join the ap-calc course
published on august 5, 2020
Last updated on August 4, 2020
I’ll be honest with you - AP Calculus AB is one of the most difficult courses out there. Lucky for you, I'm here to share my tips and tricks on how to succeed on the AP exam - from solving complex, multi-step problems to understanding the wording of problems on the test.
Before you walk into your first class, you should know what the AP Calculus AB exam looks like. It helps to review College Board's course overview to look at the time breakdown of each section.
Of course, it also helps to know some of the actual content of the exam before the first day of class.
In general, you should be working out AP-style problems throughout the entire year. As soon as you've covered a topic, find some AP FRQ practice problems and answers either on the College Board website (linked above) or in a prep book (below). This will help you get used to the wording of the test and focus your attention on what concepts you need more help in.
Cracking the AP Calculus AB Exam (The Princeton Review) and Acing AP Calculus AB and BC (Greenhall Publishing) are excellent resources. Both have step-by-step problems and solutions for all the concepts that are covered in the AP curriculum. The Princeton Review releases a new edition every year, but I've found that you can buy older editions for a much lower price than the current year's (after all, the structure of the exam hasn't been changed in quite some time).
Most importantly, ask questions if you're confused about anything. If you don't understand the basics of a certain topic, it will be much more difficult for you to grasp the more complicated manifestations of that basic topic. Ask your teacher for help after class, find a friend to study with you at lunch, or come chat with us here at Fiveable!
Now that you know what lies ahead of you in your calculus class, you need no longer fear the AP Calculus AB exam. I know it seems daunting, but don't stress yourself too much about it now - go enjoy the rest of your summer while it's still here. When school starts back up again, you can be sure that you have all the skills and resources you need to succeed.
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