Choosing High School Math Courses Strategically

Of all the academic choices a student entering eight grade or high school must make, math course selection exerts the most influence on future choices. What should a student, parent, or counselor consider when weighing the options? Amy and Mike invited author and math expert Richard Corn to clarify the process of choosing high school math courses strategically.

What are five things you will learn in this episode?

  1. What should drive math course selection?
  2. How do grade level, accelerated, and gifted tracks differ?
  3. Can students change tracks in high school?
  4. What are the implications of math course selection for SAT and ACT scores?
  5. Should advanced math students choose calculus or statistics?


Before tutoring, Richard was designing and building computer systems for large corporations. He decided to pursue his longstanding interest in mathematics and education, and since then he has helped hundreds of middle school and high school students with their studies in mathematics and with preparation for standardized tests.

His standardized testing students have increased their math scores by as much as 210 SAT points (or ACT equivalent). When students complained about the quality of the prep books sold by big box publishers, Richard decided to write his own books for the math sections of the ACT and SAT. His books have been very successful, having sold more than 36,000 copies. Book sales are mostly on Amazon, but there have also been direct sales to school book stores and tutoring companies.

Find Richard at


Richard’s extensive catalog of books
Considerations in choosing calculus or statistics


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