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Frequently asked questions

  • Are this year’s AP exams different because of the current COVID-19 pandemic?

    Currently, CollegeBoard is planning a traditional, in-person AP exam administration for May 2021. If circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic do not allow for in-person testing, an alternate solution will be found (likely involving online testing).

  • Is AP Calculus hard?

    AP Calculus AB and BC are considered challenging, so it is best if you have a solid math background before taking these courses and exams.

  • What is the difference between AB and BC Calculus? Which is harder?

    All of the concepts covered on the AP Calculus AB exam are on the AP Calculus BC exam, too. In addition, the AP Calculus BC exam covers series.

  • How long is the AP Calculus AB exam?

    The AP Calculus AB exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. Section I counts for 50% of the total score and lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes:

    • Section I, Part A: 30 multiple-choice questions, 60 minutes, calculator not permitted
    • Section I, Part B: 15 multiple-choice questions, 45 minutes, graphing calculator required

    Section II counts for 50% of the total score and is for 1 hour and 30 minutes long:

    • Section II, Part A: 2 free-response questions, 30 minutes, graphing calculator required
    • Section II, Part B: 4 free-response questions, 60 minutes, calculator not permitted

    The AP Calculus BC exam is also 3 hours and 15 minutes long, and follows the same above structure.

  • What is AP Calculus?

    AP Calculus AB is organized around limits, derivatives, integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. AP Calculus BC includes series as well as limits, derivatives, integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

  • What happened last year to the APs?

    In May 2020, since most schools were closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic AP exams were administered online. The exams were 45 minutes long and had only free-response questions. CollegeBoard is not currently planning to repeat this in May 2021. They anticipate a traditional, in-person exam administration this spring.