AP Calculus

Past Papers

AP Calculus AB and BC past exam papers including full papers, mark schemes and written mark schemes/model solutions for the multiple choice and free response questions from 1969 onwards can be found below.

There are two AP calculus options. AB versus BC. How can students decide between taking AB and BC? Precalculus is the main prerequisite for both Calculus AB and Calculus BC. If you did well in precalculus, especially if you found this course quite easy, you should consider going taking BC. Also check which course your univiersity requires.

What are the grade boundaries?
Grades range from 5 to 1, with 5 being the highest. Grade boundaries depends on how well everyone did overall and the curve that the AP use. Percentage-wise grade boundaries are roughly:

  • 5 = 70%/75% (this has been as low as 60% in the past). This means extremely well qualified and is the equivalent of an A+ or A.

  • 4 = 60% (this has been as low as 51% in the past). This means very well qualified and is the equivalent of an A, B+ or B.

  • 3 = 50%. This means qualified and is the equivalent of a B-, C+ or C.

  • 2 = Fail. This means possibly qualified and that one fails to qualify for any college credit. It is usually not accepted by colleges unless there are extenuating circumstances.

  • 1 = Fail. This means no recommendation

What are the differences between AB and BC? The major difference between Calculus AB and BC is the range of topics rather than difficulty. Students taking the Calculus BC exam will earn a score for both Calculus AB and Calculus BC. This is because everything from the Calculus AB exam is also covered on the Calculus BC exam. The main AB exam topics are:

  • Graphing functions

  • Limits

  • Continuity

  • Interpreting asymptotes

  • Derivatives + applications

  • Integration + applications

In addition to topics from Calculus AB, the AP Calculus BC exam covers the following: It includes the topics covered in Calculus AB as well as parametric functions, polar functions, vector functions and analysis of series.

  • Polar Coordinates
  • Parametric Equations
  • Vector functions - motion in plane
  • Improper Integrals
  • Partial Fractions
  • Euler’s Method
  • Analysis of Series (geometric, harmonic, taylor and power)
  • Integration by parts
  • Lagrange error bound
  • Logistical growth models, and more

AP Calculus AB and BC are similar to university courses. AP Calculus AB is similar to a university Calculus I course. AP Calculus BC is equivalent to taking both Calculus I and II.

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