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Higher percentages of 13- and 17-year-olds enrolled in advanced mathematics

 Age 13
Age 17

As part of the 2008 long-term trend assessment, students at age 17 were asked about the kinds of mathematics courses they were taking. The highest-level mathematics course was determined from the students' responses to the questions. The full text of the question and the percentage of students who responded within each category are shown below.

Counting what you are taking now, have you ever taken any of the following mathematics courses?

A. General business, or consumer mathematics
B. Pre-algebra or introduction to Algebra
C. First-year algebra
D. Second-year algebra
E. Geometry
F. Trigonometry
G. Pre-calculus or calculus

Age 17 Mathematics course-taking


  • The percentage of 17-year-olds taking more advanced mathematics courses increased in 2008 compared to 1986.
  • A higher percentage of 17-year-olds in 2008 compared to 1986 indicated that they had taken pre-calculus or calculus classes. 

* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2008.
1 Original assessment format. Results prior to 2004 are also from the original assessment format.
2 Revised assessment format.
NOTE: The "pre-algebra or general mathematics" response category includes "pre-algebra or introduction to algebra" and “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. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. View complete data with standard errors.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1978–2008 Long-Term Trend Mathematics Assessments.

To read more details on comparisons across years, see About the Long-Term Trend Assessment.

2008 Long-Term Trend Report Card 2008 Long-Term Trend Report Card