3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Should I take AP Calculus AB or BC my senior year?

I am wondering if I should take AB or BC Calc my senior year. I'm currently a junior in Honors Pre-calc, and I've held an A- for most of the year. The reasons I'm considering BC are mainly: a) Gives more credit if I do well on the exam, b) More impressive to admissions officers I'm assuming, c) Higher chance of getting a 5 on the exam. But I am also keeping AB as an option since I know that BC is very rigorous and moves fast. I'll also be taking around 4 other AP's next year. Would you recommend biting the bullet and taking BC for the listed advantages, or would it be best for me to take AB and get a more relaxed and solid understanding of Calculus? Please feel free to add on anything you think might help! Thanks!

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2 answers

3 years ago


This is just my opinion, not a solid answer:

First off, congrats on your A- in Honors Pre-calculus! Personally, I think taking Calculus AB would be a better option. Having a solid understanding in any class I think outweighs the benefits of taking a class that you wouldn't form a strong connection to. As well as this, taking four other AP's the following year would be a lot on your plate.

If you can handle the rigor, I would take the BC course, but it is also important that you don't overwork yourself. The difference one or two more AP's you sign up for on a college application is so small. I'd almost consider taking three other AP's as well as Calculus BC (but this is just me! I have no idea how you may perform).

Sorry if this wasn't an extremely helpful answer. I just wanted you to have at least something to go off of. Good luck! :)

3 years ago


I think @amallios practically covered most of those parts in a nice way :)

If it helps, I’m currently taking AP Calculus BC and some of my friends are taking AP Calculus AB.

In my class, we basically breezed through Reimann Sums and finding the areas of 3-D shapes under curves. There is a HUGE focus on integrating and series, so you might need to pay particular attention to those topics when you’re taking that class!

In the AB class, they covered derivatives and the respective rules in the first semester; they’ve just started to learn how to integrate and how to apply the rule for integrating.

Overall, the BC class goes much faster and covers more in-depth topics in a shorter time than AB. It’s actually because that course tries to develop on the concepts that students learn in AB.

It’s all up to how you think you can handle the course. It would help if you could ask seniors taking those classes about how they feel about those classes and assess their opinions. I hope this was helpful to some extent! :)

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