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Topic: Four Required Capabilities
Replies: 1   Last Post: Feb 4, 1998 5:53 PM

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gloria dion

Posts: 18
Registered: 12/6/04
Four Required Capabilities
Posted: Feb 4, 1998 5:53 PM
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I have been following the discussion on the four required graphing
calculator capabilities required for the AP Calculus examinations, and I
would like to clear up any misunderstandings that may exist.

As you know, the AP Calculus course description states that a graphing
calculator with the following four capabilities (either built-in or
programmed) is required for the examinations:
(1) to produce the graph of a function within an arbitrary viewing window
(2) to find the zeros of a function
(3) to compute the derivative of a function numerically
(4) to compute definite integrals numerically

The capability to find the zeros of a function is equivalent to finding the
point of intersection of two curves. A built in "solver" or a graphical
"intersection-finder" satisfies this criterion and a student may use either
without loss of credit.

As an example, consider Question 6 on the 1996 Calculus AB examination (see
the May 1998, May 1999 Course Description, pages 58-59). In the solution to
part (a) the student needs to find when two slopes, expressed in terms of
"a", are equal. Once the equation has been setup (see bullet 4 in the
"General Instructions" on page 43 of the Course Description), a solver
could be used to obtain the answer (although in this case it might be
easier and more accurate to solve the equation algebraically!).

I hope you find this information helpful.

Gloria Dion
Assessment Division
Educational Testing Service

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