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*** AP Calculus BC Thread 2016-2017 ***

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Replies to: *** AP Calculus BC Thread 2016-2017 ***

  • hwayajjinhwayajjin Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I know this is kinda out of place but I'm planning to take Calculus BC next year. Was wondering for those who got a 4+ (which I'm aiming for), how did you guys prepare for the test (prep books, textbooks, how the class was structured, etc.?). Also, does anyone know where I can find released MC and FRQ grouped in topics (I know Collegeboard has a lot, but they're not grouped according to topics like Limits, Derivatives, etc.). Help is appreciated. :D
  • gopgalgopgal Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    @hwayajjin Hi!, I took Calc BC this past year as a junior and took AB as a sophomore. I got a 5 on AB, and then this year I got a 5 on BC with an AB sub score of...4..yeah weird. But I only studied for BC topics near the end so it kinda makes sense.
    Anyway, I started studying for the class around spring break. I printed out all the FRQs from the past 10 years and started working through them. It may seem tedious, but once you know the material the best way to get better at the FRQs is to just keep practicing them. The college board can only ask a question so many ways and if you do enough you'll be like a machine when the actual test comes. Tbh, my BC teacher did very little to help me prepare for the actual format of the test.
    This pdf has some frqs sorted by topic, but theyre only up to 2007..but better than nothing?
    http://pwalstoncalculus.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/1/8/31180069/ap_free_response_bt_topic.pdf

    I also had both the Princeton and the Barrons review books and I did the multiple choice questions out of there. My class has a textbook but we never used it. I actually think I never even opened it. In class we used a lot of Kuta Software worksheets. I highly reccomend them. Theyre are SO many problems you could just keep working on them for hours and hours and hours.

    If you have anymore questions feel free to ask. I love calculus tbh :)
  • hwayajjinhwayajjin Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    That's awesome! Thank you so much!! I will definitely use the resources you recommended. (:
  • Mathophile26Mathophile26 Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    edited September 2017
    @hwayajjin To add on to the sorted FRQs, if you want more recent ones, here are the FRQs up until 2014 with the topics they cover listed next to each one:

    Just scroll down to find what you're looking for. In general, I would just advise taking as many practice FRQs and MC as you can - my teacher gave us so many released FRQs that we were all prepared for almost all of the types of questions you could encounter. It's all about knowing how to apply calc skills to problems, and the FRQs are usually fairly similar year by year, so you can learn methods to attacking a lot of different types of problems (I actually wasn't actively "learning", instead just kinda subconsciously picking everything up).

    Oh, almost forgot. I would definitely recommend PatrickJMT videos on Youtube for learning some calc concepts (I think he has video lessons on certain topics, like limits and such).
    Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
  • Mathophile26Mathophile26 Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    Another person I recently watched the videos of: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy7wJn7fDadZlYkb5KHXq-Q
  • ObitoSigmaObitoSigma Registered User Posts: 304 Member
    @hwayajjin I never struggled with the course simply because I had fun with the course. I *wanted* to understand concepts that I found a tad bit difficult. I went on Quora and answered simple single-variable Integration problems for fun and practice. I would watch Youtubers like *blackpenredpen* for interesting problems. Here's a series I recommend: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZHQObOWTQDMsr9K-rj53DwVRMYO3t5Yr

    If you get into the mindset that Calculus is easy, it will be easy. It will be as easy as you think. Learn from your mistakes. Wonder why your answer is correct. The more you understand, the easier Calculus will be. Understand why Rolle's theorem works or what exactly Integration is. In AP Physics C, my viewpoint of Calculus was changed when I realized that Integration was not simply "area under the curve," but rather an infinite sum of differentials. And when I take Real Analysis next year during my freshman year of college, my viewpoint will surely change once again to become more refined.

    Near February or March, just spam yourself with practice exams, especially FRQ. I always did at least 10 FRQs a week leading up to the AP exam. It was very good practice and ensured that I would not make a mistake during the exam. I always aimed for perfect scores, but of course, there will always be one FRQ that stumps me (and it's usually on related rates!). :ρ
  • waterbrether725waterbrether725 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    @ObitoSigma Any tips for me because im selfstudying BC next year while take AB course. Should I work with KhanAcademy and Barrons for BC or do i need other materials.
  • bobert1bobert1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    @waterbrether725 After receiving a 5 on the BC test and a 5 for the AB subscore I found that doing old practice tests is VERY helpful. My calculus teacher made us do ~20 old practice tests at the end of the year to prepare. Even though I didn't have time to do all of them, they really prepare you well for the actual test. I think the multiple choice practice (e.g. Chung) are typically bought by your school, but all of the old free response problems are available online for free.

    @ObitoSigma Have fun with real analysis lol. I learned the course by studying Maxwell Rosenlicht's book, and it was a lot of fun for a high school freshman to learn.
  • waterbrether725waterbrether725 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    edited August 2017
    @bobert1 Ok i see.So if i use KhanAcademy, Dr.Chung and Barrons, it is possible to get a 5? I'll probably just get Chungs from the library or use the tools online, like you said. Real Analysis? thats basically the calculus BC material I think. I was researching on it some time ago.

    Basically this is my plan, Please tell me if it is effective:(for both AB and BC)
    From September ----Februrary
    -KhanAcademy
    -Dr Chung
    -Barrons.

    March---AP exam date
    -Dr Chungs MC practice
    -Barrons practice tests
    -Collegeboard frqs(I believe these are on KhanAcademy as well)

    I'll pretty much be doing this for about 15 hours a week(so about 2 hours per day) but during breaks this will increase/become more rigorous.
  • bobert1bobert1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I've never used Khan Academy, but my friends have mentioned that it has helped them in other courses. Your schedule looks fine, although you can definitely pull off a 5 or even a near-perfect score with less preparation. I usually worked on multiple choice for about half an hour each day on school days, and then would do one free response section each weekend. I found; however, that my teacher's lessons and advice for the test were equally important for providing a solid calculus foundation and exposing areas that were often missed on the AP test.

    Real analysis is basically an extremely rigorous version of calculus classes offered in high school. You usually start with the fundamental elements of math such as set theory, the field properties, and metric spaces. You then move on to properties of the real numbers (hence the name REAL analysis) and sequences, which then bring you to limits, which are the first aspect of real analysis that would seem familiar to a high school calculus student. Continuity, series, differentiation, and integration come towards the end, but the material is completely proof-based. That said, it was a lot of new material for me since I was learning real analysis in conjunction with Calculus BC, but it really helps you understand concepts like differentiation and integration deeply. However, I would advise against learning it in 9th grade based on my own experiences.
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