Most high school students are interested in the Advanced Placement (AP) program, and some wonder whether taking AP Calculus is worth it. AP Calculus is one of the most popular Advanced Placement courses offered in high school, but it’s also one of the most challenging.

So is AP Calculus worth it? **AP Calculus is worth taking because it will benefit you, particularly if you consider further studies in STEM fields, including chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology. Calculus is generally one of the most crucial branches of mathematics; it will introduce the concept of limits, derivatives, and rates of change, along with integrals and accumulation.**

Keep reading to explore the benefits of taking AP calculus and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

If you are looking for easy ways to learn calculus, I wrote a whole article, including 10 easy-to-follow steps that I encourage you to read.

**What Is AP Calculus?**

**There are two types of Ap calculus: AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC. They are both introductory college-level calculus courses that explore the concepts and applications of differential and integral calculus (Source: College Board)**

However, although AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC require you to apply the same skills, AP Calculus BC covers more content than AP Calculus AB.

**AP Calculus AB Vs. AP Calculus BC: How they compare and their similarities **

What to remember is that AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC cover content and skills taught in a first-semester calculus course at the college level.

AP Calculus Type | Similarities | Differences |

AP Calculus AB(*) | – Unit 1: Limits and continuity– Unit 2: Differentiation: Definition and fundamental properties– Unit 3: Differentiation: Composite, implicit, and inverse functions – Unit 4: Contextual applications of differentiation– Unit 5: Analytical applications of differentiation– Unit 6: Integration and accumulation of change– Unit 7: Differential equations– Unit 8: Applications of integration | |

AP Calculus BC(*) | – Unit 1: Limits and continuity– Unit 2: Differentiation: Definition and fundamental properties– Unit 3: Differentiation: Composite, implicit, and inverse functions – Unit 4: Contextual applications of differentiation– Unit 5: Analytical applications of differentiation– Unit 6: Integration and accumulation of change– Unit 7: Differential equations– Unit 8: Applications of integration | – Unit 6: Additional techniques of integration– Unit 7: Euler’s method and logistic models with differential equations– Unit 8: Arc length and distance traveled along a smooth curve– Unit 9: Parametric equations, polar coordinates, and vector-valued functions– Unit 10: Infinite sequences and series |

**What Are The Benefits Of Taking AP Calculus?**

**As a teacher teaching AP calculus, I believe that taking an AP calculus course can give you a better understanding of mathematics in general. You will learn to think critically and solve problems creatively, essential skills that can be applied to any situation, not just math problems. **

Another benefit of taking an AP calculus course is that it looks great on college applications and can help you stand out from other applicants.** **The good news is that you may even receive college credit for the course if your score on the exam meets the school’s requirements.

Generally, taking any AP course shows universities that you are willing to challenge yourself academically and intellectually, curious, and committed to learning.

If you want to save time and money down the road, I encourage you to take an AP calculus class (or any AP course) because if you score well on your AP exam at the end of the year, many universities will grant you college credit for your hard work.

More importantly, **understanding calculus can help you pursue studies in other STEM-related fields, such as engineering and physics**, because building a strong foundation in calculus can make all the difference when tackling complex equations and problems later on down the line.

I also think that taking an AP calculus course can yield more personal benefits beyond academics. It can help you build confidence because once you master difficult mathematical concepts that require dedication and hard work, you will want to tackle more challenging tasks.

After you develop confidence and a sense of accomplishment, it may inspire you to tackle other challenges in life with more enthusiasm.

**Cons of Taking AP Calculus**

As with anything in life, some drawbacks are associated with taking AP Calculus. **One potential downside is that passing an AP calculus exam at the end of the year can be difficult for some students due to its difficulty level. **

In addition, for students who are already feeling overwhelmed by their school-related work (and extracurricular activities), studying for an AP calculus exam could prove too much to handle.

Furthermore, taking an AP calculus might not benefit you if you are not interested in pursuing STEM-related studies. So if math isn’t your strong suit and you are **not interested in STEM-related studies, I suggest you choose another AP course related to your field of interest.**

**What to read next: **

- Is Taking AP Classes Worth It? (Including AP Classes Pros And Cons!)
- The 11 Hardest AP Classes You Can Take!
- Do You Have To Take College Algebra Before Statistics?
- 9 Easiest AP Classes To Self-Study!

**Wrapping Up**

Taking AP Calculus is totally worth it, particularly if you are looking for a program that would give you an edge when applying for college or prepare you better for future STEM-related studies.

However, if math isn’t your strong suit or your plate is already full of other interesting courses and activities, I encourage you to consider taking other AP courses.

I believe that taking an AP calculus class will benefit you tremendously. Not only will it look good on college applications, but it will also provide invaluable skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, improved self-confidence, and self-esteem that could prove beneficial throughout your academic career and beyond!

At the end of the day, I suggest you take AP Calculus based on your academic goals and interests.