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AP Calculus Updates: Key Changes

Key Change 1

A curriculum framework has replaced the topic outlines. The framework follows an Understanding by Design® structure, makes essential mathematical practices explicit, and directly aligns course content with demonstrable learning objectives.

  • At the core of the curriculum framework are the six Mathematical Practices for AP Calculus (MPACs), which explicitly articulate the lines of reasoning required for success in the AP Calculus courses. Each concept and topic that will be addressed in the updated courses can be linked to one or more of the MPACs.
  • The curriculum framework contains a concept outline, which presents the subject matter of the updated courses in a table format.
  • There are four components to the concept outline:
    1. Four big ideas correspond to foundational concepts of calculus: limits, derivatives, integrals, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and (for AP Calculus BC) series.
    2. Within each big idea are enduring understandings. These are the long-term takeaways that a student will need to have after exploring the content and skills. These understandings are expressed as generalizations that specify what a student will understand about the key concepts in each course. Enduring understandings are labeled to correspond with the appropriate big idea.
    3. Linked to each enduring understanding are the corresponding learning objectives, which convey what a student will need to be able to do in order to develop the enduring understandings. The learning objectives serve as the focus of the updated AP Exams. Learning objectives are labeled to correspond with the appropriate big idea and enduring understanding.
    4. Essential knowledge statements describe the facts and basic concepts that a student will need to know and be able to recall in order to demonstrate mastery of each learning objective. Essential knowledge statements are labeled to correspond with the appropriate big idea, enduring understanding, and learning objective.

Key Change 2

No topics have been removed from the existing AP Calculus program, and several topics have been added.

Key Change 3

The AP Calculus Exams continue to share the same format, but the distribution of questions and relative timing of the multiple-choice section of each exam has been adjusted, based on feedback from teachers and administrators. Go to the AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC exam information pages to see the updated exam format.

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