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The AP Calculus BC Exam

Important Updates

2016-17 AP Calculus Updates

This page has been updated to align with the AP Calculus updates taking effect in fall 2016.

AP Calculus BC Practice Exam

A full AP Calculus BC practice exam reflecting the 2016-17 updates, along with student responses and scoring commentaries, is now available from your AP Course Audit account.

Exam Overview

AP CALCULUS BC EXAM: 3 HOURS 15 MINUTES

The AP Calculus BC Exam questions measure students' understanding of the concepts of calculus, their ability to apply these concepts, and their ability to make connections among graphical, numerical, analytical, and verbal representations of mathematics.

Students need strong foundations in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and elementary functions to be prepared for the exam, though the course focuses on differential and integral calculus.

Students may not take both the Calculus AB and Calculus BC Exams within the same year. A Calculus AB sub-score is reported based on performance on the portion of the Calculus BC Exam devoted to Calculus AB topics.

The free-response section tests students' ability to solve problems using an extended chain of reasoning. During the second timed portion of the free-response section (Part B), students are permitted to continue work on problems in Part A, but they are not permitted to use a calculator during this time.

Format of Assessment

Section I: Multiple Choice | 45 Questions | 1 hour, 45 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Part A: 30 questions; 60 minutes (calculator not permitted)
  • Part B: 15 questions; 45 minutes (graphing calculator required)

Section II: Free Response | 6 Questions | 1 hour, 30 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Part A: 2 problems; 30 minutes (graphing calculator required)
  • Part B: 4 problems; 60 minutes (calculator not permitted)

Multiple-Choice Questions

For sample multiple-choice questions, refer to the Course and Exam Description and the AP Calculus Multiple-Choice Question Index. You can also access a full practice exam with student samples and scoring commentary reflecting the 2016-17 updates (as well as several older practice exams) by logging in to your AP Course Audit account.

An additional set of sample exam questions, originally published in the fall 2014 curriculum framework, is available in Sample Questions: AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC Exams (.pdf/3.26MB).

Past Exam Questions

The College Board provides free-response questions from past AP Calculus BC Exams. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Student Performance Q&A (Chief Reader's Report) for the May 2016 administrations and before.

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