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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
markzillywayPosts: 283Registered UserJunior 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.
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.
Replies to: AP Calculus BC texbook/prep books
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.
What about about prep books? Is Princeton good?
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.
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!