The Advanced Placement Program® (AP) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. The program consists of college-level courses developed by the AP Program that high schools can choose to offer, and corresponding exams that are administered once a year. For the AP Math, there are AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics. AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC focus on students’ understanding of calculus concepts and provide experience with methods and applications. Through the use of big ideas of calculus (e.g., modeling change, approximation and limits, and analysis of functions), each course becomes a cohesive whole, rather than a collection of unrelated topics. Both courses require students to use definitions and theorems to build arguments and justify conclusions.
The courses feature a multirepresentational approach to calculus, with concepts, results, and problems expressed graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally. Exploring connections among these representations builds understanding of how calculus applies limits to develop important ideas, definitions, formulas, and theorems. A sustained emphasis on clear communication of methods, reasoning, justifications, and conclusions is essential. Teachers and students should regularly use technology to reinforce relationships among functions, to confirm written work, to implement experimentation, and to assist in interpreting results. The AP Statistics course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data.
There are four themes evident in the content, skills, and assessment in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, probability and simulation, and statistical inference. Students use technology, investigations, problem solving, and writing as they build conceptual understanding.