Difference Between Calculus AB and BC (With Table)

A college happens to be a dream place for any student. Students all over the world take a number of exams to get enrolled into national and international universities for their favorite academic or professional curse. Depending on a number of criteria, these exams range in the term of difficulty from easy to hard. However, with proper preparation, one can crack these exams. 

Calculus AB and Calculus BC are two such exams that are taken by students all across the world. These examinations aim to make students acquainted with college-level calculus. These two happen to be related to mathematics and provide students a glance that how math in colleges looks like. While these two are really crucial, they are different from each other as well. A person pursuing any of these must have known the differences between these two. 

Calculus AB vs Calculus BC 

The difference between Calculus AB and Calculus BC is that the former is an examination that covers the syllabus of maths 1a for a college course, while on the contrary, the latter covers the syllabus of math 1b. Not only this, but these two happen to be different in terms of the duration and the structure of the course that they offer. Depending on what kind, of course, a person is willing to pursue, he should make a decision between these two. 

The Calculus AB also known by the name Advanced Placement Calculus AB, happens to be a course taught to children during school years that helps them to find enrollment in good colleges in their preferred academic course of subject mathematics. It is more of an entry-level course and covers almost the syllabus of half a year. It is suitable for those people who are having a hard time studying for the examination. 

On the contrary, Calculus BC can be termed as a similar course to the one mentioned before, but the difference is that this one happens to be a more advanced and complex one accompanied by longer duration and additional topics. It can be opted by those students who can easily grasp the topics given without taking any severe pressure. 

Comparison Table Between Calculus AB and BC 

Parameters of Comparison Calculus AB Calculus BC 
Meaning  This is an academic course following the precalculus course and focuses on introducing the basic elements of calculus to students who are willing to take this subject in their college.  This is an academic course following the precalculus course and focuses on introducing the basic and advanced elements as well as calculus to students who are willing to take this subject in their college.  
Level  It is of a lower and easy level. It is of a higher and hard level comparatively. 
Duration  This course covers things taught in the first six months of college. This course covers the syllabus of almost a complete year and covers more topics. 
Topics included Include integrals, derivatives, and the fundamental theorems of calculus. Polar functions, vector functions, parametric functions and analysis of series, etc. Along with the subjects of calculus AB. 
Suitable for This is the ideal curse for people who have scored loss in precalculus and find it difficult. This is the ideal course for people who have cleared precalculus with a high score and find it easy. 

What is Calculus AB? 

This is a college-level course that follows the precalculus course and focuses on teaching the fundamentals of calculus to students who plan to study it in college. When it comes to the difficulty level it provides, it is on the lower end of the spectrum, which indicates that it may be pursued without feeling overwhelmed.  

This course reviews material covered in the first six months of college. Integrals, derivatives, and the fundamental theorems of calculus, antidifferentiation, and distinct differentiation equation are some of the subjects covered in this course. 

This is the ideal curse for people who- 

  • Scored comparatively less in the precalculus, 
  • Find the course difficult, 
  • Wish to pursue a relatively light course, 
  • Or intend to learn only the basic parts of the subject. 

Approximately 2.5 million students sat for this examination in the year 2019. This tells how popular this exam is and how many students see their dream by way of this particular course. 

What is Calculus BC? 

Calculus BC is an academic course that follows the precalculus course and focuses on providing the basic and advanced parts of calculus to students who are interested in taking this subject in college. Unlike its predecessor, it concentrates on a broader and more complicated range of calculus topics. The goal is to pave the way for students who truly want to make a difference in this field. 

In comparison, it is of a higher and more difficult level. This course covers nearly an entire year’s worth of material as well as additional topics. Polar functions, vector functions, parametric functions, and series analysis are just a few of the important topics addressed in this course, along with the topic of Calculus AB.  

This is the ideal course for people who- 

  • Scored really well in the precalculus, 
  • Find the course easy, and 
  • Wish to pursue tough courses like medicine and engineering. 

Main Differences Between Calculus AB and BC 

  1. Calculus AB is an academic course following the precalculus course and focuses on introducing the basic elements of calculus. But the Calculus BC focuses on both the basic and advanced level elements. 
  2. Calculus AB is a course of the easy level, while Calculus BC contains topics harder to understand.  
  3. Calculus AB covers the syllabus of six months, while Calculus BC covers the syllabus of complete one year.  
  4. Calculus AB contains topics like integrals, derivatives, and the fundamental theorems of calculus. While the Calculus BC contains topics like polar functions, vector functions, parametric functions and analysis of series, etc. 
  5. Calculus AB is an ideal course for people who wish to pursue light careers, while Calculus BC is suitable for those who wish to pursue harder courses like engineering. 

Conclusion 

Colleges have become more of a competing race than a peaceful place to study. With the overloading population every day, the number of students who plan on getting into good colleges has increased rapidly. Due to this, the entry-level exams of many courses have become hard. 

Calculus AB and Calculus BC are two such courses that students take to understand calculus. These courses are structured in a way that provides an overview regarding the subject in the college curriculum. While these two targets the same subject, a number of differences lie between them. 

References  

  1. https://educationpolicy.info/Review/Reviews/v3n3.pdf
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