AP Calculus AB

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About the Exam

Important Update

2021 AP Calculus AB Exams will be offered on paper in early May and late May, and as a digital exam in early June. Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Calculus AB Exam will be full length and measure the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description (CED).

The paper exams will follow the typical multiple-choice and free-response format given in the CED. The digital exam will take the same amount of time as the paper exam, but the free-response questions will be adapted to include responses and explanations that can be easily typed with a computer keyboard, and will not require you to type mathematical symbols, to draw, or to create graphs. The digital exam app will include any symbols you would need to type your responses. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted. 

On the paper exam, calculators are not allowed in Section I Part A and Section II Part B, per the AP Exam Calculator Policy. On the digital exam, calculators will be permitted on all sections.

You will be able to practice answering multiple-choice questions as well as these adapted free-response questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April. The best practice for the digital version of the 2021 AP Calculus AB Exam questions remains the existing multiple-choice and free-response questions. Students who can respond to all parts of the existing free-response questions will be able to provide the short explanations required within the digital versions of the AP Calculus Exams.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Calculus AB only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

The AP Calculus AB Exam will test your understanding of the mathematical concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to determine the proper formulas and procedures to use to solve problems and communicate your work with the correct notations. A graphing calculator is permitted for parts of the exam. Note: You may not take both AP Calculus AB and Calculus BC Exams within the same year.

Exam Duration
3hrs 15mins

Exam Dates

  • Tue, May 4, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Calculus AB Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP Calculus AB Exam.

  • Mon, May 24, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Calculus AB Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP Calculus AB Exam.

  • Wed, Jun 9, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Calculus AB Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP Calculus AB Exam.

Exam Components

Note on 2021 Exams 

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Calculus AB only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

The AP Calculus AB digital exam will include: 

  • The same number of multiple-choice questions as the paper exam.
  • Six adapted free-response questions, the same number as on the paper exam. 

Free-response questions will consist of familiar tasks that could appear on a traditional AP Exam, but will be answerable with a regular computer keyboard. The digital exam app will include any symbols you would need to type your responses. All responses must be typed directly into the exam app, but you won’t need to type complex mathematical expressions, draw, or create graphs. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

In Section I Part A and Section II Part B (where calculators aren’t allowed on the paper exam), calculators will be permitted on the digital exam. You will be able to practice answering multiple-choice questions as well as these adapted free-response questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April.

45 questions 1hr 45mins 50% of Score

  • Part A: Graphing calculator not permitted on paper and pencil exam (33.3% of score)
  • Part B: Graphing calculator required for some questions (16.7% of score) 
  • Questions include algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and general types of functions.
  • Questions include analytical, graphical, tabular, and verbal types of representations.

6 questions 1hr 30mins 50% of Score

  • Part A: 2 problems | Graphing calculator required (16.7% of score) 
  • Part B: 4 problems | Graphing calculator not permitted on paper and pencil exam (33.3% of score)
  • Questions include various types of functions and function representations and a roughly equal mix of procedural and conceptual tasks.
  • Questions include at least 2 questions that incorporate a real-world context or scenario into the question.

Exam Preparation

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