**What is AP Calculus?**

AP Calculus is a college level course. Calculus is a branch of mathematics that deals with the rate of change of events, for example howdisplacement, velocity and acceleration of a particle change with respect to time. It involves the limits, the derivatives and integral of functions from the numerical, analytical, and graphical points of view. This course includes the content as delineated on the CollegeBoard course description,

http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2178.html

Is AP 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 to students that take a heavy load of courses or are involved in activities that keep them from devoting the time that AP Calculus requires.

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, take notes. Students who never had to study to get A's in math in the past, sometimes have difficulty with calculus, because they are not used to reading the book. You really do have to read the book in AP Calculus, and it takes a while to get used to reading a calculus book. It is very time consuming. Homework is also time consuming - it is not as quick as as it is for precalculus.

Here are some recommendations:

- Read each section of the book the day before it is taught.
- Do the homework exactly when it is assigned, not a day later.
- Keep up - do not fall behind. If you do NOT do 1. and 2., then you risk NOT getting the grade that you might be expecting.
- Form a study group, so that you can discuss calculus concepts with others. This really helps.
- Plan to spend at least 8 to 12 hours per week on homework and reviewing notes and studying for quizzes.
- Buy a calculus review workbook such as Barron's or Princeton
to get a perspective other then the textbook. The textbook is often
difficult to read, especially chapters 8, 9 and 10.
- See also: http://www.math.unl.edu/~shermiller2/calc/index.html