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Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exam Paperback – May 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Skylight Publishing; 2 edition (May 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982477554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982477557
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Howell is a veteran teacher of Advanced Placement mathematics and computer science at his alma mater, Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. Mark has served the Advanced Placement community for many years, as a workshop leader, reader of AP exams, Table Leader, and Question Leader. He served on the AP Calculus Test Development Committee from 1996 to 1999. Mark is the author of the 2005 AP Calculus Teacher's Guide and a variety of AP Calculus support materials, and a contributor to AP Central. His efforts to further technology use to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics have taken him throughout the continental US, as well as Puerto Rico, Honolulu, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, China, and Malaysia. He won the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement in 1999, the Tandy Technology Scholars Award the same year, and a state-level Presidential Teacher Award in 1993.

Martha Montgomery has retired from her position as the Mathematics Specialist at Fremont City Schools in Fremont, Ohio, and is now teaching at Terra Community College in Fremont. Prior to that, she taught AP Calculus and chaired the mathematics department at Fremont Ross High School for more than 20 years. Martha has participated in the AP Calculus exam grading as a Reader, Table Leader, Question Leader, Alternate Exam Leader and finally BC Exam Leader. She served on the AP Calculus Test Development Committee from 1996 to 1999 and contributed many reviews and teacher materials to the AP Central web site. Martha has conducted College Board workshops for teachers in the Midwest and led many workshops for teachers in northwest Ohio.


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Customer Reviews

My teacher recommended this book for the AP.
Benj
The Be Prepared book gives a great overview of all the topics we're covering in class, with clear explanations and examples.
Phil Stetson
While I did learn a lot out of the book, the brevity of the solutions kills me and is just plain annoying.
Mr. Math Expert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Ernie on June 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me preface this by saying that I took the AP calculus test in the mid 1980's and now have helped my daughter with a self-study course on calculus in preparation for the 2007 test. After going through a total of 4 study guides, 2 textbooks, and the last 7 years of available free response questions from the actual AP test, I found this guide to be one of the best AP calculus preparation books.

The AP calculus (AB or BC) has become considerably harder in the last 4 years. Most other books seem to have been developed for the test as administered in the 1990's. In order to pass, not only do you need to know your calculus - it is also mandatory that you know how to use your calculator in order to solve calculus problems. Most other books, completely ignore this point (see my other reviews). Rather than focusing on techniques of integration (which was a big deal for the earlier test in which calculators either weren't allowed or weren't capable), the emphasis has switched to integration via the calculator.
This book addresses the issue clearly.

One last point of advice is that this book does stress the concepts that are in turn stressed on the current tests - fundamental theorem of calculus, average value of a function by integration, and problems that depend on interpreting graphs and data points.

When chosing a book, keep in mind that the test is no longer a simple can you integrate and take a derivative by hand type of exam. If you can solve the problems in this book, you indeed will be prepared for the AP test.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By One-Reader on March 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on the subset of first year calculus topics needed for the AP exams, and it provides comprehensive coverage of those topics. It also includes an Appendix on the use of TI calculator models 83, 84, 86, and 89. A graphing calculator (only certain models are allowed) is now required for the AP Calculus exams. Compared to other preparation texts covering similar AP calculus topics, this book is relatively short, running less than 400 pages.

This brevity is achieved primarily in two ways, one is by providing explanations that are quite concise. Those with solid calculus backgrounds will appreciate this brevity, particularly if they need a text for a final quick review before the AP exams. Others will likely find themselves wanting more detailed explanations and solved problem exemplars.

The second way concerns problem sets. There is a relative dearth of problems with fully detailed solutions, compared to other AP preparation texts, e.g., "Cracking the AP Calculus AB & BC Exams, 2009 Edition" which at 870 pages is over double the size of this text.

Its major weakness is that many of the "fully worked" problems skip important steps. As an example, in problem 24, page 103, the derivative of tan (theta), although a required step in the solution process, is not presented. The geometric/trigonometric steps required to obtain its value in this problem are also skipped. Only the problem-specific value is given in an equation leading to the solution.

The introductory chapter on "Exam Format, Grading, and Tips", although short, is quite helpful. Another useful feature is the occasional aside that explains, for the example presented, the common mistakes that are often made in solving problems of a similar type.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phil Stetson on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm taking AP Calc right now and am planning to take the AP exam this year. The Be Prepared book gives a great overview of all the topics we're covering in class, with clear explanations and examples. I'm going for a 5 on the exam, and I strongly recommend this book to anyone else who will be taking the AP Calc exam too.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth P. Raftery on August 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trust me on this. I have gone through about every AB book out there, and this one is your best bet. Unlike the others, it is actually very up to date, and it contains the most recent changes to the AB curriculum such as slope fields.

Many books out there are much too easy, such as the book published by Princeton. Easy does not necessarily equal good preparation for the test! This "Be Prepared" book will challenge you and actually get you to see the level you will see on the actual AP exam. Plus, this book gives great hints at far as successfully using the calculator. This book has everything you could want in a review book, and I recommend it over all the other AB titles.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ariel Ginis on February 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a college math tutor and have been using "be prepared" this semester for my tutoring sessions. I find the explanations to be very clear and my students understand them better than their text book. The examples in the book go through many typical questions with detailed step by step explanations. I took the AP a few years ago and i wish i had a book this good. I would have had a much easier time studying for the exam. I can also add that the practice exams are crucial for doing well on the AP. (TIP: write your answers on a seperate page so you can retake the practice exams to measure your improvment!)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Russ Adams on April 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I purchased a copy based on the AP Central review and I am not disappointed. Just as that review says, the book covers all of the AB and BC material very thoroughly and clearly, and the practice exams are right on target with multiple-choice and free-response questions similar to the actual exam questions, but often more original. This book will greatly help my students for this year's exam, and especially next year -- I am going to use it throughout the year.
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