Students who are serious about heading to university after high school or secondary school likely know that they will be taking academic courses. With so many options available to university graduates in a competitive job market, parents and guardians will typically do everything they can to support their kids to achieve their academic goals.

However, we all know that high school is stressful enough without the pressure of getting into a top post secondary institution. Teenagers today have to deal with the issues and social anxieties that come with social media, living through a pandemic, high expectations from parents, peer pressure from friends - just to name a few issues that many adults will be all too familiar with. Of course, many teens also have a busy schedule that may involve anything from sports teams to clubs and other extracurriculars. Knowing that you have to take high stakes academic courses can be a bit daunting - these courses are academically rigorous and become increasingly challenging by grade 12.

There are numerous pros and cons to taking academic courses in high school. On one hand, with academic courses students can have access to so many university programs here in Canada and around the world. If you get high grades, and can show a balanced background of sports and extracurriculars (and possibly a portfolio, depending on the program you are applying to), you can have a competitive application to university. Once you finish your undergraduate degree, you can choose from numerous professional degrees in law, commerce, medicine, dentistry, and engineering.

Choosing the right pathways in secondary school is important to your future. Make sure you understand the differences between academic and applied math.

math grade 11
Academic math is rigorous and theoretical. Source: Pexels

Let’s not forget that academic courses can strengthen kids’ ability to handle stress, develop a strong work ethic, and advance their literacy and numeracy skills. They gain valuable learning skills, and build a social network of other like-minded students, and can then continue building their network and collection of personal experiences while pursuing higher education.

It’s hard to imagine a situation in which academic courses wouldn’t be ideal. After all, students who take academic courses can still choose community college or join the workforce if they choose. So what are the cons?

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Laura
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$40
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1st lesson is free!
Hamid
5
5 (76 reviews)
Hamid
$75
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1st lesson is free!
Priyal
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Priyal
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Alireza
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$60
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1st lesson is free!
Muhammad
5
5 (7 reviews)
Muhammad
$35
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Shivani reddy
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Stewart
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Is There a Negative Side to Academic Courses?

There are some significant cons to taking an academic course load in high school. As we have mentioned, stress is one obvious con, which is inevitable when you consider how important it is to be successful in academic courses. This may mean long nights of studying for tests, writing papers, researching inquiry projects, and re-learning unfamiliar concepts. Many students can find it overwhelming.

Next, taking on a course load of academic courses will likely mean the student may have to sacrifice elements of their social lives - which is tough when you are constantly alerted of what is going on on your mobile phone. The sacrifice to one’s social life and enjoyment of high school can lead to rebellion for parents, as kids start to feel trapped in the high expectations that have been set for them.

Despite all the stress, however, there are plenty of things students and their families can do to alleviate the stress of academic courses. First of all, it’s important to note that students can choose to do a mix of academic and applied classes. Applied classes are less strenuous, and focus on the essential aspects of a subject. With an applied class, you can learn the foundations of a subject without as much stress. 

Another thing you can do to offset the stress of academic courses is to spread out your courses into summer school. While summer school credits can feel a bit tighter on time, if you can just focus on one or two courses that you will no longer have to take during the school year, you may find that you can pace yourself a bit. 

Of course, practicing self care and managing stress through exercise, mindfulness, and deep breathing can do wonders for handling a heavy stress load. Take lots of walks, make time for friends and family, and you will find the stress of school can be part of a balanced lifestyle. 

Handle the cons of academic courses effectively, and you’ll be thankful later when you can choose the university you want and start the career of your dreams!

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing your math courses in secondary school. Pick the right pathway to keep your options open in the future.

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Academic math will challenge your thinking. Source: Pexels.

What is Academic Math?

One academic course students can have a hard time choosing is academic math. Math can be a tough subject for many kids, and those that want to pursue a postsecondary education unrelated to math may prefer to avoid academic math altogether.

So what is academic math, and why do so many students worry about it? 

Academic math, like all academic stream subjects, is built on a curriculum that goes far beyond developing essential skills. Academic math students learn mathematical thinking in theoretical and abstract ways, solving problems and designing solutions grounded in advanced knowledge of calculations. 

While many students that love math will make the choice easily, it can be tough for students that have a hard time in math to be successful in the subject. With this said, it’s important to note that taking courses on topics like Calculus, Vectors, Functions, Trigonometry, Geometry, Derivatives, and advanced Algebra can lead to a math degree or one related to math - which is important if your goal is to become an engineer, a doctor, certified accountant or a researcher.

There are some good reasons to take applied math in high school. You might be surprised!

The best Math tutors available
Laura
5
5 (47 reviews)
Laura
$40
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Hamid
5
5 (76 reviews)
Hamid
$75
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Priyal
4.9
4.9 (12 reviews)
Priyal
$25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Alireza
5
5 (20 reviews)
Alireza
$60
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Muhammad
5
5 (7 reviews)
Muhammad
$35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Shivani reddy
4.9
4.9 (17 reviews)
Shivani reddy
$35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Stewart
4.8
4.8 (10 reviews)
Stewart
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Tai
5
5 (20 reviews)
Tai
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Laura
5
5 (47 reviews)
Laura
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Hamid
5
5 (76 reviews)
Hamid
$75
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Priyal
4.9
4.9 (12 reviews)
Priyal
$25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Alireza
5
5 (20 reviews)
Alireza
$60
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Muhammad
5
5 (7 reviews)
Muhammad
$35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Shivani reddy
4.9
4.9 (17 reviews)
Shivani reddy
$35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Stewart
4.8
4.8 (10 reviews)
Stewart
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Tai
5
5 (20 reviews)
Tai
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Let's go

Why is a Math Degree So Important?

Math degrees and degrees related to math comprise a significant amount of programs in higher education. Mathematics encompasses so many subjects: we need to understand concepts of measurement and geometry to pursue work in Engineering; medical doctors need a strong sense of how to interpret data and calculate health related metrics; even computer science is related to areas like linear algebra, discrete mathematics and number theory.

When you get a math degree, you open up a world of opportunity and work you would not have access to otherwise. 

online math tutor
Academic math opens pathways to different university programs. Source: Unsplash.

What Math Degree Jobs Can I Get with Academic Math?

Academic math leads to so many career pathways. Let’s take a quick glance at some of the more popular careers related to math.

  • Business and commerce
  • Investment banking
  • Accounting
  • Medical Doctor
  • Actuary
  • Educator
  • Cryptographer
  • Market Analyst
  • Engineer
  • Architecture
  • Designer
  • Nursing
  • Dentistry

Should Students get Academic Math Help for Math Grade 11 and Grade 12 Math?

Students who are serious about success in math and their families should seriously consider outsourcing extra help in math. Sites like Superprof.ca are an amazing resource for getting the tutor you need to be successful.

Students who are taking academic math can benefit from tutoring as they can have someone to give them critical feedback and provide even more challenging questions and problems than they are getting in school. If a student is struggling to keep up with the learning, a tutor can work with them to review tough topics, do additional practice exercises, and provide detailed feedback to identify where errors in problem solving are being made. They can tailor a program of support to ensure that you are equipped to succeed on tests, quizzes and exams, and increase support as needed when those assessment times come. A tutor can be a valuable person to have on your side for your academic math courses.

Superprof.ca is the best place for students and tutors to connect. Students and families can review and compare tutor profiles to ensure they have someone with the right educational background, teaching style, and a rate that works within the budget.

There’s a lot you should know about academic and applied math classes before choosing your courses in high school. Make an informed choice about the math classes you take!

Is an Online Math Tutor Better than In Person?

Once you have made the decision to hire a tutor for your academic math courses, you may be wondering if learning is better online or in person. Superprof has tutors that can provide both types of tutoring, based on your location and the type of learning that needs to be done. It's one of the best sites to find a tutor for your needs. To find out if a tutor can work with you online or in person, simply reach out to them using Superprof's easy to use site.

Online math tutoring is great if you prefer convenience, and have a busy schedule of activities. Math tutors that work virtually are accustomed to using digital tools to teach, and can make the learning experience just as fun and interesting as in person. In some cases, virtual tutoring can be more cost efficient as the tutor may lower their rate since they won’t have to commute to the student’s home. The Superprof site will give you an idea of what each tutor charges their students, so you can easily compare individual rates.

In person tutoring is great if you would prefer something different from looking at a screen and want to learn better in a more social, collaborative atmosphere. This is much needed after years of pandemic learning - simply make sure you can provide an environment that is safe to work in. In person tutors can also better observe your expressions when you are anxious or confused, and can generally model problem solving in a more interactive way.

Whatever you format you choose, what truly matters most is that you are working with an effective educator that can support your needs. Take the time to meet your tutor - many Superprof tutors will offer the first hour for free, so use that time to see if they will work for you! 

Check out Superprof today to find an Academic math tutor!

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Colleen

Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.