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Looking for comments on taking AP Calculus BC and AP Physics

Ammadsh54Ammadsh54 Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
edited March 2010 in AP Tests Preparation

I've been planning to take AP Calculus BC and AP Physics B without taking Calculus or Physics. I have done Honors Precalculus/Trig for AP Calculus BC already, though. So how challenging are the courses and is it reasonably possible to do these courses without prior studying?

My courses that I have planned out for next year (senior year):
AP Calculus BC
AP Biology
AP Spanish
UCONN English
Either AP or Honors Physics.

Any general comments that you guys may have? I do feel I am a very capable student if that is a determining factor.

I do, actually, plan on doing a bit of summer preparation for AP Calculus BC and AP Physics...my question, I suppose, is would that be enough?

Post edited by Ammadsh54 on

Replies to: Looking for comments on taking AP Calculus BC and AP Physics

  • Ammadsh54Ammadsh54 Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    Bumpp.. I'm really having a tough time choosing whether to take AP Physics or Honors. Exactly how difficult is this course compared to, say, AP Chemistry?
  • pixeljigpixeljig Registered User Posts: 1,428 Senior Member
    I am a parent. My son who is a senior in HS now did AP Physics B in 11th and he did it without any prior physics course. He did fine. He had done pre-calc prior to that in 10th grade.

    He also did AP Calc AB the same year and was ok, AP Calc BC in our school is very tough, its 3 months of BC and then the rest is Multi variable which moves at a very fast pace. He is finding it a bit challenging now because the teacher just does not explain the material.

    If your school allows BC without having AB as a pre req then maybe it is not that hard. As you said if you prepare in the summer you will be fine if like Math. My son likes math but does no prep and no reviews. It is good to push yourself if you are willing to put in the effort.
  • xxsteelxxxxsteelxx Registered User Posts: 448 Member
    AP Chemistry is harder than AP Physics, in my opinion(I believe you're refering to AP Physics B). If you study during the summer then you should be prepared. AP Calculus BC covers the same topics as AB plus some extras. Believing you are capable is very important, it keeps you going. If you believe you can handle two AP Sciences then go for it. I took AP Chemistry and Honors Physics last year, however we used the AP book for physics Giancoli, Physics : Principles with Applications, 5/E. I found it easy to handle.
  • RamblinmanRamblinman Registered User Posts: 613 Member
    I took Calc BC in 10th grade after taking Precalculus and I took AP Physics C (Both exams) in 11th grade after taking Physics in 10th.

    I would say that not having Calc experience is ok for Calc BC, but you need to be fairly comfortable with it for Electricity and Magnetism. I took a course in Multivariable Calculus before I took the AP test so I can't really say how difficult it would be with just learning Calc.

    As for not knowing physics before taking it, that would probably be an issue unless you are very comfortable with math and have a very good approach to word problems (being able to tear apart a complex mechanics problem into smaller parts, etc...).

    So, if you are a natural at math and science, go for it. Try your hardest and you should get A's in the classes and 5s on the tests. Otherwise I would talk to your teachers and see what they recommend.

    Edit: If you are taking AP Physics B, I don't think there is any Calc involved in it, so you probably will be fine without prior Physics knowledge. With that in mind I would say go for it, unless you aren't that comfortable with math.
  • hellohellicopterhellohellicopter Registered User Posts: 285 Junior Member
    Calc BC is, in my opinion, not a very easy class. It's not impossible... but it's just a LOT to learn. At my school, it is a double block, which really helps. We get more instructional time/homework time. However, things I learned at the beginning of the year are starting to slip away as I keep on adding new information... heh heh. If you have a good teacher, you should be fine.
  • sciencefrenchiesciencefrenchie Registered User Posts: 646 Member
    I'm taking Calc BC right now without any prior experience. I'm faring decently, I have about a 90% average. My teacher is also known to be notoriously hard, and she calls Calc BC the "hardest math class" at my school. I feel very prepared for the AP, though, I just need to brush up on earlier concepts.
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