What to Bring on AP Calculus Exam Day

Ok, so you’ve spent the last weeks, months, or the whole year preparing for the AP Calculus exam. You know your stuff. You can do limits, derivatives, and integrals in your sleep. But have you though about what you should bring to the test on AP Calculus exam day?

AP Exam Policies

According to the College Board website, every student taking an exam must adhere to certain policies. The AP exams are standardized, which means that every student must take the test under the same conditions.

In particular, there are official lists of items that you may and may not bring to the test on AP Calculus exam day.

Checklist for AP Calculus Exam Day

  1. Have your identification ready. Specifically, you should have a government-issued or school-issued photo ID.
  2. Bring at least two sharpened Number 2 pencils for filling in your answers on the bubble sheet. Most pencils are Number 2 nowadays, so you shouldn’t have any issues just grabbing a pack of pencils from the store. Mechanical pencils are fine, but check the package to make sure it says “No.2” or “#2” somewhere.
  3. What to Bring on AP Calculus Exam Day -- definitely pencils

  4. Check that your pencils have good erasers on them. If not, or if you’re like me and make a lot of mistakes, then you should have a separate eraser. I prefer “dustless” erasers, but it’s up to you.
  5. erasers

  6. Make sure you have a pen with blue or black ink. This is to fill out forms and certain areas of your exam booklet.
  7. A watch may be helpful, especially in pacing yourself on the exam. But turn off all alarms and beeps, and do not bring in a watch that can access the internet or has any computational features.

    Wrist watch with stopwatch

    Many digital watches have a stopwatch feature, which could help you to pace yourself on the exam.


  9. Finally, for the AP Calculus exams, it is essential that you bring an approved graphing calculator. There are parts of the exam that require calculators as well as parts that do not allow one, so be aware of the instructions when you’re taking the test.

    graphing calculator

    For more details about calculator use on the the AP Calculus exam, check out: Can I use a Calculator on the AP Calculus Exam?

What Not to Bring

And now here’s a list of the items that you should not have with you during the test.

  1. Any electronic devices (aside from your calculator). This includes cell phones, tablets, laptop computers, etc.
  2. Food or drink. However there is always a break between sections, so you may be able to snack a bit then.
  3. Books, notebooks, or scraps of paper. During the test, the only paper that should be visible on your desk is your exam booklet and answer sheet.

And Now You Know

Now that you know what to bring on AP Calculus exam day, that’s one fewer thing to stress out over. But now you better get back to studying!

girl studying

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  • Shaun Ault

    Shaun earned his Ph. D. in mathematics from The Ohio State University in 2008 (Go Bucks!!). He received his BA in Mathematics with a minor in computer science from Oberlin College in 2002. In addition, Shaun earned a B. Mus. from the Oberlin Conservatory in the same year, with a major in music composition. Shaun still loves music -- almost as much as math! -- and he (thinks he) can play piano, guitar, and bass. Shaun has taught and tutored students in mathematics for about a decade, and hopes his experience can help you to succeed!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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