In 2009, average NAEP mathematics scores were higher for graduates who completed algebra II in the ninth grade than for those who completed a lower level mathematics course.
In 2009, average NAEP mathematics scores were higher for graduates who completed calculus during high school than for those who completed lower level courses such as algebra II or advanced mathematics.
Average NAEP mathematics scores, by highest level mathematics course completed in ninth grade and twelfth grade: 2009
Average NAEP mathematics score 
Standard error 
Below Algebra I 
124 
* 
(1.3) 
Algebra I 
148 
* 
(0.6) 
Geometry 
179 
* 
(1.1) 
Algebra II 
187 

(2.4) 
Algebra I or below 
114 
* 
(1.1) 
Geometry 
127 
* 
(0.9) 
Algebra II 
142 
* 
(0.6) 
Advanced mathematics 
164 
* 
(0.6) 
Calculus 
193 

(1.1) 
* Significantly different (p<.05) from the highest level course.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, High School Transcript Study (HSTS), 2009; National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2009 Mathematics Assessment.