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AP Calc BC 

AP Calc BC (AP Calculus BC) is equal to two semesters of the college level mathematics in advance. After taking the AP exam students can earn college credits depending on the score the student received on the exam. This is designed to help students to earn college credits. One of the reasons for students taking the AP Calculus BC examination is that the pass rates for this is higher than the average for the AP courses. Those thinking about taking the exam should know what it is and how it works. 

A great benefit of taking AP Calc BC is that passing the AP exam will lessen the amount of time you spend in college. Taking AP exams are only a matter of preparing and appearing in the 3-hour AP exam at the school. If you pass then you get college credits for two semesters of calculus. The preparation is important and it should be designed to earn a perfect score of 5 in the AP Calc BC. To sum it up, the AP Calc BC test is the stepping stone for earning valuable AP scores that can earn college credits for the first two semesters of the first year in the college. It is the easiest way to directly move into advanced studies. 

The AP Calculus BC scores are awarded on a scale from 1 to  5. Students must secure scores of 3 and above to pass the test. But the colleges usually favor the score of 4 and 5. However, there are some colleges that allow AP credits to the students who get a score of 3 also. You can check the AP credit policy of the colleges to know exactly how they award college credits based on AP Calculus BC exam scores. 

ap calc bc

What is AP Calculus BC equivalent to?

AP Calculus BC is equivalent to both the first and second semesters of college calculus courses. On the other hand, AP Calculus AB focuses on only topics that are covered in the first semester of college calculus courses. This means that Calc BC is faster-paced than Calc AB.

Is AP Calc BC Difficult? 

AP Calc BC could be difficult for you if you are not good in math and/or if you don’t like math. AP Calc BC is faster paced than AP Calc AB is because AP Calc BC is the full two semesters of college calculus courses while Calc AB is only one semester. Even though the pass rate for AB is 51% while the pass rate for Calc BC is 75.2% that does not mean that Calc BC is an easier class. This is because the increased pass rate could be due to the possibility that students who choose to take AP Calc BC are better at and are more passionate about math than students who choose to take AP Calc AB.


  • You should take the precautionary step of considering the pros and cons of the program at school level. 
  • The difficulties of the course will depend on the type of student and the environment they have.

AP Calc BC Pass Rate

Many students decide to take the AP Calc BC test because of its pass rates. The pass rate refers to the students securing a score of 3 or higher on the test. In the year 2021, the success rate was 75.2%. Out of them, 38.3% of students got a perfect score of 5 on the test. This was higher in comparison to all the AP tests conducted during the year.  The pass rate for all AP classes stood at 64.2% and only 16.8% candidates secured a perfect score of 5.                                        

(Ellery Well – 04.04.2022 –

How AP Calc BC is Different from AP Calc AB 

While the names of the two courses AP Calc BC and AP Cal AB sound similar, they are different from each other. 

  • AP Calc AB is an introductory college-level course.
  • AP Calculus BC on the other hand is an advanced course. 
  • BC covers all contents of the AP Calculus AB and two more units. 
  • While the AP Calculus AB covers the college courses for the first semester of the first year, the AP Calculus BC covers the courses of the first and second semester in the college


AP Calculus BC curriculum 

There are some topics that are covered by the AP Calculus BC and AP Calc AB as common contents. However; there are some topics that are covered by the BC only. Such topics include additional techniques and their integration, Euler’s methods, arc length and distance covered parametric equations, infinite sequencing, and polar coordinates among others. 

AP Calculus BC units

The AP test is a potential source for earning college credits. You earn college credits if you pass the AP exam with a score of at least a 3, 4, or 5. Do know that some colleges only give you college credit if you get a 4 or 5 or even just a 5. In order to do well on the AP exam, you should have a good knowledge of the course content. You can expect the following AP Calculus BC units in your class:

UnitExam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
Unit 1: Limits and Continuity4%–7%
Unit 2: Differentiation: Definition and Fundamental Properties4%–7%
Unit 3: Differentiation: Composite, Implicit, and Inverse Functions4%–7%
Unit 4: Contextual Applications of Differentiation6%–9%
Unit 5: Analytical Applications of Differentiation8%–11%
Unit 6: Integration and Accumulation of Change17%–20%
Unit 7: Differential Equations6%–9%
Unit 8: Applications of Integration6%–9%
Unit 9: Parametric Equations, Polar Coordinates, and Vector-Valued Functions11%–12%
Unit 10: Infinite Sequences and Series17%–18%

About AP Exam

If you want to prepare well for the AP Calc BC AP exam then you must be familiar with the conducting of the AP exam and the questions to expect. The AP exam takes three hours and the questions that come up are divided into two sections. The first one is the multiple-choice section and the second one is the free-response section. Each of these sections are divided into two parts: A and B. 

Timing of the AP exam sections 

The number of questions and timing of each section in the AP exam are as follows. 

  • Part A section 1 contains 30 multiple choice questions spanning one hour. 
  • Part B section 1 contains 15 multiple choice questions spanning 45 minutes. 
  • Free-response questions consist of 6 questions and you have to describe the solutions and the steps using which you solved them.

Is AP Calc BC the hardest AP?

No, AP Calc BC is not the hardest AP. The AP class that has the lowest pass rate is actually AP Physics 1 with a pass rate of 42.1%.

Other resources:

To find the AP Calc AB FRQ 2017.

To find the AP Calc AB 2021 FRQ.

To find the 2021 AP Calc BC FRQ + Answers.

To find the 2008 AP Calc AB Multiple Choice.

To find the 2003 AP Calculus BC Multiple Choice.

To find the 2012 AP Calc BC exam.

To find the 2008 AP Calculus BC Multiple Choice and FRQ.

To find the AP Calc AB 2022 FRQ answers.

To find the AP Calc BC 2022 FRQ answers.

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