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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What math class should my student take?
All students must complete introductory algebra (Algebra1/1A) in middle school or high school before taking more advanced classes. After meeting this pre-requisite, students can select from three different math sequences based on their interest and ability.
2. What are the differences between the course sequences?
Each course sequence is a 4-year college preparatory mathematics program that prepares students for college or other post-secondary programs. The difference between the courses is the pacing, depth of study and level of challenge.
3. Can a student take courses from different math sequences ?
Yes. Students can choose math course from any sequence each year. Students are not required to stay in the same math sequences over their four years at Gunn. 9th grade students enrolled in an Algebra course are advised to take Geometry over the summer if they would like to take calculus in their senior year.
4. Who needs to take a placement test?
Students who are new to PAUSD and have completed Algebra 1 in middle school are required to take a placement test. If your student is currently enrolled within the district, he or she does not need to take a placement test. If your student plans to take introductory Algebra in 9th grade he or she does not need to take a placement test.
5. Why is a placement test necessary?
There is little consistency between schools and the curriculum covered in each course. For example, an Algebra course at one school may cover different topics than an Algebra course at another school. The placement test allows us to determine the best fit between a student’s prior work and the mathematics program at Gunn.
6. What material is covered on the placement test?
The material covered in the test is determined by a student’s previous math coursework. For example, if a student has completed Geometry he or she will take a test on Geometry. The exam is in multiple-choice format and students take one to one and a half hours to complete the exam.
7. How should my student prepare for the exam?
The best preparation is a good night’s sleep, a pencil and an eraser. Because the tests measure general mathematical knowledge and problem solving skills, studying prior to the test is not necessary. There are no study guides, outlines or sample questions available.
8. How do I sign up for a placement test?
The Gunn Mathematics Department website can be used to request a placement test. At the same site you will find additional information about the length and format of the placement test. http://gunn.pausd.org/math/placementandtesting
9. What if my student comes from a school with an integrated math program?
Gunn does not offer an equivalent to an integrated math program. 9th grade students enrolled in an integrated math program should generally take a placement test covering Algebra. 10th grade students should generally take a placement test covering Geometry.
10. Is it possible to borrow a book for use over the summer?
We do not check out books over the summer. However, the title and ISBN number of the books used for each class are available on this site and most textbooks can be purchased online.