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How hard is AP Calculus?

RahoulVARahoulVA Registered User Posts: 1,364 Senior Member
My school changed the class from AP/BC to Calculus 101 college credit. I'm still eligible to take it though. Would study from Prep books like Princeton Review and Barron's be enough? Might be worth to do a lot of studying starting in February or March to maybe get a 3+ and skip those classes in college. Could I do it though? How manageable is it?
Post edited by RahoulVA on

Replies to: How hard is AP Calculus?

  • TheMathProfTheMathProf Registered User Posts: 810 Member
    It would really depend on your aptitude for mathematics in general, and would probably also be influenced by the depth covered in that Calculus 101 course.
  • sozo91sozo91 User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 154 Junior Member
    Personally, I think prep books suck for AP Calc.

    If you read a textbook (seriously), then you should be fine since Calculus is a building course.

    For example, you may be learning about polars and parametrics, but you still need to know the basics of chain rule, quotient rule, limits, and derivatives that you learned in the previous chapters. The only new thing, that is not based on anything else, is Taylor's.

    There's no point aiming for a 3 or a 4 to skip the class in college. The AP test marginally examines your actual skill level in Calc, so you would be screwed if you went straight to multivariable calc in college.

    So, make sure you master the material.
  • chubbsubbchubbsubb Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    i should be in ap calc. im in precalc and on 5 quizzes and 1 test so far iv'e gotten one question wrong
  • DanityKANEDanityKANE Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    Hmm.... it all depends.. but in my class the teacher is so amazing!! but extremely hard...
    like... on the first quiz i got 5/13
    i almost cried :(
    but.... i kept on going and last week i started getting perfect scores....also...my teacher doesn't realize that most kids have ti 89's so it's really easy to use that in class...but it doesn't help that much lol
  • jamesfordjamesford Registered User Posts: 3,447 Senior Member
    A textbook is probably better for any math/science. You need it for practice problems - prep books don't have enough.

    As for the difficulty level, the material covered in AP Calculus is really not that hard. Of course, maybe math isn't your thing.
  • sozo91sozo91 User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 154 Junior Member
    Well, the difficulty depends on they way you learn about it (if that makes sense). If you're just interested in the material, it's pretty straightforward, but if you are more interested in theory, then it's tougher.
  • YanksDolphinsYanksDolphins Registered User Posts: 1,068 Senior Member
    AP Calculus is a joke, both AB and BC. Basically, all of the questions are the same from year to year, they're just re-packaged in some way. It tests you on a few very basic topics, and will rarely ever ask you anything that requires cleverness. If you can memorize a few simple methods and techniques, you should be able to get a 4 or 5. AP Calculus is not rigorous at all-you will never see an epsilon or a delta, and you're unlikely to see rigorous proofs.

    To sozo91: You say one would be screwed if he/she went straight to multivariable calculus. I took AP Calculus AB, self-studied BC, took a placement test, scored a 98, and placed straight into Honors Multivariable Calculus. In that course, I earned an A+. So your claim is not true.
  • anhtimmyanhtimmy Registered User Posts: 3,256 Senior Member
    Agreed^, look at the released test
  • aigiqinfaigiqinf Registered User Posts: 4,032 Senior Member
    AP Calculus is not rigorous at all-you will never see an epsilon or a delta, and you're unlikely to see rigorous proofs.
    In most AP calculus courses. :) We've done epsilon delta but we don't do proofs. My problem is my calculus teacher can't calculate grades correctly.
  • bv123bv123 Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member
    ^ ditto.

    We did epsilon delta in honors pre-calc and we were actually tested on it.
    And proofs find their ways into my notes all the time...
  • i see the mooni see the moon Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    Well, BC is pretty hard if you're not used to it (and if you have a teacher that likes to test you on material she didn't cover), but it's not the actual calculus that will screw you; it's any lack in algebra.

    I haven't done any proofs yet.
  • ChaoticOrderChaoticOrder Registered User Posts: 543 Member
    I'm in AP Calculus AB so far and it's very easy, I almost want the teacher to throw in putnam questions along with the homework questions, it would make the class more interesting. Don't worry about Calculus, it's a breeze, derivatives are super easy and so is chain rule and everything else and proofs aren't that hard either. Good luck
  • daman11daman11 Registered User Posts: 904 Member
    it is sooooooooo hard.
  • meadow36meadow36 Registered User Posts: 5,620 Senior Member
    Don't worry, the material covered in the course is not actually that hard. For me, its just my teacher is notorious for giving out insane tests. But she has record for her students getting 5's on the AP test.....
  • KieferKiefer Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    Hi, I'm a sophomore. I took Geometry last year & I got a B. I'm not taking math this year but I'm considering to take it at community college (Algebra 2 in the 2nd semester). I've heard mixed reviews about Calculus BC - Is it more like time-consuming or dead hard? And is it possible w/out precalculus? My school requires Honors Precalculus before Calculus BC & regular before Calculus BC...but is it really necessary?

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