Is AP Calculus AB Hard? How Much Preparation Is Required?

Calculus can definitely be a difficult subject for a lot of people.

It is not as simple as remembering and regurgitating information, you will need to be able to apply concepts you’ve learned in class to problems on the exam.

Some of these problems may require more steps than you are used to. In short, this class can be hard, but it becomes much easier with practice.

Is the AP Calculus AB Exam Hard?

The exam is definitely designed to be challenging.

They want to fully test your knowledge of the subject, so you will not pass if you do not study. Calculus requires practice. Practice makes perfect.

In order to make the exam easy, you will want to expose yourself to problems of varying difficulty and be able to solve them in an efficient manner.

While you practice, keep track of your time and make sure you are completing problems in a timely fashion.

What Will be on the Exam?

The exam will consist of eight different units

  1. Limits and Continuity
  2. Differentiation: Definition and Fundamental Properties
  3. Differentiation: Composite, Implicit, and Inverse Functions
  4. Contextual Applications of Differentiation
  5. Analytical Applications of Differentiation
  6. Integration of Accumulation of Change
  7. Differential Equations
  8. Applications of Integration

What Skills are Required to Pass?

You will definitely need to know all about derivatives and apply them to real-world problems like determining the instantaneous rate of change.

You will also use derivatives to solve optimization problems.

After you are able to define derivatives and apply them to real problems, you will also need to be able to define definite integrals.

You should know of the Fundamental Theory connects differentiation and integration.

Once you have a firm grasp on differentiation and integration, you will also need to be able to solve differential equations involving the rate of growth and decay.

The final skill required to pass would be being able to solve problems involving net change over an interval of time and to find areas of regions or volumes of solids defined using functions.

How to Tackle it?

I found the best way to tackle the exam is to comb through it and answer anything easy first.

Do not get hung up on harder problems right off the bat and waste time trying to solve it. Once you have completed the easier problems, you can go back to the difficult problems and attempt to complete them.

Do not discourage if you feel the answer is wrong or incomplete. Partial points are definitely better than no points, so always make the attempt.

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