By: Pauline Tsui, Contributing Writer ‘25

College Board encompasses various AP courses, categorized into Capstone, Arts, English, Humanities, Math, Sciences, and World Language. Presently, available AP math options center around calculus, statistics, or computer science. Despite the current AP math courses existing for decades, College Board has welcomed a prominent change to the available selections. Beginning from 2023 to 2024, students are able to enroll in the new AP math course, AP Pre-Calculus. The new AP Pre-Calculus course has instigated both positive and negative sentiment within Indian Hills. Yet, whether AP Pre-Calculus will become an available AP math course at Indian Hills remains an inquiry.

Jia Chen, a current sophomore taking Honors Pre-Calculus explains how she is unsure “if it would be any different except in name. I take the course right now and don’t see how much it would actually change if it became an AP class.” Many Indian Hills High School students feel the drastic change in shifting Pre-Calculus into an AP course would be contentious. With AP Calculus and AP Statistics already being fulfilling AP math courses, the addition of shifting Pre-Calculus into an AP math course has initiated prevalent queries toward Collegeboard at Indian Hills. Various students at Indian Hills feel dubious about taking an AP math course, “especially not Pre-Calc. If I were to commit to something I would do it all the way–either go through AP Calc like a man, or don’t take an AP math. Period. Also, I wouldn’t pay a hundred dollars just to terribly fail that exam,” emphasizes Charlotte Manning, a current sophomore and Geometry Honors student. While many Indian Hills students remain unsure about the new course implemented by Collegeboard, other students feel AP Pre-Calculus holds a multitude of benefits.

With the majority of students at Indian Hills finishing with pre-calculus, many students are unable to enroll in an AP math course other than AP Statistics. Yet as the 2023-2024 school year begins, many students at Indian Hills may be able to enroll in an AP Pre-Calculus class rather than having only the option of AP Statistics. Jia Chen, a student in the class of 2025, adds how “it might be beneficial because it gives students an early opportunity to take an AP class.” Despite the dubiousness toward the imposition, AP Pre-Calculus may be in favor of Indian Hills students considering to enroll in an AP math course. “Honestly I think AP Pre-Calc could be beneficial for helping you transition into like AP Calculus,” elucidates Alexa Muro, a current sophomore. The transition from Pre-Calculus to an AP level math such as Calculus dawns on many students at Indian Hills. Yet College Board’s decision to administer AP Pre-Calculus may assist students in the transition toward taking AP Calculus AB or BC. Hayoung Baik, a student currently enrolled in AP Calculus in the class of 2024, believes she “would take it in the future, but since I’m a junior and will be a senior next year, I think it is a little late for me to take it in the future. I would definitely have taken it if it was available in the past.” Although AP Precalculus encompasses mixed opinions, whether AP Precalculus will be offered at Indian Hills remains in discussion. 

Mrs. Zielenkievicz, a current Pre-Calc Honors teacher and Math Director at Indian Hills discusses how “RIH is currently exploring the possibilities of running AP Precalculus at Indian Hills High School as soon as next school year. Students will be able to register for the course in their normal schedule request meetings with their counselors.” With the potential of AP Precalculus at Indian Hills in the 2023-2024 school year, many students may look forward to enrolling in an AP math course aside from AP Calculus and AP Statistics. If AP Precalculus becomes officially added to the math curriculum at Indian Hills, Mrs. Zielenkievicz looks forward to “teaching AP Precalculus when/if adapted. It is closely aligned with what we currently do in the Honors course, but the AP Exam adds an exciting new element.” Despite Precalculus shifting to an AP-level course, the overall content of Honors Pre-Calculus parallels AP Pre-Calculus. If students enroll in AP Pre-Calculus, Indian Hills students may be eligible for college credit and gain experience from the AP exam. 

As the probability of AP Precalculus being implemented next year remains high, whether the course runs depends on student enrollment numbers. With an ambivalent opinion on the AP course at Indian Hills, the likelihood of the class being taught remains uncertain. If many students choose to enroll in the new course, college credit and exam-taking experience may prevail. Yet, if many students choose not to enroll in the new course, students may look forward to saving nearly $100 on an AP math exam. Although student interest numbers may fluctuate in the next couple of months, the AP Pre-Calculus course offering remains likely in the 2023-2024 school season.