More schools are looking to add Advanced Placement classes, and I applaud the effort. AP classes have a common, challenging curriculum that is similar to what is offered at most top universities. Furthermore, at the end of the year, students and their future colleges get feedback about whether the program offered by their high school was up to par, and whether they learned the material at a college level via the AP test.
A lot of students (and teachers) are surprised to learn that the rules for calculators on the Advanced Placement test are actually a lot different from other standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. The surprising difference is that regardless of whether you are taking AB calculus or BC calculus, the only calculators allowed on the AP test are graphing calculators. That’s right, a simple scientific or four-function calculator is prohibited on the AP test while a TI-89 is perfectly legal.