Pennsylvania. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ – user160922 Jun 30 '14 at 19:21

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