## Introduction to AP Calculus AB. click __here__ to download your syllabus.

What is Calculus?

AP Calculus AB is a college level course. Calculus is a branch of mathematics that deals with the rate of change of events, for example how position, velocity and acceleration of a particle changes with respect to time. It involves the limits, the derivatives and integrals of functions from the numerical, analytical, and graphical perspectives. This course consists of content as delineated on the CollegeBoard course description, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-calculus-course-description.pdf

Is Calculus really as difficult as people say?

It is sometimes difficult to students that do not possess the study habits and the commitment that it takes to learn and apply calculus. Also, it is sometimes difficult for students that take a heavy load of courses and/or are involved in school activities that keep them from devoting the time that AP Calculus requires. Calculus is very time consuming and it's much more rigorous than precalculus.

What does it take to be successful in this class?

Students need to be very committed from the start. They need to spend on the average 1 to 1.5 hours per night consistently doing homework and reading the textbook. Do not fall behind. They need to pay close attention in class, participate, and take notes. Students who did not have to study hard to get A's in previous math classes, often have difficulty with calculus, because they are not used to reading the textbook. You really do have to read the book in AP Calculus, and it takes a few weeks to get used to it. AP Calculus is very time consuming. You should not assume that because you were able to get an A without much effort in precalculus, that you can do the same in calculus. Most students that maintain this mindset end up with a grade lower than an A. For the first time in their life they do not get an A. They get very disappointed.

Here are some recommendations for success.

AP Calculus AB is a college level course. Calculus is a branch of mathematics that deals with the rate of change of events, for example how position, velocity and acceleration of a particle changes with respect to time. It involves the limits, the derivatives and integrals of functions from the numerical, analytical, and graphical perspectives. This course consists of content as delineated on the CollegeBoard course description, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-calculus-course-description.pdf

Is Calculus really as difficult as people say?

It is sometimes difficult to students that do not possess the study habits and the commitment that it takes to learn and apply calculus. Also, it is sometimes difficult for students that take a heavy load of courses and/or are involved in school activities that keep them from devoting the time that AP Calculus requires. Calculus is very time consuming and it's much more rigorous than precalculus.

What does it take to be successful in this class?

Students need to be very committed from the start. They need to spend on the average 1 to 1.5 hours per night consistently doing homework and reading the textbook. Do not fall behind. They need to pay close attention in class, participate, and take notes. Students who did not have to study hard to get A's in previous math classes, often have difficulty with calculus, because they are not used to reading the textbook. You really do have to read the book in AP Calculus, and it takes a few weeks to get used to it. AP Calculus is very time consuming. You should not assume that because you were able to get an A without much effort in precalculus, that you can do the same in calculus. Most students that maintain this mindset end up with a grade lower than an A. For the first time in their life they do not get an A. They get very disappointed.

Here are some recommendations for success.

- Read each section of the book the day before it is taught in class, even if you do not understand it.
- Do the homework exactly when it is assigned not a day later (If you have to copy it from your friend to turn it in on time, then get ready for failure).
- Keep up - do not fall behind. If you do NOT do #1 and #2 above, then you run the risk of not getting a low grade.
- Form a study group, so that you can discuss calculus concepts with others. This really helps some students.
- Plan to spend at least 7 to 10 hours per week doing homework, reviewing class notes, reading the book, and studying for quizzes.
- Buy or borrow a workbook such as Barron's or Princeton. This workbook will provide another perspective on the content. The textbook is sometimes too brief and difficult to understand. The book does not respond to your questions, you need to bring them to class. Ask questions in class, since most likely other students in your class have the same questions. Other students may sound or look smarter than you, but that is just an illusion. If they seem smarter, it is because they are studying harder than you are.
- See also: http://www.math.unl.edu/~shermiller2/calc/index.html