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Advanced Placement with Calc

  1. Apr 9, 2006 #1
    I'm a high school senior preparing for the AP Calculus AB exam. The school I am attending for college awards credit (placement) for both Calc 1 and 2, if I receive a score of a 5 on the exam, meaning I would begin taking multivariable calculus (i think tis thier equiv of calc 3 course).
    Otherwise if I get a 4 I will skip only calc 1 and begin with calc 2.
    My dilemma is that I don't really know if my calculus course AP Calc AB (i'm not in the BC class) is covering material from calc 2. Granted I would take some time to study it over the summer if I was able to skip it but do you think it would be beneficial to take calc 2, would I have to spend way too much time learning it myself anyways? or Could I get by beginning in multivariable calc.
    By the way Physics (Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathemetics) is my intended major
    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2006 #2
    I took calc III a year ago and only got a 4 on the AP exam. I got an A in the class with minor problems. I would say as long as you can develope some backups in the class (Study group or phone numbers) that you will be alright taking multi-variable.
  4. Apr 9, 2006 #3


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    Gold Member

    I remember our AB exam being nothing like what the calc II class was in our univeristy. You probably should check out the course catalog at the university and see what their calculus II course is about and compare it to what you hvae covered in your AB course
  5. Apr 9, 2006 #4


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    Science Advisor

    Isn't BC usually supposed to be the Calc II curriculum? I took the BC exam and got exempted from calc I and II. Maybe I could have used another calculus course but I don't regret it. Well, actually, I took a Statistics course that I didn't know was too advanced (really depended on Calc III) and that didn't go too well, so maybe I should have taken Calc II. But if I had taken Calc III and then taken the statistics course I probably would have had no problem.

    I've heard people say that Calc III doesn't depend all that much on Calc II.
  6. Apr 9, 2006 #5
    Yeah I thought BC was calculus 2. My calculus 2 class was almost completely different than my AB AP calculus class as well.

    Are you guys covering Series in your AP Calculus class?
  7. Apr 9, 2006 #6
    AB is supposed to be just what is considered as calculus 1 at most colleges and maybe a little more, it covers differentiation, integration and a few applications of integration but not enough that it should exempt you from taking Calc 2 because it does not cover series etc. The BC class covers everything that AB does as well as series, more applications of integration and polar and parametric coordinate systems, which is almost equal to the basic calc 1 and 2 curriculum at most schools, so I wouldn't recommend starting with multivariable calc even if you get a 5 on the AB test because you will need several things that you should have learned in calc 2 to be successful.
  8. Apr 9, 2006 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Also, they probably have course syllabi on line, and maybe even lecture notes, sample problems, etc. Those are more likely to reflect what's actually covered in class. Course descriptions in catalogs sometimes get out of date, or are purposely vague, especially with multi-course sequences where topics sometimes get moved from one course to another.
  9. Apr 9, 2006 #8
    i dont recommand people to take anything beyond series with only AB test knowledge. In my school, this is the same as dont take cal3 if you just pass AB test, even you make a 5
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