Embracing AP Precalculus: Why Schools Are Making the Leap

In today's academic landscape, providing engaging coursework that also prepares students for future challenges is crucial. One such opportunity that has captured the attention of educators nationwide is Advanced Placement (AP) Precalculus.

The AP Precalculus Success Story

Since its introduction, AP Precalculus has quickly become a cornerstone of advanced high school mathematics education. In its inaugural year, over 200,000 students enrolled across all states in the course, with more than 175,000 sitting for the exam. The results speak volumes: three out of four students—and half of all seniors—scored 3 or better on the AP Exam. Earning scores of 3 or higher qualifies students for college math credits and/or advanced placement at many colleges and universities nationwide. These statistics highlight the course's popularity and its effectiveness in preparing students for college-level mathematics.

Abundant Teacher Resources

Transitioning to AP Precalculus doesn't mean embarking on an uncertain journey without support. AP provides comprehensive resources to ensure both teachers and students thrive:

  • Unit Guides and Topic Pages: Detailed roadmaps that outline course objectives and learning outcomes.
  • Formative Assessment Questions: Tools for ongoing student assessment and progress tracking.
  • Practice Exams: Four full-length exams, including those in the Course and Exam Description (CED), which familiarize students with the format and rigor of the AP Exam.
  • Released Free Response Questions (FRQs): Insights from the latest exam cycles, available for teachers to integrate into their teaching strategies.


  • “I went into this [AP Precalculus] not knowing what good it would be, and now I’m completely sold on what good it is for the kids,” said Crissie Ricketts, AP Calculus instructor at McLean High School in Virginia.  
  • “This is my first time taking an AP course, and I was really worried that it might be too difficult for me.  But now I’m signed up to take AP Calculus AB next year and I’m excited to expand on the stuff I’m learning this year,” said student Vikram E.
  • “I understand math so much better this year than I have at any other point,” said student Lauren H.

Hear from more AP Precalculus students here:

The Power of AP Courses

Research consistently shows that students who take AP courses not only perform better academically but also develop essential skills like time management, critical thinking, and problem-solving.  AP Precalculus empowers students to meet college math requirements, which has been one of the greatest barriers in degree completion. Seniors who take AP Precalculus are more likely to be successful in college math courses and may even expand their interest into more advanced courses. 

Taking the Next Step 

AP Precalculus helps students to excel in mathematics, enhance their college applications, and position themselves competitively in an increasingly globalized workforce. 

To explore more about AP Precalculus and its benefits, visit the AP Central website for detailed information and student perspectives: AP Precalculus Overview. 

AP Precalculus is a gateway to academic success and future career opportunities.