Robinson Curriculum

Saxon Math Placement Test

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Saxon Math Books and Saxon Math Placement Tests

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Saxon Placement Estimation Chart

Grade LevelAccelerated StudentAverage StudentSlower Student
(A.P. Calculus*)
Advanced Math
(Geo., Trig., Alg. 4**)
Advanced Math***
11thAdvanced Math
(Pre-Calculus II*)
Advanced Math
(Geo., Trig., Alg. 3**)
Algebra 2
10thAdvanced Math
(Pre-Calculus I*)
Algebra 2Algebra 1
9thAlgebra 2Algebra 1Algebra 1/2
8thAlgebra 1Algebra 1/2Math 87
7thAlgebra 1/2Math 87Math 76
6thMath 76Math 76Math 65
5thMath 65Math 65Math 54
4thMath 54Math 54

* Suggested course titles. Accelerated students will finish Advanced Mathematics in the first semester of eleventh grade and begin Calculus in the second semester.  Pre-Calculus I consists of the first 70-90 lessons in Advanced Mathematics.  Pre-Calculus II comprises the remaining lessons.

** Suggested course titles. The content in Geometry-Trigonometry-Algebra 3 is identical to that in Pre-Calculus I but is presented at a slower pace. Likewise, Geometry-Trigonometry-Algebra 4 is the same as Pre-Calculus II. Using these course titles allows accelerated students who are not successful in Advanced Mathematics during the tenth grade to try again and still receive credit. Students who complete  Advanced Mathematics will have taken the equivalent of two semesters of geometry, one semester of trigonometry, and one semester of advanced algebra. (“Geometry” in the course title ensures credit for geometry.)

*** These students may find the material in Advanced Mathematics difficult. Consider placing them in a less rigorous mathematics course.

  • Math 8/7 covers a broad spectrum of topics that are required by the mathematical standards of many states. Considerable pre-algebra content is included, and students who complete the text successfully (80% or higher test scores) will be prepared to take Algebra 1 as their next mathematics course.
  • Algebra 1/2 focuses on developing skills that prepare students for algebra. The pre-algebra content is more extensive than the pre-algebra content of Math 8/7; however, the scope is narrower.

You can see an online preview of Saxon Math here.

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All about the Saxon Math with co-author Stephan Hake

What about Saxon Editions?

From Matthew Robinson regarding the Saxon Math Editions

I have written a little bit about the changes in the Saxon books. I hope this is helpful. If you see anything that is unclear let me know. The main thing is to follow the recommendations for teaching math. The differences are not going to matter for the vast majority of the students. For the record, we used a mix of 1st and 2nd editions. I myself used 1st edition for everything except Algebra 1/2 (the first edition was missing). But that was a personal mania!

Best Regards,



We recommend the use of Saxon math books 54, 65, 76, 87, Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Advanced Math, and Calculus. Any student who completes this math course, following the recommendations in the Robinson Curriculum, can be expected to have a firm foundation in Math. This holds true for any of the editions that have been published with these names. There are some Saxon books that we do not recommend at all, but they go under different titles.

There have been some changes with the editions. There are between 2 to 4 editions of these books. I will summarize the edition changes for each of these books.

For Books 54-87.

The changes in these books have mostly been formatting changes, and an increase in the length of the explanations. This has been a gradual change. The earlier books had shorter explanations, and a simpler format. This makes them a little better for self teaching, since the students have an easier time navigating the books. They also have introduced “Warm-up boxes” and “investigation lessons”. This complicates the format of the day and tends to waste time. We recommend that these boxes and investigation lessons all be skipped and the child just do the Practice and Problem Sets. We currently sell the latest editions of these titles because it is the only one available from Saxon. We highly recommend them, and as far as we know it is still the best Math program in print for this kind of learning. For most children they will be just as good. The main strength of Saxon is the problem sets. This part is still just as good. As long as the students are working the problem sets correctly, they will be fine.

For Algebra 1/2 through Advanced Math

The changes in these books are a little more mixed. They have improved some things and added a few lessons on various topics. The only major change that we don’t like, is the addition of calculator problems. They have also removed the trigonometry and logarithm tables because they can be found with a calculator. It is better for students to go all the way through the math course before starting to use these aids. When using later editions, at the very least calculator use should be confined to those problems for which it is absolutely necessary. It can be virtually eliminated by obtaining a set of trig and log tables. These can be readily printed off the internet.


Calculus it the book that actually has the most changes. The first edition Calculus book is very good. However, it does miss subjects that are usually taught in last term of college level calculus course. Students who were taking the Calculus BC Advanced Placement test, usually had to learn a few things that were not taught in the books. A pair of teachers who were using the book, realized this and wrote the additional lessons needed to fill in the gaps. This was incorporated into the second edition, which is what is currently available. The only downside is addition of calculator problems in this book as well. However, the positives in this case far outweigh the negatives.

To Summarize, for Saxon 54-Advanced Math, any edition will usually work fine. However, the earlier editions are a little better. For Calculus the Second edition is better.


For the 9 Saxon Math books we currently carry the following editions:

  • Saxon Math 5/4, 3rd Edition with Answer Key
  • Saxon Math 6/5, 3rd Edition with Answer Key
  • Saxon Math 7/6, 4th Edition with Answer Key
  • Saxon Math 8/7, 3rd Edition with Answer Key
  • Saxon Algebra 1/2, 3rd Edition with Answer Key and Tests
  • Saxon Algebra 1, 3rd Edition with Answer Key and Tests
  • Saxon Algebra 2, 3rd Edition with Answer Key and Tests
  • Saxon Advanced Math, 2nd Edition with Answer Key and Tests
  • Saxon Calculus, 2nd Edition with Answer Key and Tests

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