Last Minute Tips

AP Calc AB Exam – Last Minute Tips
Study the “Stuff You Must Know Cold” Sheet – and know it… Cold!
Multiple Choice
 Answer all questions! – you do not lose points for guessing.
 Look at the answers before you start solving; they can guide you or give you hints.
 Skip hard problems and come back to them (choose an answer, but mark that it was a guess).
 Be careful with details – your wrong answer will most likely be one of the choices.
Free Response
 If you use your calculator to solve something, WRITE THE SETUP.
 Use the graphing calculator to only do the following four functions (otherwise, show your work):
o Graph functions in an arbitrary window,
o Calculate zeros of a function (either by graphing or algebra),
o Calculate the derivative of a function (write the derivate),
o Calculate the integral of a function (write the integral).
 Answers must be correct to 3 decimal places (rounded or truncated – you may give more).
 Sign charts are not sufficient for justifying extrema with 1st Derivate Test.
 In order to best fit your graphs on the calculator, first adjust the domain (x-values), then Zoom-Fit.
 You do not need to show intermediate steps – if you do show them and make a mistake, but get the right
answer, you can lose points.
 You do not need to simplify expressions.
 Make sure you are answering what they are looking for – e.g. max value is the y-value (or f  x  ), value where
max occurs is x-value, you need  x, y  if asked for coordinates.
NEVER USE PRONOUNS (“IT”) – be specific; state which function (e.g. f , g , f   x  , f   x  ) or the exact interval.
Don’t forget  C on indefinite integrals.
Show all work – the grader is not interested in finding the answer, he is interested in seeing if you know how to
solve the problem.
Do not round partial answers too soon – store them in your calculator or go at least 6 decimal places.
Do not let points at the beginning keep you from getting points at the end:
o If you can do part (c) without doing (a) and (b), do it,
o If you need to import an answer from part (a), make a credible attempt at part (a) so that you can
import the (possibly wrong) answer and get your part (c) points.
Do not waste time erasing bad solutions – if you change your mind, simply cross out the bad solution after you
have written the good one (crossed-out work will not be graded – if you have no better solution, leave the old
one there; it might be worth a point or two).