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Topic: BC vs APS unsigned forwarded message
Replies: 7   Last Post: Jun 10, 1999 10:32 AM

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Daren Starnes

Posts: 32
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: BC vs APS unsigned forwarded message
Posted: Jun 9, 1999 4:56 PM
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Deep breath...

I disagree. AB Calculus requires no more breadth than does AP Statistics.
The quantity of material that is covered on the AP Statistics syllabus
exceeds nearly any introductory college statistics course. In some college
courses, they omit chi-squared and inference for regression, for example.
All omit non-linear regression and re-expression, geometric random
variables. And, in my opinion, AB Calculus demands no more conceptual
thinking than does AP Statistics. Granted, they are very different types
of thinking. I hold these courses to be equal in quantity of content.
Statistics has the added advantage of being useful to every student,
whereas calculus may only serve the needs of some students (whether for
college or later life).

BC Calculus, on the other hand, demands far more in terms of content and
coverage than does either AP Statistics or AB Calculus.

Both AP Statistics and AB Calculus allow students to earn a semester of
college credit most places, whereas BC Calculus can result in a full year
of credit. I am therefore dismayed that the new "AP Diploma" only grants
0.5 credits for AP Statistics and 1 credit for AB Calculus and BC Calculus.
There is no way that AB and BC Calculus deserve equal credit, and I would
argue that AB Calculus deserves exactly 0.5 credits.

Before all of the calculus lovers out there come at me, let me say that I
deeply enjoy calculus, and that it is indeed the most appropriate and
beneficial course for many students. On the other hand, I have witnessed
too many instances in which students are counseled/cajoled/coerced into AB
Calculus only to wish they had selected AP Statistics.

At 09:58 AM 6/9/99 -0700, Joshua Zucker wrote:
>Despite our feelings toward the tone of this message on stat vs
>calculus, there is something to it. Some schools, quite appropriately
>in my opinion, give a full year of credit for BC calc, 2 quarters for
>AB calc, and 1 quarter for AP stat. There is a lot less breadth to
>the AP stat course. I hope we all make up for it in depth (and in
>fact I often criticize the AP calc curriculum for being too broad and
>not deep enough). The different "shape" of AP stat (by "shape" I mean
>depth vs breadth) gives us time to do investigations, explorations,
>projects, and so on. Calculus students don't generally get that sort
>of thing till after the AP is over.
>Also because of the different "shape" of the curriculum, a really
>bright student can learn enough to get a 5 on AP stat much more
>quickly than calculus -- there are fewer new ideas to master, and if
>the mastery comes quickly, there it is.
>So I think the student has some valid points ...
>--Joshua Zucker
>The Advanced Placement Statistics List
>To UNSUBSCRIBE send a message to containing:
>unsubscribe apstat-l <email address used to subscribe>
>Discussion archives are at
>Problems with the list or your subscription? mailto://

Daren Starnes
Mathematics & Statistics Instructor
Charlotte Country Day School Phone: (704) 943-4592
Charlotte, NC Fax: (704) 943-4675
The Advanced Placement Statistics List
To UNSUBSCRIBE send a message to containing:
unsubscribe apstat-l <email address used to subscribe>
Discussion archives are at
Problems with the list or your subscription? mailto://

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