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Just how difficult is the AP Calculus AB exam for someone who's not a math genius?

Hello! I’m planning my schedule for senior year and wondering if I should take AP Calculus AB. I’m decent at math but no prodigy or anything. For anyone who’s taken the exam - was it a nightmare or actually manageable? Also, any tips on resources that might help?

8 months ago

Hello! It’s great to hear that you’re considering challenging yourself with AP Calculus AB for your senior year. As with any college-level course, it will be challenging, but I assure you that you do not need to be a math genius to succeed. Many students who would describe themselves as 'decent at math' have done well in the course and on the exam with the right approach and resources.

First, it's important to have a solid understanding of pre-calculus concepts, since they're the foundation for what you'll learn in AP Calc AB. If those are shaky, I recommend reviewing or even getting some extra help before the year starts. As for the AP exam itself, a lot depends on how well your course prepares you and how much time you dedicate to studying throughout the year. Your teacher will most likely use past AP exam questions and practice exams to help you get used to the format and timing, which is incredibly beneficial.

In terms of additional resources, the College Board offers free practice questions and scoring guidelines on their website, which are the most accurate materials for prep because they're the ones who make the exam. I also highly recommend getting an AP Calculus prep book, such as one from Barron’s or The Princeton Review, and consistently working through practice problems. Another valuable resource is Khan Academy, which has a specific AP Calculus AB course that's fantastic for reviewing topics and doing practice exercises. Studying regularly and not waiting until the last minute to review is key.

Remember that persistence and a positive mindset when tackling difficult problems are just as important as your initial skill level. Good luck with your decision, and if you need further guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

8 months ago

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