Outcomes of accepting or declining advanced placement Calculus credit

Karen De Urquidi, Dina Verdin, Stephen Hoffmann, Matthew W. Ohland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Students who qualify for Calculus credit via the Advanced Placement (AP) exam often have the choice of accepting the credit, and starting in Calculus II or III, or declining the credit, and retaking Calculus I in a university setting. This study investigates and reports success metrics for students who make a choice of accepting or declining AP Calculus credit. The 2014 College Board National Report states when compared to similar peers, students who receive a score of 3 or higher in an AP exam tend to earn higher college grade point averages (GPAs), have higher graduation rates, and have the opportunity to take more discipline course work in college. This report is based on all the AP courses offered by College Board. It is not certain what the outcomes are for an individual course, i.e. AP Calculus, or how the markers of success translate to engineering students and engineering programs. By analyzing 3,600 engineering students academic records from Fall 2012 and 2014 (i.e. gender, ethnicity, residency, grade received in Calculus I course, AP Calculus exam score, High School GPA, SAT/ACT Math and Verbal score), this study seeks to describe patterns of success in students' subsequent Calculus courses from those who accepted AP Calculus credit, skipping Calculus I, as opposed to those who did not accept their AP Calculus credit and took Calculus I. Students ask for recommendations from their first year engineering advisors on whether to retake Calculus I in college or accept their AP Calculus credit, which consists of a score of 4 or 5 at this university. As research in this specific topic is absent, advisors in a first year engineering program must advise in the absence of concrete data. This paper offers insight based upon previous student academic records, which may inform advisors and incoming first year students on whether or not to accept AP Calculus credit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEl Paso


  • calculus
  • Engineering Education
  • engineering students
  • mathematics
  • qualifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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