The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Audio: Students take on higher-level math courses, sometimes two at a time

Students+are+seizing+opportunities+to+accelerate+their+progress+in+the+math+curriculum%2C+whether+by+doubling+up+or+testing+out+of+certain+math+courses.
Danny Aronsohn
Students are seizing opportunities to accelerate their progress in the math curriculum, whether by doubling up or testing out of certain math courses.

*Mr. Hartigan talking*

It’s 12:50 p.m. in David Hartigan’s fifth period Advanced Pre-Calculus and Calculus A class. Students are settling into their seats and some are asking questions on last night’s homework.

*Student asking Mr. Hartigan a question* “One more question on 5”

For sophomore Mulan Wu, this is the second math class she’s attended today. Mulan doubled up in math this year, taking APC in addition to Discrete Mathematics and Statistics.

Students are seizing opportunities to accelerate their progress in the math curriculum, whether by doubling up or testing out of certain math courses.

Mulan initially took a test to skip the Accelerated Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry class during the summer before ninth grade, but she didn’t pass. 

“I knew that I wanted to take Calc BC at least by junior year,” Mulan said, “so I considered doubling up or skipping APC, and considering that I didn’t skip AAAT, I decided to double up.”

After finishing AP Calculus BC, Mulan plans on enrolling in either Linear Algebra and UChicago courses or AP Statistics in her senior year. 

“I’m interested in math, and I want to take advantage of our association with the University of Chicago,” Mulan said, “because I know that other public schools probably don’t get the chance to randomly take a class at one of those really good universities, and I want to take advantage of my time here.” 

Junior Zachary “ZC” Findler is also taking two math classes this year. Like Mulan, he doubled up because he wanted to reach calculus by his senior year. 

ZC is taking Discrete Math and Precalculus/Intro to Calculus. He was originally enrolled in APC but later switched to PCIC. 

“I found it too difficult,” ZC said. “It was just going too fast, and I didn’t have enough time to think, so I dropped down to PCIC.”

Other students have successfully placed out of one or more grade levels of math, such as sophomore Victor Chen, who tested out of sixth-grade math and later out of APC. He is currently taking Calculus BC. 

“Both times I had done math outside of school,” Victor said, “so I figured I should go to the next grade level of math in order to have a greater challenge.”

ZC has noticed that the number of people doubling up or skipping is increasing now that these options have become more widely known. In fact, he heard about the idea from some of his friends and decided to try it out for himself. 

“Now that there are more and more people who are doubling up and getting to calculus by their junior year, and taking linear in senior year,” ZC said, “there’s been more people who are competitive and have been trying to get in.”

Mulan said that there is a correlation between freshman who participate in STEM-related activities and their likelihood to double up. 

“The only freshmen that I really talk to are freshmen on Science Olympiad,” Mulan said, “so obviously they are more STEM-oriented and the two that I talk to said that they are interested in doubling up or skipping APC. 

*Mr. Hartigan saying ‘Any other questions’*

Back in Mr. Hartigan’s class, students continue to ask questions and prepare for the lesson, whether that means checking Schoology or finishing a slice of pizza leftover from lunch. Regardless of their academic trajectory, every one of them shares a common goal — to do well on the test tomorrow. 

This is Tinson Xu, reporting for the U-High Midway.

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About the Contributors
Tinson Xu
Tinson Xu, Reporter
Tinson Xu is a member of the Class of 2027 and serves as a reporter. He began in 2023 when he was in ninth grade.
Danny Aronsohn
Danny Aronsohn, Photographer
Danny Aronsohn is a photographer and a member of the Class of 2026. His favorite part of photojournalism is taking photos of his friends in the Lab community. Outside of photojournalism, Danny enjoys playing soccer and is interested in producing beats on SoundCloud.  

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