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How Long Should You Study for The AP Calculus AB Exam and other FAQs

Studying and preparing for the AP calculus exam requires a different investment of time for each student, dependent on their capacity for learning and their personal goals. Keep in mind that every student has their unique learning pace and goals, leading to varying amounts of time needed to prepare for the AP Calculus exam. Therefore, our calculations below should only be considered rough estimates. To truly get a personalized and accurate study plan, consider seeking out the help of an expert Calculus tutor who can tailor a plan based on your specific needs and learning style.

However, with that in mind, there is a widely accepted principle in college courses that for every hour spent in class, you should spend 2-3 hours studying and reviewing.

For example, getting a 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam is the equivalent of passing Math 31A – Differential and Integral Calculus at universities like UCLA. Math 31A is a course consisting of 40 hours of classes spread over 10 weeks. Based on this principle, you may need to allocate anywhere from 80 to 120 hours of studying. This includes reviewing class material, practicing problems, and more in-depth study.

While this may seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that college students typically only take 3-4 classes a quarter, giving them more time to focus on each individual class. If you’re a High School student, your AP Calculus class will likely be spread over 25 weeks. In this case, dividing 80-120 hours of study over 25 weeks would mean you would need to study 3 to 4 hours each week. With the right approach and resources, passing the AP Calculus exam is achievable.

How long should I study for a college-level calculus exam?

Maximizing your potential for success in AP Calculus AB, or any college-level course for that matter requires a dedicated and consistent effort outside of the classroom. Keep in mind that studying can be a difficult and time-consuming task. It is important to plan ahead and make sure you have enough time to review the material and practice any problems that might appear on the test.

Generally, it is recommended that students spend two to three hours studying for every hour of class time, as we mentioned before. This means that if you had a one-hour class once a week, you should study for two to three hours outside of class each week in order to stay on top of the material. If your calculus class meets multiple times per week then you may want to increase the amount of time spent studying each day. 

But, this is just a guideline, and it’s up to each student to determine what works best for them. Keep in mind that studying for college classes, including calculus, is a highly individualized process. Some students may only need a few hours per week, while others may need more time. 

It’s also crucial to begin studying well in advance, allowing yourself ample time to review all of the material before the exam. This can help ensure your success in college.

Setting A Baseline: The Pre-Studying Practice Test

Setting a baseline is an important step when preparing for a calculus exam. Before starting your study schedule, it is important to take the time to take a practice test and see where you are in terms of knowledge and understanding of the material.  This way, when you sit down to prepare for the exam in May, you know exactly what areas you need to focus on and how much time you need to dedicate to each section of the exam.

The multiple-choice section of the exam will be one of your primary focuses since this is one area that can be easily prepared for. You will also want to make sure that you understand any calculator functions that may be used on the actual exam day, so use a calculator during your practice tests so that you are comfortable with it when it comes time to take the actual exam.

Setting a baseline before studying for the exam will help ensure that you are as prepared as possible come exam day.

Is it possible to study calculus in a week?

As we mentioned previously, acing the AP Calculus exam requires roughly 80-120 hours of studying. Spreading that out in just a week might not be feasible for some, as dedicating 11 to 17 hours a day to studying for a week can have negative impacts on both physical and mental health. 

However, if you don’t have much time left until the exam, then start studying early and create a comprehensive study plan to make the most of your time.

  • Break down the material into manageable chunks and focus on one concept at a time.
  • Understand the fundamentals before attempting more complex topics.
  • Incorporate practice problems into your study plan.
  • Take frequent breaks and get plenty of rest.

With hard work and focus, it is possible to learn calculus in a week, though it is not recommended.

How do I study for the calculus exam?

Studying for a calculus exam can be daunting, but there are some key steps that can help you be successful.

  • First, it is important to review any notes or textbook chapters related to the topics that will be on the test. 
  • Then, practice problems are essential; this helps you understand how to solve the types of questions that will appear on the exam. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get started working on practice exams as early as possible.
  • Additionally, working with a study group can help you better understand difficult concepts and motivate you to stay on top of your work.
  • Furthermore, make sure to give yourself plenty of time before the test so that you can ask questions and review material as needed.
  • Finally, to help you maximize your time, consider hiring a Math Tutor to help you identify and overcome your weaknesses, and achieve your target score on the exam.

Following these steps will ensure success when studying for a calculus exam.

Is it hard to get an A in AP calculus?

Getting an A in AP calculus can be a difficult challenge. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to understand the complex concepts presented in the course. With its focus on problem-solving and application of knowledge, it is not uncommon for students to struggle with mastering the material.

To achieve an A, it is important that students come prepared with a good understanding of basic calculus principles as well as strong problem-solving skills.

It is also recommended that students use resources such as online tutorials or tutoring services to help them better understand the material and practice their problem-solving skills. We aren’t biased at all in saying our tutors are the best in the industry (ok maybe a little biased), but check out our incredible 5-star reviews!

With adequate preparation, hard work, and dedication, getting an A in AP calculus is definitely achievable.

Is it hard to get a 5 on AP calculus?

Although getting a 5 on the AP Calculus exam is not an easy feat, it is definitely achievable with enough hard work and dedication. The course requires in-depth knowledge of calculus concepts and principles, as well as strong problem-solving skills to solve complex equations. Thus, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the material in order to be successful in the course.

Additionally, it is important to keep up-to-date with the material being taught and dedicate enough time to practice problems so as to master the content. Although the exam may seem daunting at first, remember that dedication and hard work always pay off in the end! If you are willing to put in the time and effort required, you can definitely achieve success by getting a 5 on AP Calculus.

What percent is a 5 on AP Calculus?

A five on the AP Calculus exam is an outstanding score. The percentage associated with a five is 93%. This grade shows that the student has a strong understanding of Calculus and can apply its concepts to solve complex problems. In order to achieve a five, a student must answer all multiple-choice questions correctly and also demonstrate a deep understanding of the free-response questions. Achieving this high score requires dedication and hard work, as well as an understanding of the fundamentals of Calculus. It’s important to remember that achieving a 93% on the AP Calculus exam isn’t easy and should be celebrated!

What Topics Does the AP Calculus AB Exam Cover?

 The AP Calculus AB Exam covers the fundamentals of calculus, which includes the study of the rate of change and time. It is a college-level course that comprises theorems and principles related to derivatives and integrals. The exam also evaluates one’s knowledge of how to differentiate, integrate, and interpret the value of a function using mathematical models. The topics covered in the AP Calculus AB Exam include limits, derivatives, integrals, applications of derivatives and integrals, infinite series, parametric equations, and polar coordinates. Other topics like vectors and vector functions are also included in this exam. Additionally, students should be able to understand the concepts behind differential equations and use them for problem-solving. This exam is designed to evaluate how well students have learned the material from their AP Calculus AB course, which is the equivalent of Differential and Integral calculus.

How to Study for AP Calculus and Ace the Exam

These are some of the best study tips we give our students looking to ace the AP Calculus Exam:

1. Review the Core Concepts

Before you start studying for the exam, it’s crucial to review the core concepts of Calculus. These include limits, derivatives, integrals, and their applications. Make sure you understand the definitions, formulas, and key theorems. Create flashcards or summaries to help you memorize the material.

2. Practice Problems

Practice makes perfect. Regularly solving problems is the best way to reinforce your understanding of the material and identify areas where you need to improve. Try to work through a variety of problems, including those that are similar to those that may appear on the AP Calculus exam.

3. Use Study Guides and Practice Exams

There are many study guides and practice exams available online and in print. These resources can provide a comprehensive overview of the material covered on the AP Calculus exam, as well as give you a feel for the format and style of the questions. Take advantage of these resources and use them to assess your understanding of the material and identify areas where you need to improve.

4. Form a Study Group

Studying with others can be an excellent way to reinforce your understanding of the material and collaborate on problem-solving strategies. Form a study group with classmates or find an online group of students who are also preparing for the AP Calculus exam. Regularly meeting to review the material and work through practice problems can help keep you motivated and on track.

5. Seek Help When Needed

If you’re struggling with a particular concept or problem, don’t hesitate to seek help. Ask your teacher, tutor, or someone in your study group for assistance. They may be able to provide additional resources or offer different perspectives that can help you understand the material better.

6. Develop a Study Schedule

Finally, it’s essential to have a study schedule in place to keep you on track. Plan to study regularly, dedicating specific blocks of time each day or each week to reviewing the material and working through practice problems. Make sure to allow time for breaks and don’t burn out by studying too much at once.


With a solid understanding of the material, consistent practice, and a well-structured study plan, you can maximize your chances of success on the AP Calculus exam. Use these strategies to help you prepare effectively and ace the test. Good luck!

Looking for AP Calculus tutoring?

If you are looking for AP Calculus tutoring, there are several options to consider. Firstly, you can reach out to us, we have some of the top tutors in the industry that specialize in AP Calculus. It is often worth the extra cost to get specialized help with this challenging subject.

There are also online resources available, such as websites and forums that have tutorials and practice questions related to AP Calculus topics.

Lastly, there are many books available on the subject matter that can be used for self-study purposes. No matter which route you take, it is important to find a tutor or resource that best fits your learning style and needs. With the right help, you will be well on your way to mastering AP Calculus!

If you’re ready to take us up on our satisfaction guarantee, try an hour with us, if you don’t think our tutors are the best at answering your questions and building up your confidence in Calc, we will refund your money!

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