The Best AP Calculus BC Books

Exam Info And Course Content

The AP Calculus BC exam consists of 2 sections. The first one is multiple choice, has 45 questions, lasts 105 minutes, and counts for 50% of your overall exam score. The first 30 question section forbids the use of calculators, while the second 15 question section allows them.

The second section is free response. It consists of 6 questions, lasts 90 minutes, and counts for 50% of your total exam score. The first 2 problems last 30 minutes and allow the use of a graphing calculator, but the last 4 questions do not.

College Board provides free example test questions, so click here if you want to check them out.

Next Exam Date

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Last Time The Exam Changed

There were some minor additions to the AP Calculus BC exam for 2016-2017 school year.

Specifically, you now have to know the limit comparison test, the absolute and conditional convergence tests, and the alternating series error bound.

The total number of multiple choice questions did not change, but the number of questions per section changed slightly.

The Best Calculus BC Textbook 2018

Book CoverDescriptionOur RatingPrice
The Best AP Calculus TextbookCalculus
Late Transcendental
11th Edition


Howard Anton

(Best AP Calculus BC Textbook)
5.0Our Price
AP Calculus BookBarron's AP Calculus
14th Edition


(Best AP Calculus BC Review Book)
4.6Our Price
Best AP Calculus BC TextbookCracking The AP
Calculus AB Exam


The Princeton Review

(Best AP Calculus BC Prep Book)
4.5View Price
Multiple Choice Questions To Prepare For The AP Calculus BC Exam Rita Korsunsky Best AP Calculus BC PrepMultiple Choice Questions
to Prepare for the
AP Calculus BC Exam


Rita Korsunsky

(Best Practice Test Book)
4.7View Price

The Best AP Calculus TextbookThere are dozens of different textbooks available for teaching & learning Calculus, but most high school teachers across the United States will recommend Calculus Late Transcendental, 11th Edition by Howard Anton.

If you are serious about getting a 5 on your AP Calculus AB exam, you need more than material to just teach you the test, you need to fundamentally understand Calculus.

This textbook is very eloquently balanced between comprehensively covering the core concepts of calculus and a broad array of practice test questions to ensure you understand the fundamental principles.  The textbook teaches the concepts of Calculus using algebraic, visual and verbal approaches.

Before you buy any preparation or review books, ensure you pick up the best AP Calculus textbook, written by Anton, Bivens and David.

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Best AP Calculus BC TextbookThe Princeton Review seldom tops our list over Barron’s, but in this instance, they are the top review book for AP Calculus BC in 2018.

We love how specific this textbook is and how it builds on the fundamentals of Calculus AB. If you have already studied and passed your Calculus AB test, then there is no better review book to help you prepare for the Calculus BC test.

As we have come to expect from the Princeton Review, they have come out with a new edition for the 2018 examination in the fall of 2017. It is available by clicking on the image.

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AP Calculus BookThe best book to use for the AP Calc BC exam is Barron’s AP Calculus book. It has information for both the AB and the BC exams on it, and if you didn’t take the AP Calculus AB test the practice questions for it are still useful for you as a BC student.

The book has 4 practice tests for both the BC and the AB exams, and it already has most of the content you need to know for the updated version of the test.

It also offers advice on making the most out of your graphing calculator, and you get 4 extra practice tests total on a CD-ROM, and a bonus online practice test. That’s a total of 11 tests, while most other books only give you 3 or 4.

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Rita Korsunsky AP Calculus BC Multiple ChoiceIn addition to Barron’s book you have to purchase Rita Korsunsky’s AP Calculus BC Multiple Choice book.

It a must have for anyone who wants to get a 5 on the exam. The author is a critically acclaimed Calculus teacher who knows the tricks of the AP exam creators like the back of her hand.

The book has 6 multiple choice exams, and if you complete all of them and read through the AP exam tips, you are nearly guaranteed to get a 5. The only other thing you’ll have to do is practice the free response problems in Barron’s book.

This book tries to trick you in the same way the BC Calculus exam will, so if you understand the questions in the book you are all set for the multiple choice part.

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Self-Study Tips

Studying for the AP Calculus BC exam works almost exactly the same as studying for the AB exam. However, don’t start studying only a month before as there is too much content to learn in 30 days.

The best way to self-study is to go through the Barron’s book and learn all of the topics while watching the Khan Academy videos on Differential Calculus and Integral Calculus as sometimes Barron’s isn’t enough.

Once you’re done with the book you should take all of the practice tests including the AB ones, and then move on to Rita’s multiple choice book.

You should spend around 100 hours total studying for the test if you haven’t take the AB exam, but if you’ve already taken the AB exam and gotten a 5, you should only spend around 50 hours max.

Other Study Resources