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  • Writer's pictureJuliana Maddox

Helping You "Calculus" Your Course Selection

AP Calculus is not just one class, but two, that are available to Columbus High Juniors and Seniors at various levels of Calculus proficiency that also offers college credit.

Columbus High School offers two forms of AP Calculus for students known as AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC.

Though the classes may sound similar, they offer two different levels of Calculus when compared to college credits. AP Calculus AB is equivalent to Calculus 1 at most colleges, while AP Calculus BC is equivalent to Calculus 1 and 2 for most colleges.

According to the AP website, AP Calculus AB covers "the concepts, methods, and applications of differential and integral calculus."

AP Calculus AB covers 8 total units and has an exam at the end of the course with multiple-choice and free-response questions with some no-calculator sections.

According to the AP website, AP Calculus BC covers the same topics as AP Calculus AB, plus "topics such as parametric, polar, and vector functions, and series."

AP Calculus BC covers the 8 units in Calculus AB plus 2 more units and has an exam with multiple-choice and free-response questions.

To be able to take AP Calculus AB and BC, students must have taken and passed Algebra 2 and Accelerated Pre-Calculus.

AP Calculus teacher, Ms. Storie Atkins, recommends that "any student who will need calculus for their intended college major" should take advantage of AP Calculus while attending CHS.

Calculus is only needed for certain majors in college such as engineering, business, and medicine, says Atkins. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in any of those fields, AP Calculus may be the course for you.

Deciding between AP Calculus AB and BC can also be a struggle for some students. Ms. Atkins recommends that deciding between AB and BC should be dependent on how much you may need for your major.

"If that major requires only one course of calculus, AB is a good fit," says Atkins. While if you may need 2 or 3 courses of calculus for your major, then AP Calculus BC may be better.

"I really enjoy AP Calculus AB," says Julia Gogas, Columbus High Senior, "and it's the one that brought back my love for math."

Gogas says that though the class may be a little tricky, the class dynamic makes it easy to ask questions and keep up.

AP Calculus is the perfect course for those who may need the credit for their major, and who enjoy a more advanced and fast-paced class.


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