If from a young age in elementary school you’ve always scored high marks in math, regular math classes may not be enough for you anymore. When you’re entering high school after getting constant A’s and possibly a lowly B here and there you may be wondering how you may challenge yourself. Fortunately, if you haven’t yet begun, you can begin to take higher-level math courses. Why might you want to take these more difficult and challenging courses you may be wondering.
Of course, when you decide to take Honors math classes you will be having to work harder and study more than most of your friends who are probably going to be taking regular math classes. You’ll need to prepare yourself very well, and be disciplined to be able to pass these Honors courses. We’re going to break down the facts and preview what you will be learning, and what you can do to be successful if you are taking Honors math classes.
What are the courses?
At the start of eighth grade, you can begin to take Honors math classes, which will set you up for high school Honors math and AP classes. From eighth grade until late into your high school years there are different Honors math classes you can take.
- Honors Geometry
- Honors Algebra
- Honors Pre-Calculus
After taking these courses you can also think about taking AP Calculus or AP Statistics.
Differences between normal, Honors, and AP Math courses
Entering high school if you got the grades in middle school you’ll have the choice to take the path of normal math classes or Honors and possibly later on AP classes. There are key differences and advantages and disadvantages between the three.
Your normal math courses in high school consist of algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus. Of course, as they are “normal” there is less of a workload. If you are very active and need time for other extracurricular activities it can be advantageous in this sense to take your typical math courses. The downside is they won’t count as much as the more advanced courses to colleges or on your GPA.
Honors math are the same subjects but at a more advanced level and pace. Taking these courses will help your GPA become higher, and help you stand out much more to colleges. Taking these courses can also help you decide if you want to take an AP math class your junior and/or senior year.
AP Classes most would consider being the most difficult. Passing them would earn you college credit as they are a college-level class. You should only take AP classes if you are sure you can handle it, for example, if you decide to take AP Calculus you can earn college credits, however, you will need to score at least a three on the exam, as the exam is graded on a scale from one to five. There are many colleges that will only accept a grade of four on the AP exam to give college credit.
Does taking Honors Math really help?
Taking Honors math can be a huge asset to you and your future. So what can you actually gain from taking these courses? Will completing a math course with the word “Honors” in front really help you that much later on in life.
Some advantages to taking Honors math courses instead of normal courses are:
- Higher GPA (Grade point average)
- More likely to get a scholarship
- Will prepare you better for college
- Will prepare you better for STEM fields of study (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
If someday you would like to be an aerospace engineer, for example taking Honors courses in Math will help you to prepare for an engineering major in college. You will also be considered much more heavily for college admission and scholarships to more prestigious colleges. Even throughout high school taking Honors Math will help you for even more advanced courses, in other words, AP courses, which offer college credit.
Taking more advanced courses will help you become a better student as well, and a more organized person in general. When you take on more challenging tasks they will demand that you become organized and you manage yourself and your time wisely. This does not only apply in Honors math but life in general and other parts of your academic career.
What is better, taking Honors math or AP classes?
Well, it is possible to take both classes at some point, however, it would be much better to take AP Calculus after having taken your Honors math courses. Both types of courses require a lot of organization and studying, as mentioned before there are different advantages to both, AP Calculus courses are even more difficult but have a higher reward if you can handle it. At the end of the day, it depends on your math scores through high school and how confident you feel about handling the workload. Honors courses can offer a good middle ground between normal math classes and AP math classes.
Should you take Honors math classes?
After you take everything into account you can start to decide if Honors math is right for you. Some questions you will have to take into consideration are:
- Am I ready for the challenge?
- Can I manage my time wisely?
- Do I want to study a STEM course in college?
- Do I want a job that requires mathematical skills and knowledge?
These questions can help you determine if you should be taking Honors math in high school. If you want to dedicate a lot of hours to sports and other activities outside of school it can be more difficult for you to take Honors math. You will need plenty of time to study and do a lot of homework that is not required in ordinary math courses. You may have the ability in math to do well, but if you can’t dedicate enough time it can be too big a challenge.
Getting into a prestigious college will be much easier for you having taken honors math. Beyond your college or university years, there are many high-paying and competitive careers that will offer someone with a high-profile mathematical background a job. If for example, you would like to be a kind of engineer, or physicist, then it would be a huge help to take Honors Math.
Tips for success in Honors Math
There are many resources that can help you achieve high scores in Honors Math. Using the internet and prep books will be a huge help as well as asking your teachers for extra assistance if need be.
There are plenty of websites that offer math practice and information.
These are just several of the websites that you may use when studying for your Honors math classes. Math websites offer explanations, examples, and practice questions, for you to be able to improve and maintain a good level of mathematical knowledge.
Prep books can also be a huge help as throughout the course they give explanations to the mathematical concepts you are learning, as well as practice questions and examples. Using prep books in an after-school setting as exam time comes around will be a huge help when reviewing what you’ve learned throughout the semester and the year.
Tutors offer a lot of assistance as well. You can find the right tutor for you, depending on your schedule and if their strengths match your weaknesses. Superprof is an awesome website for this as you can meet with a tutor when you want and something that is important nowadays, you can even meet over a video call. Using Superprof you can research a tutor’s profile and decide if they are the right tutor for you, and most tutors even offer a free lesson for you to decide if the tutor is the best match for you.
All in all, Honors math is very challenging, especially compared to normal high school math classes. While it can be an easier and less intense experience than AP Math classes, there are many things to consider when deciding on what classes to take and planning your future math courses and objectives. You can also start to plan on your future and a cool, rewarding career that few other fields of study can offer. Making sure you are prepared as possible and having the best resources for Honors math will make the journey much easier, and the rewards will make taking the course worth the effort.
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