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AP Calculus BC texbook/prep books

charlotte213charlotte213 Posts: 156Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2010 in Mathematics & Computer Science
Which textbook is best for taking Cal BC?
I'm currently using Calculus by James Stewart, but I don't know if I should switch to another one or supplement it.
Also, which prep books are best?
Post edited by charlotte213 on

Replies to: AP Calculus BC texbook/prep books

  • noimaginationnoimagination Posts: 6,981Registered User Senior Member
    For introductory calc, I like the text by Larson/Hostetler/Edwards. It is not terribly mathematically rigorous, but this may be a good thing when you are first covering the material and the proofs are very clear. This is a common choice in schools and will prepare you well for the AP examinations. Buy a used copy of the earliest edition you can find - this book has not improved with age.

    There are also some excellent free calculus texts available online:
    Free Online Course Materials | Textbook | MIT OpenCourseWare
    Elementary Calculus
    However, I've heard pretty good stuff about Stewart and it should be fine.
  • thrill3rnit3thrill3rnit3 Posts: 1,413Registered User Member
    My school uses the Larson book too. Not too shabby.

    I would recommend 4th edition of G.B. Thomas's book, but it's hard to find nowadays. Other good books are Salas/Hille or Leithold's Calculus.
  • charlotte213charlotte213 Posts: 156Registered User Junior Member
    Ok thanks!
    What about about prep books? Is Princeton good?
  • An0malyAn0maly Posts: 2,452Registered User Senior Member
    Princeton Review is great for the BC exam. It covers the concepts really well. Barron's goes more indepth, but it has a ton of practice tests, which is great.

    Strang's Calculus book [the one posted on MIT online] is great for a free textbook. I read the multivariable parts from it, but I'm sure the single variable stuff is quality material.
  • thrill3rnit3thrill3rnit3 Posts: 1,413Registered User Member
    My teacher used Barron's for prepping us...I thought it was pretty good. Lots of busy work, but good practice I guess.
  • theamazingracetheamazingrace Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    Sorry, but am I the only one who thought of the actor when I saw James Stewart?

    I vaaaaaguely used Barron's. (I only browsed through the first couple of chapters, and long before I even took the exam.) But our teacher gave us a lot of old CollegeBoard practice tests, MC and FR. So my advice would be to go to AP Central and look through some of the old tests - it really helps!
  • charlotte213charlotte213 Posts: 156Registered User Junior Member
    How generous is the curve for a 5?
  • rawr7777rawr7777 Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    I used Princeton Review for the Calculus BC exam, and I definitely don't recommend it, unless you want a better grounding in how to do specific problems. If you're still not comfortable with a particular topic, like doing derivatives, Princeton Review does a decent job walking you through several problems. My problem with it is most of the practice problems and examples feel way easier in comparison to the actual AP exam.
  • thrill3rnit3thrill3rnit3 Posts: 1,413Registered User Member
    Princeton Review [ in terms of Math and Science, at least ], is very good at reviewing material, but the practice tests are way too easy.
  • markzillywaymarkzillyway Posts: 283Registered User Junior Member
    Please don't do the same thing i did. I ONLY prepared with Princeton Review and that was a BIG mistake. There was an overwhelming amount of series questions on the test that Princeton Review barely touches on (there's like 3 pages in the entire book focused on series). PR is a good review book, but i would suggest Barron's as well to really tackle your skills.
  • wildchartermagewildchartermage Posts: 1,003Registered User Member
    I have a bunch of prep books I"m looking to sell, though I have 4 college level calculus textbooks and one AP Calc AB + BC 2008 Princeton review book to sell. PM me if you're interested.
  • aiyanalunetteaiyanalunette Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    I recommend using Barron's it's more in depth. You can find it at CheapestTextbooks.com for a reasonable price if your looking for one.
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