Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), offered admission to 550 students for the Class of 2025. This was the first year of the “admissions change” that happened. The class of 2024 and earlier were admitted under old admissions criteria. Both the new and old admissions systems require an applicant to complete Algebra 1 by 8th grade. However, there is a noticeable change in how the new admissions system views the applicant’s math level.

The chart above shows the student’s math level completed in 8th grade.

Under a traditional math sequence, students start in Algebra 1, then move to Geometry the next year, then Algebra 2/Trigonometry, then Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. After taking Algebra 1, some students opt to take Geometry over the summer and proceed with Algebra 2 the next year.

For the class of 2025, the proportion of admitted students in Algebra 1 increased dramatically from previous years. 161 students who had only taken Algebra 1 were admitted. Historically, there have been around 20 students admitted who were taking Algebra 1 in 8th grade; the class of 2024 had 22 admitted students, and the class of 2023 had 21.

Based on the trend, students who have taken or are taking Geometry, are consistently the largest group being offered admission. This is primarily because these students have a better understanding of concepts while completing the Problem Solving Essay (PSE) component of the admissions process. While students who have only completed Algebra 1 by 8th grade are now given more consideration, higher math levels in 8th grade typically make it easier for the applicant to solve the Problem Solving Essay.