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AP Calculus BC vs. AP Statistics

padfootpadfoot Posts: 705Registered User Member
edited June 2007 in College Admissions
I plan on applying to an undergraduate business school, such as Boston College and Wharton. Until recently, I had planned on taking AP Statistics. I do well in math, but I dislike it- it is the only high school class where I consistently get Bs. I heard that AP Stats is much different than the Algebra/Calculus path that most of high school math follows, and that English/Social Science type of people are often good at it.

However, the teacher whom I really really like is leaving our high school to teach stats elsewhere. The new teacher is the man who was my freshman Honor Algebra 2 teacher, and I really dislike his teaching style - he is incredibly boring, and I have ADD for one thing (and no longer use drugs for it).

I know Statistics has a very practical business application, but Wharton emphasizes a lot of mathematics, "including Calculus". And although I dislike Calculus (I am in AP Calc AB, and I have a mid-range B), isn't it usually more impressive on a Senior Transcript? I know A LOT of seniors take STATS, but few take second year calc.

I'm torn. What class should I take, considering that I seek admittance to highly-selective business programs?
Post edited by padfoot on

Replies to: AP Calculus BC vs. AP Statistics

  • speech529speech529 Posts: 137Registered User Junior Member
    I cannot answer for business programs or college acceptance, but this has been my D's experience:

    My D opted to take AP Statistics this year over Honors Calculus. It was an easy A...Personally, I think she should have taken HCalc. to prepare her for the type of math she will need in college. I am concerned that she will struggle Freshman year since she has had a year off from "real" math. Fortunately her college tests all incoming Freshman for math skills so they are correctly placed. This may add an extra year of math for her.

    I don't know how taking AP Stats vs Calc will affect admission....I am just hinking about keeping math skills up to speed.
  • etselecetselec Posts: 780Registered User Member
    If you are getting a B in AB Calc now, you won't have a problem with BC Calc (I'm assuming they're teaching BC as a whole-year course?). There isn't enough new material to make the pace of the class very challenging, unless your teacher likes to throw in additional topics at random, so you'll have a lot of time for review.
  • ParentOfIvyHopeParentOfIvyHope Posts: 3,182- Senior Member
    If you have already take AP calc AB then I'll advise on taking AP Statistics if you are planning to major in Business/Economics. I certainly think that doing AP Statistics provide a better profile for you over taking AP Calc BC after AP calc AB.

    AP Calculus BC is advantageous only if taken directly after Honors Pre calculus or if you are planning major in Math/Engineering. Otherwise AP calculus AB is sufficient.
  • UCBUCBUCBUCB Posts: 278Registered User Junior Member
    At my school I took both and got A's in both with senioritis.. wasn't easy though. You will enjoy having those units in college. Remember AP classes are cut short with AP tests and most likely you dont do much after the AP test. Plus, if you will be a senior, grades aren't such a big deal.
  • iamjacquesbarjoniamjacquesbarjon Posts: 195- Junior Member
    if the stats teacher is gonna be a ***** for you, just take BC. stats won't help you that much in college. you'll breeze through BC.
  • aristotle1990aristotle1990 Posts: 558Registered User Member
    On another note, I'm a junior who's just completed Honors Precalculus. I'll be applying to some highly selective universities (Yale, Harvard, UPenn, e.t.c.), but don't plan on majoring in math or engineering (though possibly economics or business). Should I take AB or BC calculus next year? BC will definitely be more difficult (and I'll probably do worse and put a lot of extra stress on myself next year, as math is not my best subject by a long shot), and I'm not sure it's worth it. Will it really look that much better to colleges, especially considering that I'm not in the über-advanced math track to begin with?
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