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AP Calculus vs. AP Statistics

By Shreyash Srivastava

Two of the most popular AP courses for high school students are AP Calculus and AP Statistics. While both courses provide tough material and the possibility to earn college credits, there are several major differences that students should examine before choosing one. AP Calculus program consists of two independent Advanced Placement calculus courses and tests. AP Calculus AB introduces students to limits, derivatives, and integrals. AP Calculus BC covers all of the concepts covered in AP Calculus AB, as well as integration by parts, Taylor series, parametric equations, vector calculus, and polar coordinate functions (“AP”). AP Statistics, an applied field of mathematics, introduces students to the major concepts and methods for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Students can grasp several subjects such as sociology, commerce, law, and medicine by learning diverse mathematical formulas. Statistics is a subject that is very useful because students will most likely use statistics in their college and career journeys (“Which”). There are numerous advantages and disadvantages of AP Calculus and AP Statistics that should be considered before selecting a subject.

Pros of AP Calculus:

1. AP Calculus is a more traditional math course that delves deeply into concepts like limits, derivatives, and integrals.

2. Many STEM degrees in college require calculus, and obtaining college credits in high

school can help students save time and money.

3. Calculus develops problem-solving skills and logical thinking, which can be applied in a variety of subjects such as science, engineering, and economics.

Cons of AP Calculus:

1. Calculus can be difficult for some students because it necessitates a solid foundation in

algebra and trigonometry.

2. The course can go quickly, and students may need to spend extra time outside of class to stay up with the material.

3. Students may not be drawn to the emphasis on abstract notions and theoretical


Pros of AP Statistics:

1. AP Statistics is a more applied math course, including concepts like probability,

hypothesis testing, and data analysis.

2. Statistics is a class that is useful in a variety of sectors, including business, social

sciences, and medicine.

3. Statistics emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be used in a variety of occupations.

Cons of AP Statistics:

1. Students who struggle with math may find the course difficult because it demands a

strong foundation in algebra and basic math principles.

2. The course may not provide as solid a mathematical foundation as AP Calculus, which

may disadvantage students interested in STEM areas.

3. All students may not be interested in the emphasis on data analysis and interpretation.

Whether to study AP Calculus or AP Statistics is determined by a student's own interests, strengths, and professional ambitions. Both courses provide students who are willing to put in the time and effort required to achieve a tough and rewarding experience.

Works Cited

“AP Calculus.” Wikipedia, 23 Aug. 2022,

“Which AP Test to Take: AP Calculus or AP Statistics | Aralia.” Aralia, 10 Apr. 2022,

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