Your AP Calculus tests are more difficult than your homework questions so how can you study? Check out these resources to match the rigor of your tests.
The best way to study for AP Calculus tests is by solving more problems, and seeing unique wording that indicates if you should take a derivative or integral. Read tips on how to study for math tests and check out the resources below!
Free AP Calculus Resources
1. The AP Calculus Problem Book was created by a veteran AP Calculus teacher and includes his past tests and solutions. It’s truly the best free resource I’ve found to get extra practice for upcoming AP Calculus tests.
2. Flippedmath.com has videos and matching notes packets, extra practice problems, and unit tests. This is great for students who need further instruction/explanation on topics and those who prefer to study topic by topic instead of all topics mixed together at once.
3. College Board offers Curriculum Modules for certain topics like Motion and Extrema. Most students know about the Past AP Calculus Free Response Questions. How can you use these to study for unit tests when they cover the entire curriculum? See the next link, where a spreadsheet lists topics and which question (year and problem number) assessing each topic.
4. Master Math Mentor. Stu offers so many difficult practice questions in “Diving into Calculus,” “Demystifying the AP,” and so on. The student versions of questions are free, but they charge for solutions.
The challenging thing with most free resources is they offer the questions but not the solutions (or you have to pay for the solutions). So, I’ll also include some paid resources below.
Paid AP Calculus Resources
1. Calculus Crew is a Calculus community led by me, a former AP Calculus teacher. AP Calculus/Calculus 1 students meet online for group tutoring sessions twice a week and have access to extra notes and practice problems between sessions in a Google Classroom.
Most Calculus students say their tests are more challenging than homework assignments. Group sessions focus on those challenging questions and incorporate previous AP exam questions. I share my old AP Calculus tests, with multiple choice and free response questions (and answer keys) for extra practice.
Students in Calculus Crew have earned high grades and passed the AP exam:
In fact, of last year’s AP Calculus students who reported their results in an anonymous survey, 100% of students passed the AP exam: 67% earned a 5, 17% earned a 4, and 16% earned a 3. Additionally, 78% earned an A in class and 22% earned a B.
2. Albert.io offers an extensive bank of multiple choice and free response AP Calculus questions.
3. AP Calculus Review Books: There are numerous review books that are great to supplement your textbook. Preparing for the AP Calculus AB Examination (there’s also a BC version) by Best and Lux is by far the most challenging review book. Successfully solving the problems in their practice tests will make the AP Calculus exam seem easy. However, there is no topic-by-topic review, only practice tests, so it may be difficult to determine the relevant questions for your upcoming test.
Studying for AP Calculus Tests
As you’re reviewing for tests, or when you encounter a new problem on a test, try to determine if the question is asking about a derivative or integral. It’s an overgeneralization but almost every question, especially in AB Calculus, breaks down to one of those topics (I ignore limits because those are more obvious questions). Look for keywords like “slope,” “slope of the tangent line,” and “instantaneous rate of change” as an indicator to take a derivative. See other tips on how to pass Calculus.
Also make sure you're ready for both the calculator and non-calculator sections of tests. I've outlined the best calculator for AP Calculus.
Not sure which resource is best? Join Calculus Crew and let an AP Calculus expert curate the best review questions for you!