9th Grade Math Curriculum
In ninth grade, math gains complexity. Not only are the topics more challenging but the stakes are also higher since now grades and credits are reflected on a high school transcript. Plus there are college entrance exams to consider and minimum math requirements for college admissions.
It’s important to chart a solid plan for your next four years of math and then stick to the plan. At the first sign of math distress, get your teen assistance by adding supplements or hiring a tutor. See below for the best ninth grade math curriculum and supplements to get your teen to the math finish line of high school graduation and beyond!
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9th Grade Math Curriculum
Ninth graders can choose from Saxon Math or Math-U-See. If you’re new to these suggested programs, use the placement tests here to find the right level for your student. Although each program has a year-by-year progression for K-12, if you’re jumping in before the earliest years, you may need to chart your own path through the courses. Don’t assume your ninth grader is ready for the course that Saxon or Math-U-See assigns to that year. Instead see what the placement test shows about a suitable starting point.
When using Saxon year by year, a ninth grader is typically expected to use Algebra 2. But your ninth grader may place into a different level especially if they are new to Saxon Math. Here are three likely options for a ninth grader:
The Saxon Math Algebra 2 Program integrates geometry into the course so that you can realistically award your teenager 1 credit of algebra 2 and ½ credit of geometry from this curriculum.
Topics covered include graphing and solving two or more equations simultaneously, logarithms, conic sections, exponential equations, basic trigonometry, and vectors. The program includes opportunities to solve real world mathematical problems. There is also a DVD with instruction for each lesson included.
For students who use Math-U-See for their entire math career, they will end up studying geometry for their ninth grade year. But depending on your teen’s past math experiences, another level may be a better fit for ninth grade math. Use the placement test to be sure of the best level. Here are possible ninth grade math programs from Math-U-See:
Math-U-See Geometry Universal Set for 9th grade includes thirty lessons which cover basic geometric figures, parallel and perpendicular lines, triangles, geometric proofs, and basic trigonometry. Each lesson includes a short teaching video, practice pages, and a test. The complete set includes an instruction manual too.
Ninth Grade Math Lessons
Gretchen Roe from Demme Learning (publishers of Math-U-See series) has tips for teaching math lessons at the ninth grade (and high school) level:
Download free ninth-grade math lessons and tests with these samples:
Ninth Grade Math Formulas/Charts
Download, save, and print the 9th Grade Mathematics Reference Sheet to keep these key formulas handy.
Ninth Grade Math Problems & Equations
Ninth graders learn to work with conic sections, solve equations containing radicals, learn geometric theorems and postulates, write geometric proofs, and apply basic trigonometry.
Ninth Grade Math Numbers & Operations
For ninth grade math, a teen works with both real and imaginary numbers, square and cube roots, rational and irrational numbers, and exponential numbers.
Ninth Grade Math Pre-algebra & Algebra
Both Math-U-See and Saxon for ninth grade will continue to review the basic algebraic concepts that your student covered in earlier levels. For example, polynomial equations, introduced earlier, will be used throughout ninth grade. At this stage, feel free to take time for reviewing past concepts if your student needs extra practice.
Ninth Grade Math Standards
Please check with your state to identify the standards for ninth grade math. You can also reference the Common Core standards. At the high school level, the standards are outlined by topic instead of by grade since students progress through higher math at different speeds and even orders.
Rest assured that both Math-U-See and Saxon Math well prepare students for the SAT and ACT and for college math classes.
Ninth Grade Math State Tests
If your state requires testing in ninth grade, you can expect the test to cover basic algebraic concepts including real life word problems; systems of equations and inequalities; radical and exponential expressions and equations; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of polynomials; factoring, functions, and relations; quadratic equations; and basic geometry.
Students who have successfully completed algebra 1 should have no issues with meeting these standards. If your student hasn’t yet finished algebra 1, the test may show deficiencies that you can easily shore up with future years of math study and/or supplements.
Ninth Grade Math Questions/Vocabulary
In addition to the mathematical and algebraic vocabulary your student has already mastered, ninth grade adds new terms, including:
- Sine, Cosecant
- Cosine, Secant
- Tangent, Cotangent
- Interior and Exterior Angles
- Inscribed and Circumscribed Figures
- Axioms, Postulates, Theorems
- Corresponding Parts of Geometric Figures
- Complex Numbers
Ninth Grade Math Supplements
If your ninth grader needs a bit of remediation or a math boost, try these unique supplements. The Life of Fred series is unlike anything your teen has ever seen! Through these books, your high school freshman follows Fred’s daily routine, all along being challenged to solve word problems and equations. In addition to reviewing mathematical concepts, this series includes important life skills. Each book covers one main topic. Even those students who think math is boring will enjoy learning with Fred.
9th Grade Math FAQ
Ninth grade math typically ranges from pre-algebra to algebra 2 or even geometry. Because every student is different, not all high school freshmen are ready for the same level of math. And that’s okay! The goal is to set your student up for success. Don’t be afraid to take extra time if that’s what your student needs.
Also each math curriculum has a slightly different progression. For example, if your student has used Math-U-See since kindergarten and completed one level per year, they will take geometry in ninth grade. If your student began with Saxon Math in kindergarten, they will be in Algebra 2 for ninth grade.
Typically, ninth grade focuses on mastering algebraic equations and using them to solve real world math problems. Students learn and apply geometric theorems and postulates in order to prove geometric statements. Ninth graders also learn to write and graph conic sections.
In this first year of high school, concepts become more complex, and practice is still vitally important. But along with that practice, immediate feedback is key. Frustration can grow if a student does an entire lesson incorrectly. When a ninth grader makes an error, provide gentle correction and reteaching. Encourage your student to work in a sequential, neat manner to avoid careless mathematical errors and to be able to find exactly where any errors lie.
Ninth grade math can be called pre-algebra, algebra 1, geometry, or algebra 2, depending on where the teen has landed in their curriculum progression.
Ninth grade math is full of equations, graphs, and word problems.
The best way to get your student ready for ninth grade math is to make sure they have mastered eighth grade math. If there were topics that your student struggled with in past levels, take the time to review those or use supplements like the Life of Fred series to reteach those topics.
The average range of scores for 9th graders on the math MAP is 221-246.