AP Calculus Resources

So, soon time to start another year – both for you and for me. In my over 200 posts to this blog I’ve discussed a lot of calculus topics in hopes that it may help some of my readers teach or learn about calculus. The problem is that I’ve sort of run out of topics and ideas. Nevertheless, I will write more. I would like your ideas, suggestions, and questions about calculus and teaching calculus. You may email me at lnmcmullin@aol.com. Thanks.

My plans for this year are to point you to some of my previous posts. Each week, to stay ahead of you, I will list links to previous posts that you may find helpful in the next week or two.

This post lists links to resources that AP Calculus teachers should have handy for reference during the year.

  • The Course and Exam Description  This is the official course description from the College Board. The individual list of topics that are tested on the exams (the Concept Outline) begins on page 11 and are listed in the Essential Knowledge (EK) column along with its Big Idea (BI), and Learning Outcome (LO) . Also, you will find the Mathematical Practices (MPACs) starting on page 8. These apply to all the topics. I have posts on each separately: see Mathematical Practices,  MPAC 1, MPAC 2, MPAC 3, MPAC 4, MPAC 5, and MPAC 6. Also, you will find a list of Instructional Approaches that outlines various ideas for use in your classes – and not just your calculus classes. The book also contains sample free-response and multiple-choice questions that show how the MPACs and Essential Knowledge item are related to each question.


  • To help you organize all this see my post on Getting Organized using Trello boards. A board listing all the Essential Knowledge and MPAC items are included.


  • Another good reference is MC unsecure Index by topic 1998 to 2018. This lists ALL the free-response questions from 1998 to the present (2016). This is an Excel spreadsheet. Each question is referenced to its Key Idea, LO and EK and includes a direct link to the text of the question. Click on the drop-down arrow at the top of each column and choose questions exactly on the EK you want to see. Ted plans to update this after the new multiple-choice questions are released. I will let you know when and where it is available. Thank you again, Ted!  Updated to include the 2017 FRQs. (August 2, 2017)


  • I have an index of a different sort. It lists the ten Type Problems and which question, multiple-choice and free-response, that are of each type. You can find it here. This will be updated when the 2017 exams become available.


  • The College Board has “home pages” for each course with links and other good information. AB Home Page and BC Home Page.


  • Past free-response questions that have been released along with commentary, actual student samples, and data can be found at AB FRQ on AP Central and here BC FRQ on AP Central. Be aware that these are available to anyone including your students.


  • Multiple-choice questions from actual exams are also available. The 2012 exam in the blue box on the course home pages (see above). This is open to anyone including students. More recent exams can be found at your audit website under “secure document” on the lower left side. This must be kept confidential because teachers use them for practice exams – they may not be posted on-line, on your school website or elsewhere, or even allowed out of your classroom on paper. Unfortunately, some teachers have not obeyed these rules and the exams can be found online by students with very little effort. Be aware that your students may have access to them. For my suggestion on how to handle that see A Modest Proposal.


  • Finally, if you are not already a member, I suggest you join the AP Calculus Community. A of the end of July, we have 15,210 members all interested in AP Calculus. The community has an active bulletin board where you can ask and answer questions about the courses. Teachers and the College Board also post resources for you to use. College Board official announcements are also posted here. I am the moderator of the community and I hope to see you there!

Have a great year!




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