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AP Calculus BC Exam

AP Calculus BC Exam - Introduction

According to College Board, AP Calculus BC is roughly equivalent to both first and second semester college calculus courses. 

This AP central calculus BC Exam covers topics in various different areas which includes various different topics.

The AP Calculus BC Exam questions measure students’ understanding of the concepts of calculus, their ability to apply these concepts. You should have a strong foundation in Algebra, geometry and other integral calculus functions. You are not allowed to take both Calculus AB and Calculus BC AP test the same year.

In terms of Calculus BC free response section, it would test students’ ability to solve problems using an extended chain of reasoning. During Free response you can still continue to work on Part A.

AP Calculus BC Exam Information

How long is the AP Calculus BC exam?

AP Calculus BC exam lasts about 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Section I: 

Multiple Choice | 45 Questions | 1 Hour, 45 Minutes 

AP Test Calculus BC Multiple Choice section counts towards 50% of your Exam Score and made up of two parts. 

Part A: 30 questions; 60 minutes (calculator not permitted)

Part B: 15 questions; 45 minutes (graphing calculator required)

Section II has AP Calculus BC Free Response questions.

You get total of 6 Questions, this Section lasts 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | and counts towards 50% of your Exam Score • 

Part A: 2 questions; 30 minutes (graphing calculator required) 

Part B: 4 questions; 60 minutes (calculator not permitted)

Don’t forget to check out our Resource section for specific exam information and calculator policy, however, we are providing a link for the type of calculators allowed and calculator information for all AP exams:

AP Calculator Policy

AP Calculus BC TextBooks Recommendations- 2018

#1 AP Calculus BC TextBook - 2018

Cracking the AP Calculus AB Exam – Get 5 on your exam

PROS:  If you are planning to take AP Test Calculus AB and will be moving into Calculus BC, you might need to purchase more than one book. At first, we thought going with the Calculus BC book would suffice for questions for the AB part of the exam and for most people that should be sufficient, however, if you are doing both exams Calculus AB and Calculus BC, you can get by with just one book.

Keep in mind, some schools however ask questions from actual AP tests on these exam, therefore to prepare more thoroughly and to get more questions, it is beneficial and recommended that you get both Calculus AB and Calculus BC books. We recommend getting Calculus AB and Calculus BC books just to get more prep questions.

There is a lot of overlap in content in both the books by the same author. However, this is HANDS DOWN the best book from all the different groups in terms of questions, examples, preparation, etc. If you only buy one book, THIS (or the Calculus BC textbook version) is the one to get.

It comes with a good review of each unit, problems to practice for each unit and shows you the answers worked out for each set of problems. 

It also has 6 full practice tests with the problems worked out. We really liked that once you worked through them all you could find patterns of the types of problems to expect and how to do them yourself. We feel that this book will prepare you better than any of the other books we have for Calculus AP exam.

We also recommend that you go ahead and take the CLEP exam.  The CLEP, has a slightly different “flavor” than the Calculus AP, so if you are considering that test in addition or instead of, we would still suggest this book and the books with practice CLEP tests.

This Calculus AP textbook still helps you better than any CLEP books in overall review but the CLEP books will help you prepare for the type of questions asked in the CLEP exams. The Calculus BC book, repeats content but adds the extra units with sequences and series and the few other topics scattered throughout such as parametric equations, etc.

CONS: The first practice exam includes some topics that are for AP Calculus BC text book and not AP Calculus AB textbook.

Barron’s AP Calculus BC Textbook

Pros: This is another great book and definitely best book for studying for the AP Calculus Calculus AB and/or Calculus BC exams. 

We put this book at #2 ranking because it does very well and if you can get both books the one from and Princeton and one from Baron’s, you are pretty much 90% there in term of exam prep.

Chances are you are going to be interested in both Calculus AP and Calculus BC exam, therefore if you are looking for one book to cover both exams, this book does sufficient job as you don’t have to spend money to get different books. In this book you will get 4 practice tests for both the Calculus AB and Calculus BC exams.  This book is ideal for studying even when there are minor changes in the test due to the way  it is put together. You can always check the Calculus BC section of the book for additional missing materials.

The book also offers covers how to use the graphing calculators during the test, and it will show you how this can help you validation information and become even better in taking this exam.

With this book, you get 11 tests.  You also get 2 practice tests for each exam on a CD, and you get a bonus online practice test! So, if you are looking to get free tests to ensure you are ready for the test, this book is just what you need.

CONS: The first practice exam includes some topics that are for AP Calculus BC exam.

AP Calculus BC Practice Exams - 2018

Just like any other exam, it is possible that you get a 5 on the AP Calculus AB Resources.  In order to do that you should give yourself sometime and possibly start to study a month or two before the actual exam.  If you allow more time, it would ensure you don’t have to cram too much which includes long and frustrating nights.  

We recommend that you start at least 90 days before your exam.

There are a ton of AP Calculus AB Resources available that you can utilize online to prepare for this exam, however, we would document the best we have come across to save you time.  The trick to ace the AP Calculus AB exam is to take as many practice tests as possible in addition to getting the recommended Calculus AB Textbooks.

You can get started by purchasing the recommended books provided in the AP Calculus AB Resources section and then by going thru each section carefully to ensure you understand the key concepts well.  Take a look at Princeton Review book for example that covers all of the drills in each chapter and then you also get 3 practice exams in this book that will prepare you well for the exam.

Similarly, definitely purchase the AP Baron’s book that will cover any gaps that were not covered by Princeton book to fully prepare you for the exam.  This includes 4 additional tests that this book offers which are different. Checkout our book recommendation section for more information.

AP Calculus BC Exam FREE Resources 2018

College Board

College Board as always provides some good resources, however, keep in mind these resources are not as difficult as you will find them on the actual exam.  You can check out example questions that start on page 47 of the PDF document located here.

AP Calculus AB & AP Calculus BC Resource

Khan Academy

They do a good job of providing some good resources.  You should check out SAL work and example questions from the test. Also, make sure you watch the Differential Calculus and Integral Calculus videos on Khan Academy that will come in handy and can also be an excellent resource in providing better understanding of the recommended AP textbooks.

All in all you should spend around 50-80 hours studying and getting ready for the test, so you should start getting ready at least 2 months before the test.

Varsity Tutors

They provide good resources and you can get your hand on 3 diagnostic tests and 157 practice test questions, so make sure you take advantage of this resource.

Study AP Exam

Our goal is to make you awesome and get you ready for you AP Exam.  So, make sure you check out our recommended books section.

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