What are the estimated hours for teaching AP Calculus AB for students aiming for a 5? Similar question, how many hours of practice will the student need to put it.

Some Clarifications based on comments:

  1. I am asking for teaching (face to face) hours. Not prep time to be put in by the teacher

  2. I am not teaching in a school. So I get to decide the time.

(In terms of maths level, you can assume reasonable, but not high levels of development). If they don't know certain foundation skills (trigo, log/exp, func), I am not counting those in the teaching hours for the AP - that needs to be taught separately.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ In my opinion this is so hugely dependent on the teacher's background (both in mathematics and experience in teaching) and on the background and ability of the students that it's nearly unanswerable. For me, it would be far less time than I would have to spend teaching high school geometry, and perhaps even less time than I would have to spend teaching high school algebra, and I've taught all these courses (both in a high school and, except for geometry, in a college/university). $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2020 at 8:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't understand the question. Are you asking how many hours you would spend in class, teaching? Isn't that set by your contract? Are you asking how many hours of prep and grading outside of class? Prep will depend on how many times you've taught the class before, and grading depends on your own choices about how much written work to require and grade. $\endgroup$
    – user507
    Oct 29, 2020 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ I am not asking for prep. I am asking for the number of hours required to teach the content. $\endgroup$
    – Starlight
    Oct 30, 2020 at 16:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I am asking for the number of hours required to teach the content. --- This may be country dependent, because in the U.S. the number of hours one has available to teach in the classroom (this excludes class preparation, and grading papers, and office-hours/after-school-hours meeting with students who need help, etc.) is fixed and is not something a teacher has control over. Whatever is the number of hours a teacher is assigned for teaching a class (AP calculus, or anything else) is the number of hours "required to teach the content" for that class for that teacher. $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2020 at 6:51

1 Answer 1


I can't answer it in any meaningful way since it varies so much, but what I can offer is what the makers of the AP Calc AB test say:


On pages 27-29, it has a list of topics and pacing

Unit (class periods of 45-min)

  • 1 (22-23)

  • 2 (13-14)

  • 3 (10-11)

  • 4 (10-11)

  • 5 (15-16)

  • 6 (18-20)

  • 7 (8-9)

  • 8 (19-20)

So it's around 120 units of 45 min, so 90hrs of content? (But it seems rather long or leisurely-paced to me?)

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ High school classes in the US typically meet 50-60 minutes per day, five days per week, for 16 weeks (give or take). This is, then, about 70-80 hours of face-to-face instruction, which seems to match up with your numbers reasonably well. By the standards of college classes, this may seem leisurely, but it is worth noting that college professors expect their students to spend a great deal of time outside of class, whereas the homework load for high school students tends to be much less. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson
    Oct 29, 2020 at 17:41

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