AP Calculus AB Practice Exam

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If you are someone who hopes to enter an engineering, science, or mathematics field when attending college, you may be looking to take an advanced placement (AP) calculus course to help your college credit load. However, you may consider taking an AP calculus AB practice exam before the actual test.

The AP calc exam can seem very difficult and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but you can prepare yourself for the exam by taking a calculus practice exam to familiarize yourself with the questions and topics on the exam. Keep reading to learn more about the AP calculus AB exam.

Summary: Use the AP calculus practice problems listed below to help you prepare for this challenging exam.

AP Calculus AB Practice Exam

To be able to utilize a practice test to study for the AP calc exam, you need to make sure that the practice test you are taking is filled with the right information and the best tools for you to succeed. Check out a free AP calc practice test below to start studying for your exam.

Name of Practice TestNumber of Questions
2016 College Board AP Calc AB Practice Exam45 multiple-choice, 6 free-response
2012 College Board AP Calc AB Practice Exam45 multiple-choice, 6 free-response
2008 College Board AP Calc AB Practice Exam45 multiple-choice, 6 free-response
2008 AP Calculus AB Practice Problems Multiple Choice92 multiple-choice
AP Calc AB & BC Sample Questions24 multiple-choice, 4 free-response
AP Calculus Practice Exam45 multiple-choice, 6 free-response
Peterson AP Calculus Practice Exam 145 multiple-choice, 6 free-response
AP Calculus AB Practice Problems45 multiple-choice, 6 free-response

What is the AP Calc Exam?

Just like any AP course you may take, you have the chance to take an exam at the end of the course to earn a college credit for your hard work, an AP calculus class is the same. Passing with a three or better allows you to skip that college credit. Keep reading to learn how to gain at least a three.

AP Calculus AB Description

There are actually two AP calculus exams, so before you go any further, make sure you are going to be taking the AP calc AB exam not the BC exam.

There are eight units covered on the AP calculus AB exam and in your AP calculus class. Your teacher may choose to group them together differently or teach them in a different order, but you should be able to familiarize yourself with these topics:

  • Unit one: Limits and Continuity – examine various graphs of functions and forms of the conceptual basis of calculus: limits (10-12%)
  • Unit two: Differentiation: Definition and Fundamental Properties – explore how limits change over small intervals and understand how derivatives are a tool to measure the rate of change from one variable to another (10-12%)
  • Unit three: Differentiation: Composite, Implicit, and Inverse Functions – understand the differentiation of implicit and inverse functions and apply the chain rule to find derivates of composite functions (9-13%)
  • Unit four: Contextual Applications of Differentiation – apply lessons from previous units to real-life scenarios and approximate values and limits of certain functions (10-15%)
  • Unit five: Analytical Applications of Differentiation – discover abstract structures and formal conclusions of differentiation and come to analytic conclusions by reasoning definitions and theorems (15-18%)
  • Unit six: Integration and Accumulation of Change – learn about the relationship between differentiation and integration and understand integration as the total of change over an interval instead of instant change at a point (17-20%)
  • Unit seven: Differential Equations – explore slope fields to discover the infinite general solutions to a differential equation (6-12%)
  • Unit eight: Applications of Integration – continue work with integrals to uncover a function’s average value, model particle motion, and calculate net change (10-15%)

As you can see, you will need to be able to read graphs and formulate answers that are well-supported by what you analyze from the graphs. Be well-versed in reading multiple types of graphs with various equations on them.

About AP Calc AB Questions

Now that you know what topics are on the exam, let’s talk about what questions you can expect to see on AP calc AB exams.

Unlike other AP exams, all AP calc AB exams are split into four sections with a total of fifty-one questions. There are two multiple-choice question sections (part A with thirty questions to answer in sixty minutes and part B with fifteen questions to answer in forty-five minutes).

There are also two free-response sections (part A with two questions to answer in thirty minutes and part B with four questions to answer in sixty minutes). You have more than plenty of time to answer both the questions in the multiple-choice and free-response sections.

Section 1 Part A and Section 2 Part B each account for one-third of your score while Section 1 Part B and Section 2 Part A account for the other one-third when combined. Therefore, you should split your study time evenly between both sections as they are both worth fifty percent of your score.

Here is how the breakdown of the questions on the AP calculus AB exam:

Answer Type Score % Time Given Questions
Sect. 1 Part A Multiple-choice 33.3% 1 hour 30
Sect. 1 Part B Multiple-choice 16.7% 45 minutes 15
Sect. 2 Part A Free-response 16.7% 30 minutes 2
Sect. 2 Part B Free-response 33.3% 1 hour 4

How to Use an AP Calculus Practice Exam

The best way to utilize an AP calculus AB practice exam is to find ones that have diverse questions, correct answers, and detailed explanations.

Not only does this allow you to learn and grow from making mistakes, but it also allows you to become a more efficient studier. By showing you which areas you struggle with the most, you discover which units you may need to review before taking the test.

The more practice tests you take, the more questions you are exposing yourself to. Most practice tests are made up of AP calculus practice problems that were on previous versions of the test. That allows you to also gain more knowledge about how the test will be formatted.

Check out the next section to learn more about the benefits of taking practice tests while also learning about other methods to study and feel more comfortable with taking the AP calculus AB exam.

How Do I Prepare for AP Calculus AB Exam?

There are many different methods to use to study for the AP calculus AB exam. Each style of study poses all kinds of benefits depending on how you learn best. Either way, using any of these methods should help make you feel more comfortable when going to take your AP calc exam.

The first method of study is to create or find a list of flashcards to review topics from the class units. You can either use an online source (like Quizlet) or make your flashcards with a pen and index cards. To best study them, you should take them with you wherever you go to study in your free time.

As mentioned before, you can take practice tests to prepare for the AP calc AB exam. This is an easy way to learn from your mistakes and gain access to detailed explanations for common questions on the exam.

You can also familiarize yourself with the format of questions on the exam to allow yourself to best answer questions quickly and make an efficient use of your time. By familiarizing yourself with the questions, you know what they are asking quicker and can answer quicker.

The last thing is something that your AP calculus teacher will likely give you. You will probably receive a study guide or class-end review from your teacher to help you learn what you should study to prepare for the AP calc AB exam. You can also study with peers to best prepare.


The AP calculus AB exam is not something that should be taken lightly. Around 61% of test takers pass the exam (scoring a three or higher), but you do need to be properly prepared before the exam to increase your chances of passing.

To score a 5 on the AP calc AB exam, you will need to answer 70% to 75% of the questions correctly. The best way to do this is to study in great detail to cover all the topics needed to pass the exam with a 5. However, if you are prepared, you should have no problem passing the exam.

The best ways to practice for the AP calculus AB exam are to create and study flashcards, take multiple AP calculus AB practice exams, and review the study guide your teacher will give you at the end of the course.

Dave Evangelisti
Dave is our founder and CEO. He has 20+ years of experience in the testing and test prep industry.