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Individually Paced Math Sequence

Thank you for your interest in CTY Summer Programs' Individually Paced Math Sequence course. We hope you find this information helpful in deciding whether to register for Math Sequence, or in preparing for the course if you are already registered.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, please call 410-735-6185 and ask to speak with a member of CTY's Math Committee.

Note: The information on this page is for Individually Paced Math Sequence offered as a part of CTY Summer Programs. If you have questions about online instruction, please visit CTY Online Programs.

Course Description for Individually Paced Math Sequence in CTY Summer Programs

Individually Paced Math Sequence includes courses in Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and pre-calculus topics including Functions, Trigonometry, Discrete Math, and Analytic Geometry. It is designed for students with the interest and ability to accelerate their study of mathematics, perhaps to take calculus at an earlier grade level or to begin studying college mathematics while still in high school.

Inspired by research conducted by Johns Hopkins University's Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), this course, designed for students with high mathematical ability, high self-motivation, and strong independent learning skills, allows students to work independently at a pace commensurate with their individual abilities.

At the beginning of the session, we assess the knowledge base of each student with diagnostic testing. The results of this testing, together with information provided by students and their schools, determine the appropriate starting point for each student in CTY's curriculum and allow students to focus their attention on unfamiliar material.

For most of the day, students work on their own. The instructor and teaching assistant monitor each student's progress carefully, and offer support and individualized instruction as needed. Students must demonstrate a mastery of the concepts and skills within each subject area before moving on to the next topic.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I consult with my child's school before signing up for Math Sequence?

Absolutely. Math Sequence is designed for students who make arrangements to substitute their summer course work for the equivalent course work at their home schools. This course is for acceleration, not for review of old concepts or preview of next year's math. Students should not request this course if they will have to repeat the same material when they return to school in the fall. Therefore, before applying students must discuss credit and/or placement and the consequences of acceleration with a school official to determine if Math Sequence is an appropriate course. See "Credit Issues" below.

Do all students complete a year's worth of math in three weeks? What happens if they cover only part of the material needed to receive credit and/or placement back at school?

The goal of this course is to allow students to master material at their own pace. For some students this means finishing the equivalent of a school year's worth of work or more. However, some students do very well in Math Sequence but don't complete a full course. These students have several options:

  1. Students may work at home on their own, with a private tutor, local teacher, older sibling, relative, or family friend, to complete the course before the school year starts. While this extra work will not be reflected in the student's summer evaluation, many schools offer a competency exam to demonstrate mastery of the material.
  2. Some schools are willing to work with students to individualize a course of study during the school year, allowing them to pick up where they left off during the summer.
  3. If a school will allow a student to work on an independent study plan but lacks the resources to devise or implement such a plan, distance education programs may be able to help. CTY's Distance Education program offers courses year-round for students who have demonstrated an ability to work effectively on their own. Similar programs are offered by other universities.

Do Math Sequence students get to work on group/enrichment activities?

Yes, for 45 minutes a day. Math Sequence is different from other CTY courses in that very little time is devoted to lecture, discussion, or group activities. For most of the day—at least six hours—students work in a self-paced format, with guidance from the instructor but with little interaction with other students. However, students do have an opportunity to interact with others during the daily 45-minute enrichment sessions. These sessions provide variety for students and introduce them to a wide range of problems and topics in mathematics.

What if the curriculum at my child's school doesn't match the Math Sequence curriculum? Can accommodations be made?

The self-paced format of Math Sequence allows us some flexibility with our curriculum. After being assigned to Math Sequence, students complete a Math Questionnaire and return it to us before the start of the program. The questionnaire asks students—with the help of their schools and parents—to provide information about their school's curricula. This information allows us to ensure that students cover the necessary topics. For example, students from New York generally supplement the standard CTY material with additional topics specific to the Regents curriculum. If you live in New York , please be sure your school specifies its expectations on the Math Questionnaire.

Is there any documentation at the end of the session to give schools proof that my child mastered the material?

Each student receives a personalized narrative evaluation and a record of topics covered. Additionally, we keep in our files a folder of each student's important documents, such as the Math Questionnaire, a daily record of what material was covered, chapter tests, and the final exam. Parents can request their child's folder by calling us at the end of the program.

My child has already completed pre-calculus at school. Does the Math Sequence curriculum include calculus?

No. Math Sequence does not offer a course in calculus. However, you may want to consider distance education as an option.

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Course Content

The skills and concepts covered within each course of Math Sequence are available below. We recognize that CTY's curriculum may be different than what is offered at your school. If this is the case, please be sure to describe what adaptations we should make to fulfill your school's requirements on the Math Questionnaire.

Please select a course:

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The tentative textbooks for Math Sequence in CTY Summer Programs are listed below.







Algebra (ISBN: 9780131337701)


2006 (Classics Edition)

Prentice Hall


Geometry (ISBN: 9780395977279)



McDougal Littell

Algebra II

Algebra II with Trigonometry (ISBN: 9780131337985)


2006 (Classics Edition)

Prentice Hall

Discrete Math

Advanced Mathematics (ISBN: 9780618250370)




Analytic Geometry

Precalculus with Trigonometry (ISBN: 9781559537889)



Key Curriculum Press

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Math Questionnaire

After registering and being assigned to the Math Sequence course, we ask students to complete a Math Questionnaire and return it to the Baltimore office before the start of the program. The questionnaire asks students—with the help of their schools and parents—to indicate which course they are completing in school, which course(s) they intend to study at CTY, and which course they intend to take when they return to school.

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Credit Issues

Whether or not you get credit or placement for your summer programs course work depends on your school.

The Center for Talented Youth is accredited for grades 5 through 12 by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, but does not award degrees or diplomas and cannot grant credit or placement. Credit and placement can only be awarded by the student's school. For Individually Paced Math Sequence, you must work with your child's school to see if the school will grant credit or placement for a CTY course.

To help determine whether you should pursue placement, please review our Parent's Guide for Requesting Credit and/or Placement document.

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