AoPS Academy

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Virtual Campus Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Honors Math classes cover a full year of curriculum?

Each level is split between two courses, Honors Math A/B and Honors Math C/D, that cover a full year of curriculum when taken consecutively. We cover grade-level standards in greater depth than other elementary math programs, and our Beast Academy curriculum is also loosely based on the Common Core standards.

See our Alignment Charts on each course description page for the math topics covered in each level of the program.

Is the Virtual Campus a good fit for my student?

At the Virtual Campus, students are placed in class by ability, not age. Although the Honors Math courses were developed with advanced learners in mind, we've seen success across students ages 7–12 with a wide range of abilities. Students who are building number sense get to explore how math works, while students who might not usually be interested in math are inspired by the engaging puzzles and problems. And, of course, excited math lovers will find plenty of challenges to sustain their interest.

Take a look at our recommendations for enrolling your student at the right level.

At which level should my student start?

Our placement tests, included on every course page, can help you determine the right level for your student. Due to the challenging curriculum, we generally recommend that students start about a level "below" their current grade level. For example, a student who is 8 or 9 years old should probably start with Honors Math 2A/2B.

Is there an age requirement for your courses?

There is no age limit. It is more important to ensure your student is enrolled at the right level and that they can maintain focus and engagement for the class duration. In general, our courses are designed for advanced students in grades 2–6.

How many students are there in each class?

There are about 10–16 students per class, depending on the course level. Honors Math 2 classes are limited to 14 students, while Honors Math 3-5 classes are limited to 16 students. Our curriculum is designed to keep students active and engaged throughout class, and small class sizes lets our instructors focus on helping individual students.

Do courses include homework and exams?

Each year-round class has about 1–3 hours of homework per week. Depending on the course, students might have one or several exams to evaluate their learning. Our summer classes do not have homework or exams; motivated students are welcome to explore the additional materials included in the class packet on their own time.

How is AoPS Academy Virtual Campus different from AoPS Online School?

AoPS Academy Virtual Campus courses use videoconferencing technology, so instructors and students can communicate face to face. Our AoPS Online School classroom does not have video or audio—all communication is via text and images. These different communication methods help encourage participation from all different types of students.

In addition, the Online School does not offer elementary-level math courses. Visit the AoPS Programs Comparison for a more detailed explanation.

How is AoPS Academy Virtual Campus different from Beast Academy?

AoPS Academy Virtual Campus provides live online instruction week by week, with expert instructors teaching 10–16 students per class. Beast Academy is a full elementary math curriculum that offers both engaging, comic-style books and the Beast Academy Online subscriptions. Students can learn with Beast Academy either independently or with the guidance of a parent.

The Virtual Campus elementary math courses use the Beast Academy curriculum for textbooks and homework. Each student of the Virtual Campus elementary math classes receives a Beast Academy Online subscription for the duration of the class at no additional cost.

Will I receive student progress reports?

Parents can stay connected with their student’s progress in a few ways:

  • Progress Report - Our homework platform, Beast Academy Online, has built-in performance tracking of the user. Click the “HW” icon on the upper right corner to view your child's report.
  • Instant Solutions - Students receive instant feedback in Beast Academy Online and have access to detailed solutions after finishing each problem.
  • Weekly Emails - Parents receive reminder emails that link to their student's progress report.

What if I need to switch classes?

Students can switch classes before the start of the fifth lesson without additional charge. Please email virtual@aopsacademy.org if you need to switch classes.

What if I need to drop a class?

Visit our Tuition page to learn more about our drop and refund policy. Please email virtual@aopsacademy.org if you need to drop a class.

What happens if my student misses a class?

We understand that students might occasionally miss class. If your student misses a lesson, they can catch up by watching the class recording and completing the tasks listed on the handouts. Both the class recording and handouts are available on the course homepage; the recording expires 7 days after the lesson. If your student has any follow-up questions, we encourage them to join the virtual classroom 15 minutes before the next class to talk to the instructor.

Can I speak to the instructor directly?

Of course! If you or your student would like to speak to the instructor directly, send a private Zoom chat message to the instructor near the end of the lesson. We have a 15-minute time period after the class set aside for instructors to be available to meet with parents and students individually. This allotted time gives students and parents an additional opportunity to ask the instructor questions about class material or discuss student progress.

What should I do if my student gets stuck?

We include challenging problems in our courses to help students develop a deeper, richer understanding of mathematics. Our instructors and curriculum also offer several strategies for building problem-solving skills and productive struggling.

Here's our advice for what to do when your student gets stuck:

  1. Make sure your student knows that challenging math problems take time—they aren't bad at math just because they are struggling to solve a hard problem.
  2. Suggest to your student that they review past material and examples to find inspiration.
  3. Encourage your student to ask thoughtful questions and ask for hints. They can come to the classroom 10–15 minutes before the class starts or stay 10–15 minutes after each class to talk to the instructor individually.
  4. Remind your student that it's always okay to take a break and come back later with fresh eyes.

Can I speak with someone to learn more?

Absolutely! Please email virtual@aopsacademy.org with any questions you may have. Our office hours are 10:30 am to 6:30 pm ET, Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays.

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