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AP Calculus BC or AP Statistics?

rachelnguynrachelnguyn Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited May 2 in College Admissions
I am currently a junior and I'm unsure if I should take AP Calc BC or AP Stats my senior year.

I am in AP Calc AB this year and got a B last semester (although I had an A before the final dropped my grade 7% lol) and am most likely getting an A this semester. We have a brand-new, first-year Calculus teacher who is awful at teaching (although a genuinely kind person) and I feel as though my Calculus background is not strong at all, I don't even think I will pass the AP Calc AB Exam next week.
I have no interest in majoring in engineering or anything mathematical/science-related in college; as I think I'd want to study liberal arts, like humanities, or film.

However, I do realize that AP Calc BC looks far better than AP Stats to colleges, and I believe I can get at least a B in BC.

So my question is, should I take AP Stats (and most probably get an A in the class, considering it is considered a very easy class at my school) or take AP Calc BC (and probably get a B)?

My classes next year are:

AP Spanish
AP Lit
AP Civics
AP Psych or AP Music Theory
AP Calc BC or AB Stats

I also was just elected as Senior Class President for my senior year and think that will consume an enormous amount of my time first semester, but I heard that Calc BC first semester is just review so I might be fine.

Replies to: AP Calculus BC or AP Statistics?

  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 821 Member
    What's your intended major? Taking stats is fine as long as you've taken calculus.
  • harvard_and_berkeleyharvard_and_berkeley Registered User Posts: 1,086 Senior Member
    Since you took Calc AB, I think it is quite appropriate to take AP Stats instead of Calc BC.
  • JerseyParentsJerseyParents Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    My son is taking AP Stats after AP Calc AB He's not a Stem major and the AP Stats will fit better into his gen ed req than two AP Calcs

    Depends on your specific major
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,300 Senior Member
    If you are trying for really top schools, take BC calc. They recognize that it is more difficult than AP stats. I would also drop one class that is not AP Lit or AP Spanish and add a study hall. They care more about quality than quantity. Try to get an A in English, math and Spanish, or at least 1 or 2 of them. They will tend to focus more on those core APs.

    With BC Calc behind you, you should be able to take Calc based stats in college. Even intro stats. This is better. Even if you are a humanities student, if you want to do research this will be an advantage. Research often requires advanced math and stats. The more comfortable you are with advanced math, the more you stand out as a candidate with a skill they can use.
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 970 Member
    edited May 3
    Given your circumstances, I'd just take AP Stat. If you have no interest in anything science, math or engineering, then AP Stat is commonly taken senior year, at least the local high school here. And if you're struggling with AB, then there's likelihood you'll struggle with BC. And BC takes more time than AP Stat, which you may not have with being senior class president.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,122 Senior Member
    Be aware that if you do have to take more math or statistics in college, the college math or statistics courses will cover material at a faster pace than those in your high school.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,479 Senior Member
    AP Stat would be easier than AP Calc BC. It depends on your school that the first semester of Calc BC may be just Calc AB. That is the case in the AP exam too. Some schools make Calc AB a pre-requisite for Calc BC and then teach Calc BC in a slower pace. In that case, it would not be too difficult. If you are want to have a STEM major, Calc BC may be more useful. Also, you should check the AP policy of your intended colleges. I told my D2 to choose AP courses that she may be able to get better credits in college and skip those not.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 17,510 Senior Member
    I think AP Stat is fine since you took calc and won't be pursuing a STEM field.
  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN Registered User Posts: 2,857 Senior Member
    100% agree with @sushiritto and @happy1 (and anyone else saying the same thing). If not STEM, no sense in struggling through BC and stats is actually a useful math to take going forward and is required in some liberal art majors/social science fields like psych.
  • jheidenreichjheidenreich Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    I took AB last year and am in BC this year, and it has not been anything too difficult. You heard correctly that the first semester is all review, I practically slept through the whole first semester and the new stuff wasn't too difficult; pretty much just adding on to what was already learned in AB. As long as you feel confident with how you did in AB it shouldn't be too difficult
  • MorgranLovesMeowMorgranLovesMeow Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    i took AP Calc BC and aced it in.. and bombed stats in college. BC is not that much more diff then AB compared to AP Stats - if you have the bandwidth, take stats now, while you have time, i.e. take the harder one now while you have more time.
  • allthelampsallthelamps Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Take the one that will be easier for you/has the better teacher. What should actually be the difference in why you would choose one over the other would be your major & any requirements you'd be trying to get out of, but as you won't need either just choose the one that is easier for you.

    If it means anything, I didn't take either during high school.
  • 57special57special Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
    I can sympathize with having a poor teacher for Calc. S1 has a bad one for Calc AB, and is struggling along with a B. He will take BC as a senior, but he knows those teachers are very good, and already took AP stats as a sophomore. I would take AP STats if there is a better teacher there.
  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am Registered User Posts: 437 Member
    Think outside the box by considering taking both. Do so only if you won't miss dropping one of your other classes in order to fit in the extra math. My kids took both. They doubled up on AP Stat and honors trig or some such during sophomore year. Taking two math classes at the same time is impressive to admission committees, but only do it if you think you will at least "like" taking these classes...it is too much to hope that you will "love" them. lol
  • 57special57special Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
    If your interests are in the Humanities I don't get why you should overload on Math courses.
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