Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

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Read Meryl's latest blog posts on math tutoring, from tips for finding the best AP Calculus tutor to passing an upcoming test. At Meryl's Magic Math, we believe all students can learn math and be successful in it. We explain concepts simply and in multiple ways to ensure understanding. We help students improve their confidence, math understanding, and grades.

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

5M ago

Need extra practice for your AP Calculus Unit 8 review? Outlined are the topics and applications of integration practice problems aligned with College Board’s curriculum to study for a Unit 8 test.
Unit 8 is arguably the most important unit for students in AP Calculus AB. That’s because common free response questions (FRQ) involve particle motion (8.2), accumulation functions (8.3), and area/volume (8.4-8.12). For BC students, they can expect to see an accumulation functions FRQ, but their exam rarely has an area/volume FRQ. The concepts will pop up in the multiple choice section though ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

7M ago

Need extra practice for your AP Calculus Unit 7 review? Outlined are the topics and differential equations practice problems aligned with College Board’s curriculum to study for a Unit 7 test.
As College Board outlines, the topics to review for Unit 7 are:
· Modeling Situations with Differential Equations
This is essentially taking words and converting the relationship to an equation. Recall from past math classes that a directly proportional relationship is of the form kx, and an inversely proportional relationship is of the form k ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

9M ago

Need extra practice for your AP Calculus Unit 5 review? Outlined are the topics and derivative application practice problems aligned with College Board’s curriculum to study for a Unit 5 test.
As College Board outlines, the topics to review for Unit 5 are:
· Using the Mean Value Theorem
Mean Value Theorem (MVT) says that if a function f(x) is continuous over [a,b] and differentiable over (a,b), there there exists a point c, a
It is crucial for MVT free response questions on the AP Calculus exam to indicate that the hypotheses are met. That ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

10M ago

Need extra practice for your AP Calculus Unit 4 review? Outlined are the topics and derivative application practice problems aligned with College Board’s curriculum to study for a Unit 4 test.
This unit brings to light the reason we learned the derivative rules from Units 2 and 3. It showcases real-life applications of motion and other rates of change.
As College Board outlines, the topics to review for Unit 4 are:
· Interpreting the Meaning of the Derivative in Context
The key in Unit 4 is that “rate of change” implies derivative. The derivative is the instantaneous rate of change in several ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

11M ago

Need extra practice for your AP Calculus Unit 2 review? Outlined are the topics and derivative practice problems aligned with College Board’s curriculum to study for an AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC Unit 2 test.
As College Board outlines, the topics to review for an AP Calculus Unit 2 test are:
· Defining Average and Instantaneous Rates of Change at a Point
Recall that average rate of change is the slope of the secant line (how we find slope in Algebra 1) and instantaneous rate of change is the slope of the tangent line. Formulas for both are below. Also, "instantaneous rate of change," "sl ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

1y ago

The AP exam is approaching--do you have a study plan? Outlined is a 1 month study plan to pass the AP Calculus exam, which can be abbreviated with less time.
It was my first year teaching AP® Calculus. My classes finished the curriculum at the beginning of April and I was excited to have a full month to review for the AP® exam. Until I opened my storage cabinet of resources.
If you sat through AP® Calculus this year, you likely accumulated hundreds of pages of notes, activities, and assessments. You may have multiple notebooks covering the immense curriculum!
Where do you start in preparing fo ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

2y ago

This is the graphing calculator most math teachers would recommend for any high school or college math course. Buy it early on and use it for every math class including AP Calculus, ACT/SAT and beyond.
You will need a graphing calculator for the AP Calculus exam as half of the exam is non-calculator and half of the exam is calculator based. There are four sections of the AP Calculus exam:
1. Multiple Choice No Calculator
2. Multiple Choice with Calculator
3. Free Response with Calculator
4. Free Response No Calculator
College Board outlines a list of approved calculators. For AP Calculus, your ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

2y ago

You’ve gotten comfortable using the First Derivative Test in Calculus to find relative extrema, so do you really need the Second Derivative Test? Read more to find out the answer.
When you’re introduced to the Second Derivative Test, it is typically applied to polynomials, like the example below. And as you can see, the problem can be solved just as easily with the First Derivative Test.
It is worth noting that if you’re not great with fractions, the First Derivative Test may be challenging in this example. In order to complete the sign chart, you must plug in a fraction into f’ between -1 an ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

2y ago

Deciding between AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC can be a big decision. Here are two main factors in choosing the better fit, from an AP Calculus tutor’s perspective.
The Difference between AP Calculus AB and BC
AP Calculus AB is similar to a college Calculus I course. AP Calculus BC is equivalent to taking both Calculus I and II.
AP Calculus AB covers limits, derivatives, and integrals. AP Calculus BC covers those AB topics, with additional integration techniques, series, vectors, and polar curves. Find out more specific curriculum differences between AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC. The ..read more

Meryl's Magic of Math Blog

2y ago

Your AP Calculus tests are more difficult than your homework questions so how can you study? Check out these resources to match the rigor of your tests.
The best way to study for AP Calculus tests is by solving more problems, and seeing unique wording that indicates if you should take a derivative or integral.
Free AP Calculus Resources
1. The AP Calculus Problem Book was created by a veteran AP Calculus teacher and includes his past tests and solutions. It’s truly the best free resource I’ve found to get extra practice for upcoming AP Calculus tests.
2. Flippedmath.com has videos and matching ..read more