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About what percentage? [AP Calculus exam]

  1. Jan 3, 2014 #1
    About what percentage do you need to score a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam this May?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2014 #2
    There isn't really a "percentage" with AP testing. You don't have to meet a threshold. You just have to score in the top 5% (correct me if I'm wrong?) in the nation. It's graded on a bell curve, not a rigid plot. And don't try to find your bottom limit, man. Just shoot for the 100%. Just know that you've got some firm competition right here. :)
  4. Jan 7, 2014 #3
    Historically, roughly the top 50% of students get a 5 on the BC exam. I believe this corresponds to getting about 60% to 70% of the questions correct...ask your AP teacher, because he probably has some official sample tests which include the actual grading scales. These numbers vary from year to year, of course.

    This makes Calculus BC one of the most generously graded AP exams, right behind AP Chinese Language and Culture, where more than 70% of students get a 5 (Wikipedia: "Many native Chinese speakers take the exam, leading to an overwhelming majority obtaining the maximum score."). I figure this sort of self selection might also explain the BC distribution, and the distributions of other (relatively) highly specialized or difficult tests, as well...in general, there seems to be an inverse correlation between number of test takers and average score. Compare, for example, with Calculus AB (top 25% get a 5), Physics B (15%), US History (10%).

    You can get all these stats and others from the College Board, but Wikipedia conveniently displays the scores, and sometimes the number of students.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  5. Jan 7, 2014 #4
    Don't quote me, but about 60-70/108.
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