Preparing Your Child for College Math - Kumon

Preparing Your Child for College Math

According to a new study from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, fewer than 25% of high school students have studied the challenging topics required to prepare for college-level mathematics. In a similar study by ACT, less than 50% of high students who took that ACT for college admissions would have received a C or higher in college-level algebra based on the testing scores for the ACT at the time of the study.

National Assessment of Educational Progress attributes this phenomenon to less rigorous coursework in classrooms. Its analysis of high school level textbooks showed that, in some Algebra I classes, more than sixty percent of the materials covered are elementary and middle school math topics, such as basic arithmetic and pre-algebra problems.

Although you may not have control over the specific coursework assigned in your children’s math classrooms, you can ensure that your children have built the foundation for the coursework that they will need for advanced high school and college-level math classes. The Kumon Math program uses assignments that progress in small steps to build critical skills needed to study high school-level calculus, which, as a study by the Trends in International Math and Science Study suggests, is an excellent way to prepare students for college-level math.

In addition, make sure that your children take math courses throughout all four years of high school to ensure they are prepared for the rigorous coursework of college-level math. Professor W. Stephen Wilson, former senior advisor for U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and calculus professor at John Hopkins University, states that a gap year in mathematics will “make taking whatever math they have to take in college extremely difficult.” Gap years in math could also result in difficulty in passing college placement exams in mathematics, resulting in remedial math coursework in college.

For more information on how the Kumon Math program can help build the foundation to help your children prepare for college, visit