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Course Description
What You Should Already Know
Learning Outcomes
Course Materials

Course Description

Calculus AB is a culminating event for high-school mathematics. Everything that students have learned about algebra and geometry that didn’t seem to have a purpose comes together as students take this class. In addition to providing students with a head start in college mathematics, Calculus AB also opens doors of opportunity in engineering, physics, astronomy, economics, cryptography, and many other careers.

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What You Should Already Know

Students should have taken a complete year of Precalculus or a semester of College Algebra and a semester of Trigonometry.

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Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes come from the College Board’s calculus course description and represent well the learning outcomes of this course:

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Course Materials

You will need a graphing calculator for this course. If you are looking to purchase a new calculator and if you want lots of support in how to use the calculator, then we recommend the TI-84 Plus. The TI-83 Plus would also work great, but it lacks some of the features that the TI-84 Plus has. Both of these calculators have lots of tutorials on YouTube, and they are so similar that tutorials using one will probably also work for the other. There are several other options that are cheaper if you are willing to take the time to figure things out on your own. Here is a [ LINK REMOVED ] list of all the calculators that you can use on the AP Test

This course will use animated video lessons from StudyForge. These materials present the content in a dynamic and engaging way, thus helping the student to learn the concepts better. The cost for access to this resource is assumed in the registration fee. Thus there are no additional expenses for the student.

As a supplement to student learning, we will also use CK-12’s calculus book and Khan Academy’s online calculus lessons. These resources are complete with detailed explanations and practice problems. Both of these resources are free for the students to access and use. StudyForge, CK-12, and Khan Academy are all very generous to offer their resources for little or no cost.

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Summary: 27 computer-graded quizzes (may be resubmitted); 4 instructor-graded assignments (no resubmissions allowed).

StudyForge Questions

Most lessons are provided via video from StudyForge. Each of these video lessons also includes practice questions to help you internalize the content. Take your time and really try to figure out the answer on your own. Keep in mind that you can attempt them as many times as you need to. While these questions do not count towards your grade understanding and carefully working through them is critical to your success in this course.

Lesson Quizzes

There will be a computer-graded mastery quiz as part of each lesson. Students can retake the lesson quiz as many times as they want, and the highest score will be recorded to the gradebook. The purpose of the mastery quizzes is to help the students gauge to what degree they have mastered a given learning objective. The mastery quizzes will have between 5 and 15 questions.

Unit Quizzes

There are a total of 5 computer-graded unit quizzes in the course. The student can retake the unit quiz once. The number of questions on each quiz will range from 20 to 30, depending on the content and number of objectives for the lessons they cover. Assignment questions will come from the mastery quizzes, so it is wise to study the mastery quizzes carefully.

Unit quizzes are meant to prepare students for the final exam and AP test. Since the final exam and AP test are cumulative—meaning they cover all the objectives in the course—the unit quizzes will also have questions from the previous units on them. The proportion of questions from previous units will be significantly less than the proportion of questions from the current unit. Each unit will provide a focused review of the previous units so that the student can prepare effectively for each unit quiz.


Student exploration is a necessary component to AP Calculus because it fosters understanding of concepts at a deeper level. There are three explorations in the course and each contains the following components:

  1. Task: Students work through some problems and submit their solutions to the teacher.
  2. Discussion Board: Students participate in a discussion board with their peers about the problems they worked through alone.
  3. “Big Ideas” Page: Students review the big ideas that they were supposed to get out of this experience.

Students are graded by the instructor according to the logic of their responses and participation. What is expected of the students in each of these components is explained in greater detail when they come to this assignment.

There will be two mastery quizzes and unit quiz questions associated with explorations two and three.

Free-Response Preparation Session

Students are required to attend at least one free-response prep session before they can take the final. Sessions will be offered between 4 and 8 times a month. Students may attend these anytime while they are in the course, but it is recommended that they wait until they have completed most of the lessons. Students may attend more than one session.

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Summary: 1 proctored multiple-choice and free-response instructor-graded exam (one retake allowed). You must pass the final exam with a score of sixty percent or higher in order to pass this course.

Due to the nature of this course’s learning outcomes, the exams are only available in a paper format. Please plan for shipping time.

There will be one final exam. The final exam is half multiple choice and half free response, mirroring the structure of the AP test.* Students must pass the final exam in order to pass the course. Because the final exam is comparable in difficulty to the AP Test, student scores will be scaled up according to the table located in the final example prep page.

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Assessment Number Total Percentage
of Grade
Lesson Quizzes 22 44%
Unit Quizzes 5 20%
Explorations 3 6%
Free-Response Prep Session 1 5%
Final 1 25%
Grading Scale
A 100–93%
A− 92–90%
B+ 89–87%
B 86–83%
B− 82–80%
C+ 79–77%
C 76–73%
C− 72–70%
D+ 69–67%
D 66–63%
D− 62–60%
E (fail) 59–0%

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase one 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete this course. Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months.

Getting Help

See the “Contact Information” page if you need help.

Discussion Board Policies

This course contains several discussion boards which allow you to interact with your peers and teacher. As you use this discussion board, be aware that the following things are prohibited:

Failure to follow these policies may result in removal from the course with a failing grade and permanent removal from the BYU Independent Study program.

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.

1The College Board, AP Calculus AB Course Description (n.p.: The College Board, 2012), 6, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-calculus-course-description.pdf