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1986–2012 LongTerm Trend Mathematics Assessments. TRENDS IN ACADEMIC PROGRESS 2012 4 7 C OURSETAKING Seventeenyearolds taking calculus score higher
Seventeenyearolds were asked, “Counting what you are taking now, have you ever taken any of
the following mathematics courses?” The highest level mathematics course was determined
based on students’ selections from the following responses:
• General, business, or consumer mathematics
• Prealgebra or introduction to algebra
• Firstyear algebra
• Secondyear algebra
• Geometry
• Trigonometry
• Precalculus or calculus
As with the pattern at age 13, the more rigorous the coursework, the higher the average
mathematics score for 17yearolds (figure 34). In 2012, students who had taken precalculus or
calculus scored higher on average than students who selected any of the other options as the
highest level course taken. Secondyear algebra or trigonometry was the highest mathematics
course reported by over onehalf of 17yearolds; the average score for these students was higher
than the scores for students who reported taking other courses, with the exception of precalculus
or calculus. The average score for students whose highest level course was prealgebra or general
mathematics was lower than the scores for students taking any of the other courses.
Figure 34. Percentage of students and average scores in NAEP mathematics for
17yearolds, by highest level mathematics course ever taken: 2012 NOTE: The “prealgebra or general mathematics” response category includes “prealgebra or introduction to algebra,” “general,
business, or consumer mathematics,” and students who did not take any of the listed courses. The “other” response category
includes students for whom the highest level mathematics course could not be determined due to missing or inconsistent responses.
Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),
2012 LongTerm Trend Mathematics Assessment. 4 8 THE NATION’S REPORT CARD COURSETAKING Percentage of 17yearolds taking calculus increasing
The percentage of 17yearolds taking precalculus or calculus more than tripled from 1978 to
2012 (figure 35). The percentage of students whose highest level mathematics course was
secondyear algebra or trigonometry also increased in comparison to 1978.
Figure 35. Trend in percentage of 17yearold students assessed in NAEP mathematics,
by highest level mathematics course ever taken * Significantly different (p < .05) from 2012.
NOTE: The “prealgebra or general mathematics” response category includes “prealgebra or introduction to algebra,” “general, business, or consumer mathematics,”
and students who did not take any of the listed courses. The “other” response category includes students for whom the highest level mathematics course could not be
determined due t...
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 Spring '14
 The Land

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