Honors Algebra 2 is an advanced math course designed to prepare students to move to Honors Precalculus, and ultimately, AP Calculus (a college level course). Because it is a preparatory course for AP Calculus, some of the characteristics of the AP Calculus exam drive the curriculum of Honors Algebra 2.
Some key characteristics of the AP Calculus exam are as follows:
 The AP Calculus test has 2 parts – a multiplechoice section and a freeresponse section.
 The test is approximately 66% no calculator and 33% calculator. Many of the questions on the calculator exam do not use a calculator.
Characteristics of Honors Algebra 2
 Probably 70% of the course is no calculator. Most tests come in two parts – calculator and nocalculator. The nocalculator portion of the test is typically longer than the calculator section.
 Students must apply skills learned to application problems and be able to synthesize the use of multiple skills within a single problem.
 There is only one retest per 9 weeks.
 All major grades will come from unit assessments. There are no takehome major grades.
 Other than an occasional bonus question on a test or quiz, no extra credit is typically given.
Key differences between level and honors Algebra 2 are:
Level


 Examples/review are a close match to test questions
 Most work completed with some type of calculator
 Often multiple examples over the same concept
Honors


 Faster pace
 Go more indepth in concepts – discuss the “how”, “why”, concept behind the problem
 More application problems
 Must be able to synthesize (put together) multiple concepts into one problem
 Tests will include “stretch” problems which go beyond what was learned in class
 Portions of tests are without any calculator
 Few review sheets, and given reviews do not mirror tests
 Usually only one example of several types of a problems presented in class
 Requires more work outside of class (approximately 3060 minutes per class)
Key Characteristics of the Successful Honors Algebra 2 Student:
• Student possesses good computational skills, without the aid of a calculator.
• Student is willing to put forth the time and effort to complete 100% of the homework each day.
• Student is able to use class notes as a resource to help complete the homework correctly.
• Student prepares for tests and quizzes, going beyond completing assigned homework and reviews. Student studies notes, reworks problems missed from old homework, homework checks, or quizzes. Student completes extra practice when necessary to ensure mastery of the skills.
• Student possesses higherlevel thinking skills and is able to apply skills to application problems.
• Student is willing to seek help from instructor as soon as difficulties arise – not waiting until the night before the test to address problems with understanding.
FAQ’s:
• What happens if my child is struggling in Honors Algebra 2? Students who sign up to take Honors Algebra 2 will remain in the class through the first 9week grading period. The exception to this would be new students to TWHS who were not properly placed at the time of registration.
• What happens to grades when students move from honors to level? The grades for the marking period must follow the student when they change levels.