Validating Cal I and II


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Oct 16, 2007
I was wondering about how I am going to validate Calculus I and II with the precision I could have a year ago.

Last year I took both Calculus AB and BC and got 5's for both on the AP exam. (5 on the BC, and a 5 for my AB sub-score) I plan to major in mathematics and understand all of the calculus concepts extremely well. Though I may understand the concepts very well, I have not retained the knowledge of my integration and differentiation tables. That goes along with all of the little rules about limits and the exact methods to calculating volumes.

Does anyone have suggestions about preparing for the validation exam? Did anyone go through this? I would hate to take Calculus I and II, especially Calculus I, at the academy when I already have a grasp on the material.
Until a mid or a BGO comes along with a more complete answer, take a look at this USNA Course Validation Policy table:

I think that according to this, you will not have to take a validation exam in Calculus - unless you want to try to validate Calc 3. Those 5's you got on your AP Calc exams are impressive!

Perhaps now that you have an appointment and know you want to major in Math, one of the USNA math advisors would be willing to talk to you about how to prepare for the math validation exam you would like to take. West Point has a math advisor page, but I could not find one for USNA. Perhaps you could start by contacting your admissions counselor by email or you could contact the Math Department by mail at the address at the bottom of this page:

You are absolutely correct to be planning your validation strategy now.

Many congratulations on your decision to attend USNA!
They tell BGOs to refer candidates to the website regarding validation because it DOES vary by course and the standards can change. There is no way we could memorize all of this (or at least no way most of us would want to!).
It's great to hear that I will get an automatic validation for Calculus I and II. I understand math so well and would hate to take the same courses twice.

I e-mailed my high school calculus teacher. Hopefully, he will be able to direct to some review materials to get back up to par. ;)
No, I have taken everything available at my high school except AP Stats. It wouldn't fit into my schedule.
A calc review would be helpful not work too hard. Try to have fun with your high school friends these last few months - but stay out of trouble! :shake:

P.S. Your appointment package should have more information about the validation standards for this year. Remember usna1985's caveat :
the standards can change.
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For the Class of 2010 Calc validation test was required of all Plebes. It was when he was invited back for the calc II test that he was informed that he did not have to take the CalcII test as his AP sore validated it. What my son said is you have to do well on the Calc I validation test before the AP score comes into play, At least that was the way it was handled for the Class of 2010.
I definitely agree with everything said so far. However, if for some reason they do make you take the validation exams, there really is no way to prepare for them unless you want to do some quick review before you report for I-day. If the schedule's the same as my plebe summer, the exams are given within the first week of the summer. You won't be given any time to study for the exams, and you'll probably be extremely stressed and exhausted. Trust me, when plebe summer begins, the exams will be the last thing on your mind. That being said, I would just not worry about preparing in advance, and instead just focus on doing the best you possibly can when you actually take them.
Quite honestly, if I review the information, I will be able to test on it. Math is, by far, my strongest subject. I probably can not fathom the stresses of plebe summer at the moment, but math is math. As long as 2+2 = 4, and f(x) = x^2 therefore f'(x) = 2x, I'll be fine. =]