So I just finished my CALC 2 class with the highest marks in the class and I wanted to put together a “guide” on how to study for calculus. It doesn’t matter if you are taking AP Calculus or Calculus in college, this guide should be a general overview but I will mention some specifics to AP Calc. *Picture from my Calculus lecture.
Buy the AP CALC review books. Regardless of whether you are in college calculus or actually in AP Calculus, the review books are great in condensing materials and having good examples.
Create your own cheat sheet. Every time you learn a new formula or theorem, write it down in a cheat sheet. This forces you to recall the information constantly.
Know your common derivatives and common integrals like the back of your hand.
Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, Part I & II? Yeah, it’s fundamental. Need to know that.
Common limits? Yep, that too.
Know your pre-calc and algebra by heart. The hardest thing about calculus is not the formulas and theorems, but recalling past materials to solve a problem. If you could easily recognize trigonometric identities, you would be well set for the class.
Know what trig graphs look like and what they approach, etc.
Learn how to do the math without a calculator. Some professors don’t let you use calculators on the tests and when you are become too dependent on the calculator, you tend to forget how to do simple addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. Also, there is a non-calculator portion to the AP Calculus Exam, so don’t make your calculator your crutch.
Practice every day + do your homework. A little practice everyday goes a long way and doing your homework (even if it doesn’t count as a grade) can be a drastic way of improving your grades because chances are, your teacher knows you probably aren’t going to do the homework and will have test questions very similar to the homework questions.
Show all your work. Write all the steps out. If you make a mistake mentally, your whole answer will be wrong. To decrease the chances of loosing points for careless errors, label everything, even if it tedious. Also, work shown can count towards partial credit on tests.
Practice the problems from your textbook + problems outside your textbook.
Understand and review old tests. When you get your tests back, redo the whole test on another sheet of paper. Try to understand where you went wrong. Was it a simple math calculation error? Did you do the derivative wrong? Was the theorem wrong? Did you forget a step like checking for conditions to apply L’hopitals Rule or Alternating Series Test for Convergence? Whatever it is, go through the entire test (yes, even the ones you got right) and re-do it.
Ask for help when you don’t understand something. Solving tough calculus problems are easier when working with a group on a white board because you get a fresh set of eyes and a new mindset/approach to a problem. If you cannot tackle a problem, regardless of how many ways you have tried, it’s best to ask someone who already knows how to do it.
Resources for AP CALC
Buy review books. Honestly, this is self-explanatory. I usually would go with a Barron review book, but hey, what ever works with you.
Do the previously released AP Calc exams. If you are a BC student, do the release exams for both AB and BC for more practice.
In my chemistry class, one of my feet got caught between my other foot and my backpack (it rolls), and I tripped and hit the chemistry door dead on with my shoulder. All of a sudden, I can’t move my shoulder, and it clicks and grinds every time I try to. But it didn’t hurt that badly, so I went to my last hour class. We were reviewing for AP testing, and my friends thought my shoulder being unable to move was more important, and they wanted me to go call my mom. I didn’t, because I’m stubborn.
So, when I get picked up, my mom tells me she’s going to take me to the chiropractor (stuff like this happens a lot), and lo and behold: the chiropractor tells me I dislocated my shoulder on the door. So I have to walk into AP testing the next day and tell my friends and 144 other students the story and publicly admit my friends were correct and I’m an idiot.
Mr. Townson, the wonderful APUSH god who has a history of 100% pass rates, has given the gospel of APUSH to his people. Here are Townson’s top 30 things that will certainly be on the test (some of these are more than one thing, but they’re related topics), followed by his top picks for what the essays will be.
Spanish, French, English Exploration and Settlement
Half-Way Covenant & First Great Awakening
Proclamation of 1763
Articles of Confederation & Shay’s Rebellion
Compromises in the Constitution
Washington’s Farewell Address
Alexander Hamilton’s Financial Plan
Marbury vs. Madison
William Lloyd Garrison
Compromise of 1850
The Gilded Age
The Lost Generation
The New Deal & Court Packing
The Cold War
Conformity in the 1950s and Levittown, NJ
Civil Rights Leaders
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Camp David Accords
Townson’s Top Essay Picks
Early America (pre-American Revolution)
Exam tip: every year there is a question about African Americans or women.
There is 1 DBQ. Everyone does the same one of that.
There are 4 choices for the FRQs. You write 2. You must write an essay from the first category, which is pre-1900, and you must write an essay from the second category, which will be from the 1900s or later.
It is YOUR job to research and know these topics, their related facts, and their implications. I’m not going to do that for you. It won’t help you in the long run. Study well, study strong. I’m probably going to keep posting a bunch of review questions on here. Look them over, but in general, STAY OFF OF TUMBLR! You should be studying.
It’s never too early to start studying for AP’s! Here’s a list of all the classes we have taken or will be taking this year. These are credible resources and we hope they help you as much as they helped us. Good luck! (an asterisk* is used to indicate purchase is necessary)
Keith Ape - It G Ma (Remix ft. Waka Flocka Flame, Father, Dumbfoundead)
The hit that came as a flattering copy of Maco’s “U Guessed It” has now been graced with new verses. The remix includes Atlanta’s Waka and Father as well as A$AP Ferg and Korean-American comedian Dumbfoundead to make it more approachable for the American audience, which it did not necessarily need as the message translated pretty well: it’s a turn up anthem.
20160430 1:08am • 29/100
I DID IT GUYS I FULLY ANNOTATED AND REVISED MY APWH REVIEW BOOK IN LESS THAN ONE WEEK ㅠㅇㅠ
((granted, I had already studied/highlighted most of it throughout the term as a supplement))
Nonetheless, feeling pretty confident about our practice exam tomorrow morning!