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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
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 students to type mathematical symbols, to draw, or to create graphs. The digital exam app will include any symbols students would need to type their responses. All responses must be typed directly into the exam app. 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.

Educators and students 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.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

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Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP Calculus AB Course and Exam Description (CED). 

Encourage your students to visit the AP Calculus AB student page for exam information.

Exam Dates

  • Event
    • TUE, MAY 4, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Calculus AB Exam—Administration 1

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • MON, MAY 24, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Calculus AB Exam—Administration 2

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • WED, JUN 9, 2021, 12 PM EDT

    AP Calculus AB Exam—Administration 3

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  

Exam Format

The AP Calculus AB Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

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.

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
  • 6 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 students would need to type their responses. All responses must be typed directly into the exam app. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

Educators and students 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.

Section I: Multiple Choice

45 Questions | 1 Hour 45 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Part A: 30 questions; 60 minutes (calculator not permitted on paper and pencil exam).
  • Part B: 15 questions; 45 minutes (graphing calculator required).
  • Questions include algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and general types of functions.
  • Questions include analytical, graphical, tabular, and verbal types of representations.

Section II: Free Response
6 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Part A: 2 questions; 30 minutes (graphing calculator required).
  • Part B: 4 questions; 60 minutes (calculator not permitted on paper and pencil exam).
  • 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.

AP Calculator Policy

Calculators are allowed on all sections of the digital AP Calculus AB exam in 2021.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 (Last Year’s) Free-Response Questions

Last year’s free-response questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment using the LockDown Browser. Since the 2020 exams had to be designed for highly unusual circumstances, these questions were updated, where possible, to best match the format of free-response questions in the course and exam description and on traditional AP Exams.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.