All You Need to Know About the New Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus Exams

Mar 22, 2020

For 2016-17 school year, students who will be sitting for the AP calculus exams should expect a few changes in the pattern of the examination. The advanced placement (AP) calculus exams (AB and BC) have gone through a minor modification from the way they used to be. We reckon students who are willing to go for this test should be aware of such small changes to get themselves thoroughly acquainted with the AP Calculus test. Let’s go through a basic overview of the new AP Calculus exams without much ado.

New Topics

According to the new AP Calculus exams, students will be assessed in two new areas. One is the addition of L’Hospital’s Rule to the Calculus AB test; 2nd is the addition of limit comparison test, absolute as well as conditional convergence, and the alternating series error bound to Calculus BC test. You should also remember one thing that no content’s removed because of those additions. The introduction of those new topics makes sure that the AP exams align carefully with the college level coursework thereby, ensuring the fact that students continue to accumulate equivalent college credit upon their entrance to their respective colleges.

Structure of Examination

The basic format of all these tests hasn’t changed. There’s a minor shift in the internal structure of the exams. The exams will have multiple choice as well as free response section like the way it used to be. Each section’s worth 50% of total examination score. Both the sections will contain a part A and a part B. Part A of MCQ contains 30 questions with a time frame of 60 minutes. Part B contains 15 questions with an allotted time of 45 minutes. In free response section, students will be asked two questions in part A and 4 in part B. Time allotted for part A and part B in free response section is 30 and 60 minutes respectively. Students must complete those sections within the stipulated time frames.

Curriculum Framework

The change in curriculum framework is the most noticeable change of all. AP calculus instructors or tutors should be aware of this fact already. The new curriculum framework implements the use of 6 Math practices (also known as MPACs) for Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus rather than applying traditional topic outlines. For 2016-17 school year, the MPACs should be:

  • Reasoning accompanied with definitions and theorems,
  • Implementing algebraic or computational processes,
  • Connecting concepts,
  • Connecting multiple representations,
  • Constructing notational fluency,
  • Communicating.

Other concept outlines implemented in AP Calculus exams are limits, derivatives, integrals and other fundamentals theorems related to Calculus, and series (for the AP Calculus BC test).

That should be all folks. We felt that these new changes are worth the mention for your benefits. Best of luck with your preparation. Ciao!

Article Posted in: Academics
Tags: Mathematics

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes educational content periodically for MyPrivateTutor Hong Kong and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO and graphic designing.

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