Should I take AP Calculus AB Or BC?

Here's the deal: I'm currently a sophomore right now in Pre-calculus (which I find relatively easy and with high A's both semesters), but I can't decide if I should take AB or BC Calculus junior year. I have gotten A's in previous honors math classes (geometry and algebra 2) As for a career, I do want to do something with math or science, and I already have this schedule though:

US history

AP English Comp

AP Chemistry

AP Biology

Honors Spanish 7/8

AP Calculus AB OR BC?

Do you think it would be murder to take BC, since it goes really ( and i mean really) fast? And i have to consider the other hard AP classes. But my goal is to get into an ivy league, and I know Calc AB is really easy to get an A in (my brother got a C on the final and still ended up with an A-). But I don't know how hard BC, which is taught by another teacher.

1 Answer

  • A H
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You sound pretty advanced to be doing pre-calc in sophmore year! Congrats. I hope if you're in the US you're not passing up on opportunities to do thigs like the USAMO/ASHME/AIME contests. These are GREAT math contests, and require advanced non-calculus methods to solve. In fact, philosophically, I'd love it if our math system didn't teach calculus until college, and spent senior year studying other topics more in depth, like discrete math ('counting' problems, Pascal's triangle, and the like), number theory, and graph theory. Toss in a little bit of "advanced problem solving", and it woudl be a cool idea. But that's just me.

    As for your schedule, definitely no EZ classes other than a non-AP history. (I sucked at history, but loved English). I'd seriosly ask your college counsellor. If you take AP AB in junior year, what do you do senior year? Could you do BC with some "extra topics"? AB is a one semester college class spread over a full high school year...BC is two semesters spread over a year, so it goes at EXACTLY the same pace as college. BC is definitely doable, particularly if you work hard and are good at "getting" a math concept without having it repeated over and over again. (For example, did the first two or three chapters of pre-calc bore you because they went over old material that you knew? If so, BC is for you.)

    Definitely talk to your college counsellor / guidance counsellor, and your math teacher(s). You'll need BC Calc topics in physics, and in virtually any science major in college. I'd recommend taking BC definitely by the time you enter college. Don't know about junior year vs senior year tho'.

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