Directions for the 2021 Digital AP Calculus BC Exam

Exam and section directions will appear in the testing application

Unlike on paper and pencil exams, students taking digital exams will receive directions primarily from the digital testing application, not from a proctor, whether they take the digital exam at school or at home.

On the digital exam, directions will be shown on a pop-up in the digital exam application when the clock starts at the beginning of each section. Students will have a chance to read them before starting to answer questions, and can view them at any time by clicking the Directions link in the upper left corner of the application.  

Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear at the beginning of each section. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so, both at the beginning of each section and while they’re working during the exam.

General Exam Directions will appear in the left column of the directions pop-up, and will be the same for all sections of that exam. Section Directions will appear in the right column, and will be specific to each section of the exam.

When you answer digital practice questions in the digital testing application, these same directions will appear along with a note when practice has a different number of questions than the actual exam.

The following is the full text of the directions that will appear on the digital AP Calculus BC Exam.

Exam Directions

The AP Calculus BC exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long.  Section I lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes, and has 45 multiple-choice questions. Section II lasts 90 minutes and has 6 free-response questions. Each section is divided into two parts with separate time limits.

Please note that you are responsible for pacing yourself. The clock will turn red when 5 minutes remain, but the proctor or app will not give you any other time updates. 

Do not spend too much time on any one question, but remember that you cannot go back to a question once you’ve moved on to the next question.

You may use scratch paper for notes and planning, but credit will only be given for responses entered in this application.

Section Directions–Section I, Part A

Section I, Part A: 1 hour, 30 multiple-choice questions.

A calculator is not required for this part.

Solve each of the following problems. After examining the form of the choices, select the best answer to each question.

In this exam:

  • The inverse of a trigonometric function f may be indicated using the inverse function notation f-1 or with the prefix “arc.”

    For example, sin-1 x = arcsin x.
     
  • Unless otherwise specified, the domain of a function f is assumed to be the set of all real numbers x for which f(x) is a real number.

Section Directions–Section I, Part B

Section I, Part B: 45 minutes, 15 multiple-choice questions.

A graphing calculator is required for this part.

Solve each of the following problems. After examining the form of the choices, select the best answer to each question.

In this exam:

  • The exact numerical value of the correct answer does not always appear among the choices given. When this happens, select from among the choices the number that best approximates the exact numerical value.
  • The inverse of a trigonometric function f may be indicated using the inverse function notation f-1 or with the prefix “arc”.

    For example: sin-1 x  = arcsin x.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the domain of a function f is assumed to be the set of all real numbers x for which f(x) is a real number.

Section Directions–Section II Part A

Section II, Part A: 30 minutes, 2 free-response questions.

A graphing calculator is required for this part.

On this section, you will answer each question in multiple parts, shown on separate screens. You may move back and forth among the parts of the question you are answering, but once you answer the last part of the question and go on to the next one, you cannot go back to any part of the question you finished. 

You are advised to spend approximately 15 minutes on each question.

You may use your calculator to solve an equation, find the derivative of a function at a point, or calculate the value of a definite integral. However, you must clearly indicate the setup of your question, namely the equation, function, or integral you are using. If you use other built-in features or programs, you must show the mathematical steps necessary to produce your results.

All responses can be typed on a standard keyboard, along with special characters you can access from the Ω button on the toolbar.

  • Show all your work, even though a question may not explicitly remind you to do so. Clearly label any functions, solutions, or other expressions you use. Justifications require that you give mathematical reasons, and that you verify the needed conditions under which relevant theorems, properties, definitions, or tests are applied. Your work will be scored on the correctness and completeness of your methods as well as your answers. Answers without supporting work will usually not receive credit.
  • Unless otherwise specified, answers (numeric or algebraic) need not be simplified. If you use decimal approximations in calculations, your work will be scored on accuracy. Unless otherwise specified, your final answers should be accurate to 3 places after the decimal point.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the domain of a function f is assumed to be the set of all real numbers x for which f(x) is a real number.

​For prompts that reference a specific question part, you can click on the » symbol shown in the prompt to automatically scroll to the referenced location.

Section Directions–Section II, Part B

Section II, Part B: 60 minutes, 4 free-response questions.

A calculator is not required for this part.

On this section, you will answer each question in multiple parts, shown on separate screens. You may move back and forth among the parts of the question you are answering, but once you answer the last part of the question and go on to the next one, you cannot go back to any part of the question you finished.

You are advised to spend approximately 15 minutes on each question.

All responses can be typed on a standard keyboard, along with special characters you can access from the Ω button on the toolbar.

  • Show all your work, even though a question may not explicitly remind you to do so. Clearly label any functions, solutions, or other expressions you use. Justifications require that you give mathematical reasons, and that you verify the needed conditions under which relevant theorems, properties, definitions, or tests are applied. Your work will be scored on the correctness and completeness of your methods as well as your answers. Answers without supporting work will usually not receive credit.
  • Unless otherwise specified, answers (numeric or algebraic) need not be simplified. Unless otherwise specified, your final answers should be accurate to 3 places after the decimal point.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the domain of a function f is assumed to be the set of all real numbers x for which f(x) is a real number.

​For prompts that reference a specific question part, you can click on the » symbol shown in the prompt to automatically scroll to the referenced location.

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