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mom2three
Registered User Posts: **810** Member

Both of my older two boys went straight into Calc III after earning 5's on the AP Calc BC test. Both, despite being VERY strong in math, struggled. It seems there was stuff they were expected to know that they somehow hadn't mastered, despite the high grades and AP scores.

Son #3 just got his junior year AP scores back. 5 on AP Calc AB. He'll take BC next year. Were sons' 1 & 2 experiences an anomaly? We're thinking about insisting that son 3 take no higher than Calc II as a freshman, no matter what he scores on the AP exam.

What are your kids experiences with college calculus after AP calc?

Son #3 just got his junior year AP scores back. 5 on AP Calc AB. He'll take BC next year. Were sons' 1 & 2 experiences an anomaly? We're thinking about insisting that son 3 take no higher than Calc II as a freshman, no matter what he scores on the AP exam.

What are your kids experiences with college calculus after AP calc?

Post edited by mom2three on

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## Replies to: AP Calculus/college calc

11,380Senior Member636MemberNo matter what the AP folks say, an AP course is not the same as a college course.

In some areas, this isn't a problem (for example history, which is my field) because not having mastered the college survey course in, say, American History, isn't a problem for students who go on to upper-level history courses. The same cannot be said for courses in the sciences or math, where mastery of material in the lower-level courses is important for success in upper-level courses.

In the past several years, I have found more and more students and their parents asking about whether to decline certain AP credit and "retake" the course in college. There is, of course, no single right answer to that question which will apply to everyone. But it's a good question to ask and consider all the possibilities. The bottom line is you want your child to succeed in college with out struggling unnecessarily.

5,782Senior Memberanddifferent accents.810MemberHe's retaking it this fall, and at least the name of the professor sounds like he's from the western hemisphere. I HATE to say things like that. I LOVE diversity. But you have to be able to communicate your knowledge.

Another reason that these "5 on the AP" kids struggle is that they have no experience in asking for and getting help. They think if they just work harder they'll get it - that's always worked in the past. So they walk past all the FREE help and tutoring available until it's too late. Anyway, it doesn't sound like it's just my kids. Looks like Calc 1 or 2 for DS#3.

:-)

2,645Senior MemberI think the problem with many hs AP courses is that they are open to too many students and that students are permitted to take too many AP courses per year. This encourages teachers to water down course content. In our district AP classes are normally open to only top jr/sr students and they may take no more than three AP classes each year. Our son's hs has 1100 students but had openings for no more than 60 students in the 2 APCalc classes offerred, 1 CalcAB and 1 CalcBC section, about the top 5% of the class.

And lest you think that this policy adversely impacts college admissions, that does not appear to be the case because students in honors sections are encouraged to sit for the AP exams and do quite well. Pass rates for AP class sections are extraordinarily high and pass rates for honors section students opting to take the exams is quite good too, probably as good or better than most peer hs's.

2,100Senior MemberI never took the AP courses in high school, so I cannot answer your question directly. What I am trying to say is that by the time a student reaches CalcIII, the competition changes.

18,344Senior Member2. Re accents: I'll repeat a story I've told before, courtesy of a cousin who got his math PhD at an unnamed Ivy League university: "I hate teaching. The students are so dumb and so whiny, and all they care about is their grades. The only pleasure I get out of teaching is watching them go from utter joy, when they find out they have a native English speaker teaching their section, to despair, as they figure out that they would have been better off with a teacher who only spoke Chinese but who gave a [crap] about them."

1,616Senior MemberCould be that Calc III is just a more challenging subject, even for the most talented students.

32,045Senior Member22,762Senior MemberI went from AP Calc BC to Honors Multivariable way back when and struggled. It was quite interesting watching my son going through the same material - he obviously learned the material at all levels far better than I did.

22,683Senior MemberCollege calculus is really hard and you are in a curve with kids who are engineering students or math majors.

21,586Senior Memberclaims,

On the subject of accents: S claims that there areprofs who mumble into the blackboard, erasing equations as they go along before students have had a chance to copy them. Another big issue is problem sets that are handed out still riddled with errors. Difficult to understand accents are much less of an issue. The accents, by the way are as likely to be Russian or Eastern European, British, French as Chinese.

22,762Senior MemberOne guy I work with who went to CMU (Princeton for grad school) said that he took physics with a calc I/II background while many of the other students were taking Calc with physics. He said that many of them turned into business majors.

10,183Senior MemberHer Calc 3 teacher told us parents that many kid struggle with Calc 3 because it covers so much material in a very short space of time and often times kids don't achieve mastery of the concepts before he has to move on to the next topic in order to cover all the material required by the curriculum. D thought LA was much easier than Calc 3, both conceptually and in term of numerical manipulation.

D will retake Calc 3 and LA this fall when she starts college, both to improve her grades and to solidify her mastery of the concepts before moving on to other math classes. (BTW, she's not going to be a math, engineering or physical science major--she just likes math.)

21,586Senior MemberAnother factor is that college courses move much faster than high school courses and there is far less hand-holding, fewer exercises to make sure that the students have mastered the concepts.