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Top 10 AP Exam Tips for AP Precalculus

The AP Precalculus Exam is coming up in just a few weeks! What are the most important tips and strategies for doing well on the exam? We’ve created a list of our top 10 favorite AP Exam tips with absolute must-knows, helpful reminders, and winning test-taking strategies that will help you maximize your score.

This video is part of the official Calc Medic AP Precalculus Review Course. To receive access to more videos, practice problems, and full length practice exams, get a quote.

Download the handout for students to complete while watching the video.

Tips for Crushing the AP Precalculus Exam

  1. Make sure your calculator is in radian mode. All angles in this course are measured in radians, not degrees.

  2. Do not leave anything blank. There is no penalty for guessing on the multiple choice and you might earn partial credit on a free response question if you can start a problem even if you can’t finish it.

  3. Be flexible with your calculator. Know how to store values, find the zeros, intersections, and relative extrema on a graph, and use the regression features of your calculator.

  4. Give exact values for log and trig expressions that can be evaluated without a calculator. Know the unit circle!

  5. Understand the effect of transformations on a graph and equation. Transformations show up all over the exam, and you will often be asked to determine the value of parameters that represent these transformations.

  6. Know how to justify a result using function behavior. This includes determining the type of function that can be used to model a table of values based on the relationships between inputs and outputs, and justifying when a function is increasing or decreasing and concave down or concave up. 

  7. Read each prompt carefully. Small but important details can be missed if you’re rushing. 

  8. Identify what you’re looking for in an answer choice immediately after reading the prompt. If you know what you’re looking for, you can quickly eliminate distractor answers instead of analyzing them each one by one.

  9. Round final answers to 3 decimal places, if necessary. Avoid intermediate rounding.

  10. Be confident. You have worked hard all year. You are ready for this! Good luck on the exam!

With these 10 Exam Tips in your back pocket, you can walk into the AP test with confidence, knowing you’re ready for whatever might be coming your way. You’ve got this!

Gimme 10

As a final review activity, we've created 10 practice multiple choice questions covering content from the whole course. These questions can all be done without a calculator. You'll notice that the questions get more challenging as you progress, providing a good benchmark for how students are likely to perform on the AP Precalculus Exam.


Answer Key

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1 Comment

Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson
May 07

Great video! Quick question about the answer key for the take 10... Perhaps I misinterpreted the question, but shouldn't the answer for #3 be B rather than C? An example of a function would be f(x) = (x - 3)^2 * (x - 1)^3 This would be a quintic function with 2 real zeros and 0 imaginary zeros, correct? Thanks for the help!

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