AP Calculus BC

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About the Exam

Important Update

Updated April 8 You can now download the digital testing application and take digital practice to prepare for the testing experience. See below for more information on digital practice and taking the digital exam.

2021 AP Calculus BC 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 BC 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 1 Part A and Section 2 Part B, per the AP Exam Calculator Policy. On the digital exam, calculators will be allowed on all sections of the exam.

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 BC only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.


As the exam approaches, take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

Exam Overview
The AP Calculus BC 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

Digital Practice and Testing Information

Updated April 8

Digital Practice Now Available

Starting April 8, you can try out the test-day experience, by answering example questions in the digital testing application. See the Digital Practice page for general information about practice options.

AP Calculus BC students will have two options to answer example questions in the digital testing application. Both provide approximately the same time limit per question as the full exam.

  • Digital Practice has shortened sections, as follows:
    • Multiple choice, calculator not required: 10 questions, 20 minutes
    • Multiple choice, graphing calculator required: 4 questions, 12 minutes
    • Free response, graphing calculator required: 2 questions, 30 minutes
    • Free response, calculator not required: 1 question, 15 minutes
  • The App Demo is an even shorter subset of the questions in Digital Practice–5 multiple-choice questions, a 2-minute break, and 1 free-response question.

We highly recommend you take the Digital Practice, and strongly advise that if you can’t take the Digital Practice, at least take the App Demo. Both can be taken multiple times, and can be accessed directly in the digital testing application. You can access your answers and solution materials (MCQ answer key, FRQ scoring guidelines) for the Digital Practice. Note: Taking the App Demo after completing Digital Practice may override your answers from Digital Practice.

Taking the Digital Exam

You should be aware of some aspects of testing digitally that you’ll encounter–in the Digital Practice and on exam day:

  • As a reminder, you will answer all multiple-choice questions and type all free-response answers directly in the digital exam application. Scratch paper is permitted for notes or planning, but you cannot handwrite or otherwise upload responses. 
    • The free-response questions won’t require you to draw diagrams, charts or complicated mathematical expressions.  All responses can be typed on a regular computer keyboard, along with a selection of additional characters that can be accessed by clicking the Omega button:

       

  • However, to accommodate the digital exam format, tasks on free-response questions on the digital exam may be slightly different than you’re used to seeing on FRQs. These will include some tasks that resemble multiple-choice questions, and/or provide labels for expressions or equations you can refer to in your answers rather than writing them out. Example questions in Digital Practice will have examples of these tasks.
  • Some free-response question prompts reference a specific question part. Students can click on the » symbol shown in the prompt to automatically scroll to the referenced location.
  • A graphing calculator is required for the digital exam. However, you’ll need to bring your own calculator because the digital testing application does not include one.
  • As a reminder, you cannot go back to questions you’ve already answered, and cannot skip ahead. 
  • However, free-response questions will each be presented in multiple parts, and you’ll answer each part on a separate screen. You may move among the parts of the question currently being answered, with the Back and Next buttons. Once you’ve entered your response to the last part of a question and moved ahead to the next, you won’t be able to go back to any part of that question you finished.
  • Exam directions and section-specific directions will not be read by a proctor–they’ll appear entirely in the application. You’ll see them at the beginning of each section, and can access them at any time during the exam. Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear. While you should read the directions, be aware that the timer will be running while you do so. You can view the full text of the exam and section directions in advance of the exam.

Exam Dates

  • Tue, May 4, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Calculus BC Exam

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

  • Mon, May 24, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Calculus BC Exam

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

  • Wed, Jun 9, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Calculus BC Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP Calculus BC 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 BC only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

The AP Calculus BC 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 on the digital exam will be adapted to be answerable entirely on a regular computer keyboard in the digital testing application, which will include a selection of special characters that students may use. FRQs will consist of familiar tasks that could appear on a traditional AP Exam, but may also include some tasks that resemble multiple-choice questions, and/or provide labels for expressions or equations you can refer to in your answers. You will not need to draw diagrams, charts or complicated mathematical expressions. You’ll see examples of these adapted FRQs when you answer example questions in digital practice.

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 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 two questions that incorporate a real-world context or scenario into the question.

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