back to questions

is AP calculus AB really as easy as it sounds?


i’m going to be taking AP calc AB next year as a junior and i was wondering if someone could give me some perspective on the class if they have taken it before. i’ve heard that the class is significantly easier than precalc honors (which i took this year as a sophomore) and that you can basically sleep through the class and do well. is this true?? i don’t want to go into the class next year and like bomb the first test cause of my (false?) assumption that it will be a piece of cake.

tldr; what was it like taking ap calc AB in your experience, was it difficult or very easy? i know this varies depending on your aptitude in math but i’m just wondering if it’s as easy as it sounds so i can be realistically prepared for next year


1 answer

answered on
Accepted answer

It is easy, but only if you work hard.

I took AP Calculus AB in my sophomore year and got A's both semesters, as well as a 5 on the AP Exam. The thing with Calculus is that the concepts discussed do not go off a traditional arithmetic basis; they are more conceptual and that is where a lot of students go wrong.

Some expectations in Calc should be that you will show your work on all problems. A lot of shortcuts that you were able to take in earlier math may not be able to get you through. You will have to do all your homework, which is essentially what I am saying.

Some concepts are significantly harder than others. For instance, volumes of rotation, related rates, and optimization, tend to be hard concepts that need lots of extra practice. Simple derivatives and limits, however, will not require extra practice and could be learned just through doing homework. So make sure to plan accordingly.

No, you can't sleep through the class. You will have to work hard. But, it is not hard if you put in the right amount of effort.

that’s very helpful, thank you!!