Mathematics Standards for High School

The high school standards specify the mathematics that all students should study in order to be college and career ready and the additional mathematics that students should learn in order to take advanced courses such as calculus, advanced statistics, or discrete mathematics.

The high school standards are listed in conceptual categories

  • Number and Quantity
  • Algebra
  • Functions
  • Modeling
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

Conceptual categories portray a coherent view of high school mathematics; a student’s work with functions, for example, crosses a number of traditional course boundaries, potentially up through and including calculus.

Modeling links classroom mathematics to everyday life, work and decision making. Modeling is the process of choosing and using appropriate mathematics to analyze situations, to understand them better and to make better decisions. A model can be very simple, such as a cereal box to represent a rectangular prism.

Number and Quantity Overview

The Real Number System

  • Extend the properties of exponents to rational exponents.
  • Use properties of rational and irrational numbers.


  • Reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems.

The Complex Number System

  • Perform arithmetic operations with complex numbers.
  • Represent complex numbers and their operations on the complex plane.
  • Use complex numbers in polynomial identities and equations.

Vector and Matrix Quantities

  • Represent and model with vector quantities.
  • Perform operations on vectors.
  • Perform operations on matrices and use matrices in applications.

Algebra Overview

Seeing Structure in Expressions

  • Interpret the structure of expressions.
  • Write expressions in equivalent forms to solve problems.

Arithmetic with Polynomials and Rational Expressions

  • Perform arithmetic operations on polynomials.
  • Understand the relationship between zeros and factors of polynomials.
  • Use polynomial identities to solve problems.
  • Rewrite rational expressions.

Creating Equations

  • Create equations that describe numbers or relationships.

Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities

  • Understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning.
  • Solve equations and inequalities in one variable.
  • Solve systems of equations.
  • Represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically.

Functions Overview

Interpreting Functions

  • Understand the concept of a function and use function notation.
  • Interpret functions that arise in applications in terms of the context.
  • Analyze functions using different representations.

Building Functions

  • Build a function that models a relationship between two quantities.
  • Build new functions from existing functions.

Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models

  • Construct and compare linear, quadratic, and exponential models and solve problems.
  • Interpret expressions for functions in terms of the situation they model.

Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models

  • Extend the domain of trigonometric functions using the unit circle.
  • Model periodic phenomena with trigonometric functions.
  • Prove and apply trigonometric identities.

Geometry Overview


  • Experiment with transformations in the plane.
  • Understand congruence in terms of rigid motions.
  • Prove geometric theorems.
  • Make geometric constructions.

Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry

  • Understand similarity in terms of similarity transformations.
  • Prove theorems involving similarity.
  • Define trigonometric ratios and solve problems involving right triangles.
  • Apply trigonometry to general triangles.


  • Understand and apply theorems about circles.
  • Find arc lengths and areas of sectors of circles.

Expressing Geometric Properties with Equations

  • Translate between the geometric description and the equation for a conic section.
  • Use coordinates to prove simple geometric theorems algebraically.

Geometric Measurement and Dimension

  • Explain volume formulas and use them to solve problems.
  • Visualize relationships between two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects.

Modeling with Geometry

  • Apply geometric concepts in modeling situations.

Statistics and Probability Overview

Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data

  • Summarize, represent, and interpret data on a single count or measurement variable.
  • Summarize, represent, and interpret data on two categorical and quantitative variables.
  • Interpret linear models.

Making Inferences and Justifying Conclusions

  • Understand and evaluate random processes underlying statistical experiments.
  • Make inferences and justify conclusions from sample surveys, experiments and observational studies.

Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability

  • Understand independence and conditional probability and use them to interpret data.
  • Use the rules of probability to compute probabilities of compound events in a uniform probability model.

Using Probability to Make Decisions

  • Calculate expected values and use them to solve problems.
  • Use probability to evaluate outcomes of decisions.

Mathematical Practices

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.