**AP Calculus BC**is considered one of the hardest AP classes by class alumnae.- Covers additional topics such as series, parametric equations, and polar coordinates.
- Average pass rate of the AP Calculus BC Exam is approximately
**75%** - Exam consists of multiple-choice and free-response questions; assesses advanced calculus concepts
- AP Calculus BC has a
**difficulty rating of 5.5 out of 10**by class alumnae

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**Is AP Calculus BC hard?**

According to research on alumni, AP Calculus BC is rated as having a moderate level of difficulty, receiving a **difficulty rating of 5.5 out of 10**, which is just a little bit higher than the **average rating for all AP courses (5.4 out of 10).**

Of the 28 major AP classes, this places AP Calculus BC as the **12th toughest** AP course. **The percentage of students who passed the AP Calculus BC test in 2022 with a score of 3 or above was 76.9%,** which is higher than the rate for many **other AP exams (66%).** Learn about the hardest AP classes here.

This means that the course is fairly challenging and that, with effort and commitment, students can succeed on the test.

**Factors determining the difficulty of AP Calculus BC**

**1. Students’ mathematical background**

One key factor that determines the difficulty of AP Calculus BC is the mathematical background of the students taking the course. Calculus is a higher-level math course that builds on a foundation of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

Therefore, students who have a strong background in these areas are likely to find the course easier than those who do not. Additionally, students who have already taken AP Calculus AB may find the transition to AP Calculus BC easier since the courses cover many of the same topics.

**2. Teacher’s teaching style and effectiveness**

Another factor that can impact the difficulty of AP Calculus BC is the instructor’s teaching style and effectiveness. Some instructors may be more skilled at explaining complex concepts and providing students with the tools they need to succeed.

A teacher who is enthusiastic about the subject matter and engages students in active learning may make the course seem less difficult than a teacher who is less effective.

Taking one-to-one private tuition from Wiingy’s **AP Calculus BC tutors **can be of great help. Their Calculus course adheres completely to the course outline. The tutors also assist students with their homework, exam preparation, and assignments.

**3. Personal effort and study habits**

The level of personal effort and study habits of the student can also affect the difficulty of AP Calculus BC. Calculus is a fairly challenging subject, and students who do not put in the necessary time and effort to understand the material are likely to struggle.

Good study habits, such as completing homework assignments, attending office hours, and reviewing class notes regularly, can help students stay on top of the material and reduce the overall difficulty of the course. By paying attention to these factors and putting in the necessary time and effort, students can succeed in this challenging course.

**What does AP Calculus BC cover?**

The following are the important units covered with their weightage in the **AP Calculus BC exam**:

Units Covered | Exam Weightage (MCQ) |

Unit 1: Limits and Continuity | 4% – 7% |

Unit 2: Differentiation: Definition and Fundamental Properties | 4% – 7% |

Unit 3: Differentiation: Composite, Implicit, and Inverse Functions | 4% – 7% |

Unit 4: Contextual Application of Differentiation | 6% – 9% |

Unit 5: Analytical Application of Differentiation | 8% – 11% |

Unit 6: Integration and Accumulation of Change | 17% – 20% |

Unit 7: Differential Equations | 6% – 9% |

Unit 8: Application of Integrals | 6% – 9% |

Unit 9: Parametric Equations, Polar Coordinates, and Vector-Valued Functions | 11% – 12% |

Unit 10: Infinite Sequence and Series | 17% – 18% |

*Source: College Board*

**How is the AP Calculus BC exam structured?**

The AP Calculus AB exam is divided into two sections:

**Section A**: Multiple-Choice Questions**Section B:**Free Response Questions

Section A | No. of questions | Type of questions | Time allocated |

Multiple choice questions | Part A: 30 questions | Questions include algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and general types of functions. | 60 mins |

Multiple choice questions | Part B: 15 questions | Questions include analytical, graphical, tabular, and verbal types of representations. | 45 mins |

Total | 45 questions | | 105 mins |

**Calculator is only allowed for Part B. No calculator permitted for Part A.*

Section B | No. of questions | Type of questions | Time allocated |

Free response questions | Part A: 2 questions | Questions include various types of functions and function representations and a roughly equal mix of procedural and conceptual tasks. | 30 mins |

Free response questions | Part B: 4 questions | Questions include at least 2 questions that incorporates a real-world context or scenario into the question. | 60 mins |

Total | 6 questions | | 90 mins |

***Calculator is only allowed for Part A. No calculator is permitted for Part B.*

**How hard is the AP Calculus BC exam? **

AP Calculus BC was chosen by **120,238 students** in 2022 despite being a relatively challenging AP course as it is one of the popular AP courses of many selective institutions and universities.

Compared to other AP courses, AP Calculus is the 12^{th} hardest AP course. According to the data from 2.9k+ real student reviewers who actually took these AP exams., the top 11 hardest AP course with their difficulty rate is mentioned below:

S.NO | COURSE | DIFFICULTY RATE |

1 | AP Physics C: E&M | 8.1 |

2 | AP English Literature | 7.5 |

3 | AP Physics C: Mechanics | 7.4 |

4 | AP Chemistry | 7.3 |

5 | AP Physics 1 | 7.2 |

6 | AP Physics 2 | 6.5 |

7 | AP European History | 6.5 |

8 | AP Biology | 6.4 |

9 | AP Music Theory | 6.2 |

10 | AP World History | 6.1 |

11 | AP US History | 5.9 |

While these courses are considered to be more difficult than AP Calculus BC, it’s worth noting that they are also much less commonly taken. For example, only 19,978 students took the AP Physics C – E&M exam in 2022, compared to over 120,000 students who took the AP Calculus BC exam.

So, while AP Calculus BC is certainly a fairly challenging course, it’s also one of the most popular and widely recognized AP courses available.

**What is the AP Calculus BC exam pass rate?**

The pass rate of the AP Calculus BC exam is generally higher than other AP exams, but it varies each year. The exam is considered moderately challenging.

In 2022,** 76.9% of students scored a passing score of 3 or higher.** Compared to other AP exams, the AP Calculus BC exam has a higher pass rate, with a**verage pass rates across all AP exams being 60.2% in 2022**. The** mean score of AP Calculus BC, for 2022, was 3.6.**

Despite its moderate difficulty, the AP Calculus BC exam is popular, as evidenced by the over 120,000 students who took it in 2022.

Students interested in pursuing careers in mathematics, science, engineering, or other quantitative fields should consider taking the AP Calculus BC exam.

**When is the AP Calculus BC exam in 2023?**

The exam for AP Calculus BC has been scheduled for **Monday, May 8, 2023**.

AP exams are typically conducted in the month of May over a period of two weeks. The exams are held in centers designated by the College Board. To register for the AP Calculus BC exam, students must enroll in the corresponding AP course at their high school and then register for the exam through their AP coordinator.

**Tips for success in AP Calculus BC**

Here are some tips for success in AP Calculus BC:

**Master the basics:**Before diving into more complex topics, make sure you have a strong understanding of fundamental concepts such as algebra, trigonometry, and limits. Without a solid foundation, you may struggle with more advanced calculus topics.**Do your homework timely:**Complete all assigned homework problems and practice problems to solidify your understanding of the material. Don’t wait until the night before the exam to start practicing.**Online tutoring:**If you are struggling with AP Calculus BC exam preparation then going for an online AP Calculus BC can be very beneficial. Wiingy’s 100+**AP Calculus BC tutors**will help you in establishing a strong conceptual foundation and help you with dedicated AP Calculus BC practice tests. Book your free demo session today and get matched with your perfect tutor.**Practice, practice, and practice!:**Practice is key to success in AP Calculus BC. Work through as many practice problems as you can to prepare for the exam.**Familiarize yourself with the exam format:**Review the exam format, scoring guidelines, and sample questions. This will help you understand what to expect on exam day.**Understand the calculator policy:**Familiarize yourself with the calculator policy for the exam. Make sure you know how to use your calculator effectively and efficiently.

**Conclusion**

To summarize, the AP Calculus BC exam, despite being moderately challenging, remains popular with over 120,000 students taking it in 2022. In that year, 76.9% of students achieved a passing score of 3 or higher, surpassing the average pass rate for all AP exams. The mean score for AP Calculus BC in 2022 was 3.6. It is a sought-after AP course by many selective institutions and universities due to its popularity.

According to research on alumni, AP Calculus BC is considered moderately difficult, receiving a difficulty rating of 5.5 out of 10, slightly higher than the average rating for all AP courses. Among the 28 major AP classes, AP Calculus BC ranks as the 12th toughest. The percentage of students who passed the AP Calculus BC test in 2022 with a score of 3 or above was 76.9%, exceeding the rate for many other AP exams.

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**Frequently asked questions (FAQs)**

**Is AP Calculus BC harder than college calculus?**

It’s difficult to compare AP Calculus BC to college-level calculus because the level of difficulty can vary depending on the college and the specific course. In general, college calculus is more rigorous and goes into greater depth than AP Calculus BC. Additionally, college calculus courses often have more challenging problem sets and exams.

**What is AP Calculus BC equivalent to?**

AP Calculus BC is roughly equivalent to both first and second-semester college calculus courses. It covers topics such as limits, derivatives, integrals, differential equations, and applications of calculus. Students who successfully complete the course and exam may be able to receive college credit or placement into higher-level math courses.

**Is AP Calculus BC harder than AP Statistics?**

AP Statistics is typically viewed as easier than the AP Calculus BC exam. AP Calculus BC has a difficulty rating of 2.7 out of 10, a self-study rating of 2.7 out of 10, and a recommended rating of 3.1 out of 10. On the other hand, AP Statistics has a difficulty rating of 2.4 out of 10, a self-study rating of 2.4 out of 10, and a recommended rating of 2.7 out of 10. The course covers statistical analysis, probability, and data interpretation, which some students may find easier to understand than other math subjects like calculus or geometry. Many students may have already encountered some statistical concepts in previous math classes, making the content more familiar and manageable.

**Is AP Calculus BC worth taking?**

AP Calculus BC can be a worthwhile course for students who are interested in pursuing a career in mathematics, science, engineering, or other quantitative fields. The course covers a wide range of calculus topics and provides valuable skills and knowledge that can benefit students in their future academic and professional pursuits. Additionally, students who earn a passing score on the exam may be eligible for college credit or advanced placement in higher-level math courses.

**Do colleges prefer Calculus AB or BC?**

Many colleges prefer that students take either AP Calculus AB or BC, as these courses are considered rigorous and prepare students for college-level math. However, there is no clear preference between the two courses, as they both cover essential calculus topics and require a strong foundation in math. Ultimately, the decision to take either Calculus AB or BC should be based on the student’s interests and goals, as well as the requirements of the colleges to which they are applying.

**References**

- https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/ap-calculus-bc/
- https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/media/pdf/ap-calculus-ab-and-bc-course-and-exam-description.pdf
- https://ivytutorsnetwork.com/blog/how-hard-is-the-ap-calc-bc-exam
- https://examstudyexpert.com/is-ap-calculus-hard-easy/
- https://reports.collegeboard.org/media/pdf/2021-ap-student-score-distributions_1.pdf
- https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/media/pdf/ap-score-distributions-by-subject-2022.pdf
- https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/ap-calculus-bc/exam