12th Grade Math: Curriculum, Vocabulary, Lessons & More

If your 12th grader needs a math curriculum or you’re wondering what a 12th grader should be doing or learning for math, you’ve landed on the right page! 

As you wrap up your teens’ high school career, hopefully your teen is on track for graduation, earning all the credits required by state regulations and all the math necessary for future plans such as military enlistment or college admissions. If you find you’re a bit behind, take a look at the 10th grade math page and the 11th grade math page to devise a plan to work double time through the remaining courses so that your teen can graduate this year. 

Twelfth Grade Math Curriculum

Sonlight recommends Math-U-See and Saxon for high school math. There are a few options in math for 12th graders, depending on what math your teen has already covered and their mastery with it. Another consideration is any state math requirements for graduation. And if your teen is college-bound, you’ll want to make sure that by the 12th grade year, your student has earned any prerequisite high school math credits required by their university of choice. 

Start with the math placement tests here to determine the best fit. And then reach out to an Advisor for personalized help if you’re still unsure after seeing the placement test results. 


While Math-U-See expects a student to study Calculus for the 12th grade year, your 12th grader may actually need to use Algebra 2 or Precalculus


If your student has used Saxon in previous years, by 12th grade, they have probably worked through all the programs that Sonlight carries. If not, your 12th grader may be able to use Saxon Algebra 2 or the Saxon Advanced Math Program.

Visit the scope and sequence here to see the entire scope and sequence of each math program Sonlight carries.

Twelfth Grade Math Worksheets

Free sample from Math-U-See CalculusFree sample from Math-U-See Calculus

For free 12th grade math worksheets, download this free sample from Math-U-See Calculus, including a complete lesson on exponential and logarithmic functions. In this PDF, you’ll find example problems, practice problems, a test, and solutions to both the practice problems and the test.

Twelfth Grade Math Lessons

In 12th grade calculus lessons, your student reviews trigonomic graphs and functions, conic sections, logarithms, and functions. Your student will learn derivatives of various mathematical applications, graphing, and practical applications.

Twelfth Grade Math Formulas

Derivatives fall under the category of differential calculus—the study of the rates at which quantities change.

If y=f(x), then the derivative is defined to be f'(x)=limₕ→0 f(x+h)-f(x)/h.

Click the images to download a list of commٖٖon derivatives your twelfth grader will use in calculus.

Twelfth Grade Math FormulasTwelfth Grade Math Formulas

Twelfth Grade Math Problems & Equations

As your student studies calculus, they will work with equations involving

  • Graphing parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas
  • Systems of equations and functions 
  • Trigonometry
  • Exponential and logarithmic functions
  • Limits and continuity
  • Derivative rules
  • Chain rule
  • Derivatives of trigonometric functions
  • Derivatives of ex and ln(x) 
  • Implicit differentiation 
  • Graphing with the 1st and 2nd derivative 
  • Finding area under a curve
  • Definite integrals
  • Finding area between two curves
  • Differential equations 

Math for 12th Graders: Numbers & Operations

As your student studies calculus, they will need to draw on their knowledge of functions, linear and quadratic equations, and logarithms. They will expand this knowledge by learning to calculate the derivatives of various functions.

Math for 12th Graders:  Pre-algebra & Algebra

To be successful in calculus, your student will need to have mastered the algebraic concepts taught in Algebra 1 and 2. They will apply this algebraic thinking in new ways as they learn practical ways to solve calculus problems.

Twelfth Grade Math Standards

By the time your student reaches twelfth grade, standards revolve around the mastery of topics instead of being defined by grade levels. Since high school students have a personalized course of study aimed toward their future career goals, your twelfth grade math choices will reflect your 4-year high school plan. You can use the outline at Khan Academy as a solid guideline for both grade level standards and topical standards for twelfth grade and other high school years.

Twelfth Grade Math State Tests

By twelfth grade, your teen has probably already taken a college entrance exam such as the SAT or the ACT. Taking it once more during the senior year to get a higher score is a common and wise practice. In a few states, there are graduation tests or end of course tests that twelfth graders must pass in order to earn a high school diploma. Check with your state’s board of education to identify what, if any, tests are required.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is administered in the 12th grade to randomly chosen schools to gather a statistically representative sample of each state’s performance.

Twelfth Grade Math Vocabulary

In calculus, your 12th grader will be exposed to these key math vocabulary terms:

  • Derivative 
  • Antiderivative
  • Chain rule
  • Constant of integration
  • Differential
  • Differential equation
  • Euler method
  • First and second derivatives
  • Limit
  • Parabola, ellipse, hyperbola
The C. Family Sonlighters from Jacksonville, FLThe C. Family Sonlighters from Jacksonville, FL

Twelfth Grade Math Materials, Supplements & Manipulatives

If your student needs to review algebraic concepts before beginning twelfth grade calculus, consider working through one or more Life of Fred books. This quirky series uses real life scenarios told in a narrative format to teach math concepts.

Twelfth Grade Math FAQ

What is math for 12th graders?
What do you learn in math for 12th graders? What is taught?
How to learn math for 12th graders?
What is math for 12th graders called?
What does twelfth grade math look like?
What’s the best way to prepare for twelfth-grade math?
What is the average math MAP score for twelfth grade?