Push for BC Calculus if you're fairly certain you want to pursue engineering, natural sciences, or pre-medicine studies in college. Taking both also usually won't help your college applications because it will look like you needed two years to learn calculus instead of one. A Comprehensive Guide. Taking Calculus BC shows motivation and drive when it comes to math, and you'll need strong math skills as an engineering or science major. If you're going to study the humanities/social sciences, AB Calculus is likely to be plenty to meet your future college's basic math requirement. If you want to study science or engineering, it likely will be. Calculus BC will cover most of the important fundamentals from Calculus AB but at a more rapid pace. See our guide for passing the qualifying tests—the AMC 10 and the AMC 12. We'll tell you the topics and discuss the benefits of each option below. All rights reserved. Often, some of the best math teachers at a school teach the AP courses. This is helpful for future engineering and natural science majors since you can jump into required math courses sooner. The major difference between Calculus AB and BC is scope rather than difficulty. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? Many schools have summer assignments for AP Calculus, since there is a lot of material to cover during the year. Get the latest articles and test prep tips! The College Entrance Examination BoardTM does not endorse, nor is it affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site. PrepScholar: Should I Take AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC. ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score, How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League, Is the ACT easier than the SAT? If you have to give up an extracurricular you're very involved in, a language course, or another AP class, you'll have to decide if taking BC Calculus is worth it for you. Everything from the Calculus AB exam is also covered on the Calculus BC exam. Jumping to AP Calculus BC gives you a chance to really challenge yourself as a high school student. BC Calculus will allow you to challenge yourself with a fast-moving, college-level math course, which will give you the skills you will need for engineering and science classes. Try not to overload your schedule, especially if you’re already planning on taking one or more courses that may require extra study sessions outside of school. While math 1a is a single semester course, math 1b is a year long course. BC Calculus is more likely to have a longer assignment. Get Free Guides to Boost Your SAT/ACT Score, University of Michigan College of Engineering, you would get placed in the same math course. If AP exam practice isn't part of the course, that can be a red flag. Or give you less flexibility in other parts of your schedule? However, be careful. CollegeBoard AP Central: AP Calculus AB Frequently Asked Questions. It includes the topics covered in Calculus AB as well as parametric functions, polar functions, vector functions and analysis of series. Precalculus is the main prerequisite for both Calculus AB and Calculus BC. For example, at my alma mater Stanford, if you had a 5 on AB Calculus, you would get placed in the same math course as students who had gotten a 4 or 5 on BC Calculus. But it's also possible that less effective teachers end up in those classes, especially if more students than expected sign up for AP Calculus. You're less likely to be overwhelmed and burn out in AB Calculus, as well. The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points, How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer, Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests. On the other hand, the syllabus of calculus BC relates with the course of math 1b. You will still get a calculus background that'll set you up for college math. You can also make room for AP Statistics, Economics, or Computer Science in your senior year. Say you've taken or are currently taking Pre-Calculus.