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AP Calculus Textbook

MrWheezyMrWheezy Registered User Posts: 445 Member
edited August 2009 in AP Tests Preparation
Is it just me or is "Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebric" by Finney/Demana/Waits/Kennedy a poor textbook?

I find the explanations really lacking and it's not very readable. Can some one recommend me a better textbook to learn from? My teacher swears by this textbook because he taught his Precalculus class with the same publisher.
Post edited by MrWheezy on

Replies to: AP Calculus Textbook

  • noimaginationnoimagination Registered User Posts: 7,054 Senior Member
    We use the text by Larson/Edwards in my class. It has decent explanations and proofs, but the exercises are rather lacking.

    You might want to check out Gilbert Strang's free text from MIT OCW: Free Online MIT Course Materials | Supplemental Resources | MIT OpenCourseWare
  • StimulusStimulus Registered User Posts: 292 Junior Member
    The most common textbooks I know of are Larson/Hostetler/Edwards and Stewart
  • Salve!Salve! Registered User Posts: 1,551 Senior Member
    Well, my school uses "Calculus and Analytic Geometry" by Thomas/Finney. It is a very old textbook, but I'm sure there is a newer edition. It's great though.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    I use the textbook referenced by the OP and have found it very good.
  • UHSdebaterUHSdebater Registered User Posts: 484 Member
    i thought larson/edwards was terrible. it's laid out nicely but many sample problems & proofs are worthless, especially in the later chapters. stewart is much better imo.

    i remember having to self-teach myself simpson's rule for physics. larson had a one line sample problem that was helpless while i was able to learn the concept using stewart's sample.
  • MrWheezyMrWheezy Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    For those who use Stewart's book, what edition and version? I'm finding Calculus, Early Transcendals and Vectors, etc.

    @silverturtle: Maybe it's my teacher :/ but the book is alright but there are some parts where I would like to cross reference it with another source :/

    Thanks for the suggestions guys :)
  • noimaginationnoimagination Registered User Posts: 7,054 Senior Member
    i thought larson/edwards was terrible. it's laid out nicely but many sample problems & proofs are worthless, especially in the later chapters. stewart is much better imo.
    It really depends on what your goals are. I posted two recommendations above that fill very different niches. In my opinion, Larson/Hostetler/Edwards is a great book if you just want to do well on the AP exam. The explanations are fairly easy to follow and the problems are very plug-and-chug in the same vein as the test. However, those of us who are interested in the math for its own sake rather than just for the grade/score will probably find the problems dull and the proofs low on detail. Strang does a much better job in this regard and is far better for an in-depth self-study. Another free book came to my attention recently, and from a brief examination it looks like a good compromise between the two (and a very enjoyable read):

    Elementary Calculus
  • UHSdebaterUHSdebater Registered User Posts: 484 Member
    In my opinion, Larson/Hostetler/Edwards is a great book if you just want to do well on the AP exam. The explanations are fairly easy to follow and the problems are very plug-and-chug in the same vein as the test. However, those of us who are interested in the math for its own sake rather than just for the grade/score will probably find the problems dull and the proofs low on detail.

    i've never thought of it that way but that's a very good way to put it.
This discussion has been closed.