πŸ“š

All Subjects

Β >Β 

♾️ 

AP Calc

Β >Β 

✏️

Blogs

How to Get a 5 in AP Calculus AB/BC

4 min readβ€’october 28, 2020

catherine

Catherine Liu


https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-BZ6A2cH6a8DP.png?alt=media&token=517f763f-0474-423c-932f-bc19f947fe42

Integrate these tips into your studying. Image credit of Pixabay.

Overview ♾️

To get a 5 in AP Calculus, you need to know how the College Board asks questions. The test is difficult, but if you know the content and do enough practice, you'll set yourself up for a 5. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you do your best on test day πŸŽ‰

1. Know the test πŸ“š

Knowing how you'll be tested and what you'll be tested over is key to getting a 5. First, let's look at the format of the exam, which is the same for both AP Calculus AB and BC.
The multiple-choice section makes up 50% of your score, and you have an hour and 45 minutes to answer 45 questions. This section has 2 parts:
  • Part A: 60 minutes for 30 non-calculator questions.
  • Part B: 45 minutes for 15 calculator-required questions.
The free-response section makes up the other 50% of your score, and you have an hour and 30 minutes to answer 6 questions. This section has 2 parts:
  • Part A: 30 minutes for 2 calculator-required questions.
  • Part B: 60 minutes for 4 non-calculator questions.
Now, let's look at the content of the tests:

Exam Weighing

UnitExam Weighing (AB)Exam Weighing (BC)
Unit 1: Limits and Continuity10-12%4-7%
Unit 2: Differentiation: Definition and Fundamental Properties10-12%4-7%
Unit 3: Differentiation: Composite, Implicit, and Inverse Functions9-13%4-7%
Unit 4: Contextual Applications of Differentiation10-15%6-9%
Unit 5: Analytical Applications of Differentiation15-18%8-11%
Unit 6: Integration and Accumulation of Change17-20%17-20%
Unit 7: Differential Equations6-12%6-9%
Unit 8: Applications of Integration10-15%6-9%
Unit 9: Parametric Equations, Polar Coordinates, and Vector-Valued Functions (BC only) 11-12%
Unit 10: Infinite Sequences and Series (BC only)17-18%
You can use this information to guide your studying. For example, since unit 6 makes up a large portion of the test, you might want to focus on integration over a smaller unit like differential equations πŸ€”.

2. Memorize derivative and integral rules βœ…

You won’t get an equation sheet on the test, so you need to know your rules to get a 5. Keep practicing the product, quotient, and chain rules. Also remember to go over those trickier derivatives and integrals for trig functions, logarithms, a^x, and inverse functions πŸ“ˆ

Resources:

3. Understand application problems πŸš—

You must know how to solve derivatives and integrals, but the College Board also wants to know if you can apply that knowledge to real-world problems. At least 2 questions on the free-response section use a real-world scenario 🌏
Take some time to review units 4, 5, and 8 to make sure you understand related rates, motion, and optimization problems. Use these Fiveable resources to help you study:
πŸ”₯ All Fiveable resources from unit 4, unit 5, and unit 8

Resources:

4. Practice, practice, practice! πŸ“

Last but not least, the best way to set yourself up for a 5 is to take practice tests! This will help you understand exactly how the College Board asks problems. As you practice, take note of what you get wrong and review the concepts you struggled with.
For FRQs, use this list of past prompts to find questions by unit, topic, and type (calculator or non-calculator). You can also check out some of these FRQ review streams to see walkthroughs of recent prompts:
For the multiple-choice section, use these free, full-length AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC exams. You can also go through these sample questions from the College Board. If you're willing to spend some money, prep books will often have AP-style practice tests. Check out this list of the best prep books [TK] if you're considering buying one!

Resources:

Closing statement

To sum it up: practice. If you're struggling to understand concepts on your own, don't be afraid to ask questions! AP Calculus can be difficult, but as long as you keep working at it, you'll be on your way to a 5.

Was this guide helpful?

πŸ” Are you ready for college apps?
Take this quiz and find out!
Start Quiz
FREE AP calc Survival Pack + Cram Chart PDF
Sign up now for instant access to 2 amazing downloads to help you get a 5
Browse Study Guides By Unit
πŸ“†
Big Reviews: Finals & Exam Prep
✍️
Free Response Questions (FRQ)
🧐
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
β™Ύ
Unit 10: Infinite Sequences and Series (BC Only)
πŸ‘‘
Unit 1: Limits & Continuity
πŸ€“
Unit 2: Differentiation: Definition & Fundamental Properties
πŸ€™πŸ½
Unit 3: Differentiation: Composite, Implicit & Inverse Functions
πŸ‘€
Unit 4: Contextual Applications of the Differentiation
✨
Unit 5: Analytical Applications of Differentiation
πŸ”₯
Unit 6: Integration and Accumulation of Change
πŸ’Ž
Unit 7: Differential Equations
🐢
Unit 8: Applications of Integration
πŸ¦–
Unit 9: Parametric Equations, Polar Coordinates & Vector Valued Functions (BC Only)
Join us on Discord
Thousands of students are studying with us for the AP Calculus AB/BC exam.
join now
πŸ’ͺ🏽 Are you ready for the Calc AB exam?
Take this quiz for a progress check on what you’ve learned this year and get a personalized study plan to grab that 5!
START QUIZ
πŸ’ͺ🏽 Are you ready for the Calc BC exam?
Take this quiz for a progress check on what you’ve learned this year and get a personalized study plan to grab that 5!
START QUIZ
Hours Logo
Studying with Hours = the ultimate focus mode
Start a free study session
πŸ“± Stressed or struggling and need to talk to someone?
Talk to a trained counselor for free. It's 100% anonymous.
Text FIVEABLE to 741741 to get started.
Β© 2021 Fiveable, Inc.