AP Calculus AB and BC


“Calculus” by Encel Sanchez on flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Yamilex Arias, Junior Editor

AP Calculus AB is a college-level course taught by Ms. Kristen Taylor, taken usually by juniors and seniors. The course is primarily centered around applying the concepts of calculus and learning applications of the subject through different methods.

As with any AP course, an expectation is to be met. “If somebody puts in maybe 45 minutes to an hour a night, they’ll get a five,” said Ms. Taylor.

Following a four year mathematical background, the class flows through Functions, Graphs and Limits, Derivatives, and Integrals, respectively, through one year until the AP Exam in May. There is a small focus on elementary functions, but the spotlight rests on topics of differential and integral calculus.

Within her own classroom, Ms. Taylor divides students into groups, to ease the strain of the class between the students, but also to allow for everyone to help each other. It’s important to remember that the course is rigorous in its own right.  Ms. Taylor strongly suggests that students ask for any help whenever necessary.

“Get help as soon as you don’t understand something, because calculus is so sequential in nature, that if you get lost on the ground floor, then we’re going to build on those concepts, so you’re kind of hopeless if you get lost.”

On the other hand, for those looking for an alternative, AP Calculus BC is a class that could interest you. This course is an extension of Calculus AB with topics taught there also being discussed through the length of the one-year course, including additional content.

Despite common misconceptions of Calculus BC being more challenging than AB — both courses are designed to be rigorous and challenging to students. While exploring topics like Functions, Graphs and Limits, Derivatives, Integrals, the class also delves into Polynomial Approximation and Series, emphasizing a fast paced curriculum.