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Verbs on the AP Calculus Exam

Updated: Apr 8

Do your students know what is meant when they see words like "justify" or "interpret" on the AP Exam? The AP Calculus Exam challenges students to not just understand the concepts, but to be able to communicate understanding of the concepts. Showing work succinctly, giving proper justifications, and explaining the meaning of a result are all skills students need to master.

We've put together a video that outlines all the task verbs students might find on the AP Calculus Exam, and what is required in a response to earn full points.

This video is part of the official Calc Medic AP Calculus 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.

After watching the video with your students, we recommend our AP Calculus Skills Overview activity. This activity has students categorizing and organizing a year’s worth of AP Calculus content by verb/skill. Instead of focusing just on what topics will appear on the exam, this activity has students thinking about how they will need to know those topics, and what they might be asked to do around those topics. The summary document offers seven categories and their associated skills. The goal is for students to identify both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, since in our experience they tend to know either one or the other, but not necessarily both. By giving students a quick reminder of the method that is needed to perform a certain task on the AP Exam, students gain an entry point into a wide variety of questions.

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