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Differentiation: definition and basic derivative rules

AP Calc: CHA (BI), CHA‑2 (EU), FUN (BI), FUN‑2 (EU), FUN‑3 (EU)
AP Calc: CHA (BI), CHA‑2 (EU), CHA‑2.D (LO), CHA‑2.D.1 (EK)
Estimate derivativesGet 3 of 4 questions to level up!

About this unit

The derivative of a function describes the function's instantaneous rate of change at a certain point. Another common interpretation is that the derivative gives us the slope of the line tangent to the function's graph at that point. Learn how we define the derivative using limits. Learn about a bunch of very useful rules (like the power, product, and quotient rules) that help us find derivatives quickly.
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