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Concord Academy

Letter from the Mathematics Department Head

April 2021

Dear New Student:

The Mathematics Department welcomes you to Concord Academy! We hope you will find our program exciting, challenging, and fun. You can find a description of Concord Academy’s mathematics courses and program requirements in the 2021–22 course catalog.

We require two forms from you by the posted deadline: the mathematics questionnaire and the mathematics placement test. The links to these forms and to some supplemental information are at the END of this letter.

We are excited to have you join us next year, and we want you to be in classes that are appropriate. It works to everyone's advantage for the material you submit to be as accurate a reflection of your math experience as possible. The better we understand your background, the better we can find the right classes for you!


All new students should download and print this questionnaire, and then answer all the questions with the help of their current teacher, if possible. The questionnaire contains a checklist on which to indicate to us the topics you have already studied in math or will have studied by the end of this school year.


We use the mathematics placement test as an important tool, along with your transcript, SSAT or other standardized test quantitative score, and questionnaire, to place you in an appropriate mathematics course. The test is used to place all incoming students, and therefore younger students are not expected to complete much more than the first few pages. Before you look at the test, you may find it helpful to read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions, see link at the END of this letter).

Please download and print out the test, do the work directly on the printed copy, and take the test seriously, carefully following these instructions:

  • Do some review, if you wish; spend no more than an hour reviewing before you start.
  • Work alone, without a calculator (unless you have professional neuropsych testing supporting calculator use as an accommodation), and while taking the test do not use any resources.
  • Look at the entire test, and try every problem that seems at all familiar.
  • Show work on every problem that you answer.
  • Keep track of the time spent taking the test.

At the END of this letter is a link to "Mathematics at Concord Academy," a chart showing the sequence of mathematics courses at CA, with explanatory notes, followed by some representative courses of study (i.e., typical sequences of selected courses) for students entering in 9th grade.

Common placements for new ninth graders are:

Algebra 1 (sem1) and Intermediate Algebra (sem2) for those with either little prior exposure to algebra 1 topics or with little retention of that content.

Intermediate Algebra (sem1) and Geometry Part 1 (sem2) for those with some exposure to algebra 1 but without mastery of the full year’s content.

Geometry Part 1 (sem1) and Geometry Part 2 (sem2) for those exhibiting a strong grasp of the full-year algebra 1 topics.

Those who have completed one year of algebra and a full year of axiomatic geometry will likely start with one of the following course sequences:

Accelerated Algebra 2 (sem1) and Accelerated Trigonometry (sem2) for those with strong grades, high retention, a high SSAT or other standardized test quantitative score, and comfort working at a fast pace and facing challenging problems.

Algebra 2 (sem1) and Statistics (sem2) for other students.

After studying the course catalog descriptions, you should request the mathematics courses that you think are appropriate. We will use your requests in conjunction with the questionnaire and placement test to register your course requests, adjusting your requests when we feel it is appropriate. We sometimes make additional changes in the fall, where necessary.

Returning the completed placement test along with your questionnaire and other course request materials by the posted deadline is essential to avoiding a delay in scheduling your courses. Please return the test by this date even if your school year has not yet finished.

A note on calculators:  All students at Concord Academy are required to have graphing calculators. While many brands and models are available, we strongly encourage you to have a calculator from the Texas Instruments TI‑83/84 line.

If you and your family have any questions about the mathematics courses or your placement, please email me at the address below. I look forward to meeting you in the fall!


Mark Engerman
Mathematics Department Head


link to download the Mathematics Questionnaire (PDF)

link to download the Mathematics Placement Test (PDF) 

link to Mathematics Placement Test - FAQ 

link to download Mathematics at Concord Academy - curriculum chart and examples (PDF) 

link to Deadlines and Materials and Where to Send