Is AP statistics harder than calculus? (proved)

In this post we’re going to discover the hardest AP math exams, Does AP Calculus exam or AP statistics Exam.

 So keep reading if you want to discover the hardest subjects in both AP calculus and statistics Exam and the difference between each one.

Is ap statistis harder than calclulus?

AP Calculus exam is a lot harder than the statistics AP Calculus exam, in statistics the most challenging subject that you can find some issues to absorb is probability.  while all AP calculus subject is difficult and not easy to understand. As a result, you need to push a lot of effort and hard work to absorb them.

 So the difference in difficulty between the AP Calculus exam and the statistics Exam is bigger.

The second reason that makes the AP Calculus exam harder than the statistics AP exam is that all subjects of calculus are sequential. As a result, means you have to understand them all or nothing. 

To clarify more, To succeed in the AP Calculus exam you need first to understand and study:

 limits and continuity then derivatives then integrals and so on…

This means you can’t start and understand integrals without understanding derivatives and the same thing with limits and continuity.

So it is like building a house, firstly you need foundations and then thinking about the floors.

The most complicated subjects in AP statistics

1 – Descriptive statistics

Descriptive Statistics is a way to describe a set of data. It helps us understand the data by organizing and summarizing it in a way that is easy to understand. For example, we might use descriptive statistics to find out how many people are in a room, or to see what the average age of the people in the room is.

The most common pillar subject of statistics are:

  • mean 
  • median 
  • mode

A mean is a number that describes a set of data. The mean is calculated by adding up all of the numbers in a set of data and dividing that total by the number of data points in the set. 

For example, if you have plants, each palnt has the following height:

  • plant 1 =  15cm
  • plant 2 =  10cm
  • plant 3 =  20cm
  • plant 4 = 25cm
  • plant 5 =  15cm

So the mean, in this case, is 17cm, but in descriptive statistics, you will be studying advanced subjects that are more complicated than this example we mentioned.

if you are interested to discover more about a median and mode you can watch this video to have more detailed information about this tutorial.

2 – Probability

In general, the probability questions on the AP Statistics exam can be difficult to solve because to understand and analyze a subject before writing any word. If you don’t understand in detail what a problem or exercise says, you will beautifully fail in the exam ap questions.

This is the hardest subject in AP statistics, The best way to prepare, is to practice as many problems as possible and to review the exam concepts that you will be tested on. But if you don’t understand well what is probability we’ll give you an example:

Probability is a way of measuring how likely something is to happen. For example, you might roll a die and ask yourself how likely it is to roll a six. That would be a probability of 1 in 6.

In this case, you will  need to study  and focus on these 4 principals subjects  especially if you want to pass the statistics AP exam: 

As a result, you need to study hard on this subject or the probability subject to not face some issues in the statistics AP exam.

3 – Inferential Statistics

Inferential Statistics are a way to figure out what is going on in a bigger group of things by studying a smaller group of things. For example, if you wanted to know how many people in your town were obese, you could study a small group of people and then use inferential statistics to figure out how many people in your town were obese.

the inferential statistics subject are divided into 3 categories:

In general, this is what you have to understand and study hard if you want to prepare for Ap statistics Exam these subjects are the hardest ones that you might face in this specific test. 

But this is not There is nothing compared to what we’re going to discover in the next paragraph on subjects related to calculus or the AP Calculus exam.

The most complex subjects in Ap calculus

1 – Limits and continuity

One of the most difficult things when taking AP calculus examinations is getting to grips with limits and continuity. Students especially struggle to understand the bounds of certain functions that include remembering specific rules.

A limit function is a way of describing how a value changes as you move closer and closer to a certain point. For example, if you have a bowl of water and you pour more water into the bowl, the level of water in the bowl will continue to rise until it reaches the top. The limit function for this situation would be the maximum height that the water in the bowl reached.

But in AP courses you won’t study how water flows in a bowl, you will need to solve complex math equations like this one example below.

2 – Derivatives

Derivatives are the second interesting topic that students are required to pass an AP calculus. Derivatives are a solid base to understand well the upcoming calculus subjects such as:

  • partial derivatives
  • integrals
  • differential equation s

you have to be sure if you don’t understand derivatives are you are stuck, in the 90% of cases, you won’t be able to succeed in ap exams.

Derivatives require a little bit of memorization and a lot of practice. As a result, this is what makes this subject hard for many people because it requires a lot of work and repetition.

3 – Integrals

Integrals are one of the following hardest subjects after derivatives. What makes integrals hard is their dependency on the derivative. if you such or did not understand derivative you suffer in integrals.

If you do not understand what is integral, the integral is an arithmetical calculation technique that allows you to calculate any surface area or volume, regardless of its form or shape. Integrals are real-world applications that its example includes.

  • Calculate the surface of not aligned objects
  • Determine the volume of complex objects 

So before passing the AP calculus exam you have to be sure of these 2 things:

  • derivatives
  • integrals

4 – Differential equations

Differential equations are the domain used a lot by physicists and mechanical engineers, is a domain that allows you to study the mechanical movement of a system.

In ap calculus, you are demanded to absorb and understand these differential equations’ principal subjects or topics like:

  • Verifying solutions for differential equations
  • Sketching slope fields
  • Reasoning using slope fields
  • Separation of variables
  • Particular solutions to differential equations

theses subjects aren’t easy to digest they take effort to understand and require more engagement. But if you put them in the work by making a lot of exercises things will become easier and clear.

5 – Euler method

If you think to pass bc AP exam  you would need to understand more of these 3 additional subjects 

  • Euler method
  • parametric equations 
  • series and infinite sequences 

If you don’t know AP Calculus exam is divided into two versions

  • AP ab exam
  • AP bc exam 

If you want to discover the difference you could read his article

So let’s go back to the other method to Euler method.

  to explain to you this method is better to watch this video below than read abstract written words.

6 – parametric equations

The last hot subject that you should be aware of especially if you want to pass the AP bc Calculus exam is parametric equations.

in this subject, you will study some interesting topics like:

  • Second derivatives of parametric equations
  • Arc length: parametric curves
  • motions


In general, you have to understand one thing that will make you succeed in both AP statistics in calculus exams. But the most important thing to do is to understand when math by having the solid basics in algebra 1 and algebra two classes.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.