Is University of Missouri’s Calculus Easier Than AP Calculus?

I just talked to a student who told me that his friends told him that.  He asked me if it was true.  I said, “probably so”.  Of course, AP Calculus is not college calculus either.  See my posts under the category “AP Calculus”.


  1. Well, I have heard some suggest that AP Calculus is too hard and that ‘smart’ students should take calculus at a two-year college to get the college credit. Getting credit is what most students want anyway, and the cheapest/easiest path is typically what is sought.

    I for one have taken a look at a variety of college-level calculus courses offered on Coursera and edX, and often wonder what exactly is college-level anyway. I thought, for example, that University of Pennsylvania was way more challenging than The University of Ohio, but they were clearly directed towards different audiences.

    Ideally, it sure would be nice to have an AP style college-level calculus exam that would be offered nationwide. I am not sure why MAA has not done this, in fact mathematics could be democratized greatly by having standardized exams where the content is determined by experts. No, you would not need to attend a college to take an exam, but the credential would be worth something to schools looking for educated people. I do hope that the MAA (or any one else) comes forward on this and starts to carefully come up with a way to show that one knows his/her stuff.

    Paying schools to authenticate learning is pretty ridiculous, mainly because they’re in it to make themselves look good by retaining and graduating students. Learning is not on their agenda.

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