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How do people take so many AP Classes???

RedSn0wRedSn0w Posts: 241Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2011 in High School Life
Hey guys, so when I look at the RD decisions for Harvard, Berkeley, etc. Most people have about 6 or 7 APs finished by the time they apply. Now my question is, how the heck do people get so many APs? I have only 4 before my college application. My school has 6 periods a day, all year round. So Sophomore I took AP Bio and Junior I took AP Chem, AP Stats, and AP English. How do others manage things like AP US and AP Economics and such, when that's pretty much impossible at my school?
Post edited by RedSn0w on
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Replies to: How do people take so many AP Classes???

  • mrzachariusmrzacharius Posts: 121Registered User Junior Member
    Sometimes kids just take the class, because they feel it's necessary when you see so many kids on sites like this with 5+ a year. Just because you see a schedule with AP's galore, doesn't mean they are doing extremely well in all of those classes. 4 AP classes in two years is well above average, so don't be discouraged. I know I will be at 4 by the end of this year (Euro Sophomore, Physics B/English Lang/APUSH Junior), and I will take 3-6 next year (Chem , Calc AB, English Lit, Macroeconomics, American Gov, Bio/Psych), depending on my scheduling.
  • jake1313jake1313 Posts: 173Registered User Junior Member
    Honestly, "AP" classes at some schools are not at all rigorous. I took AP U.S. History and the lowest test grade I ever got was a 92. In an AP class. I'm smart, but not THAT smart. I also never had any homework in that class, and we watched lots of videos. (Not complaining at all, lol.) So AP classes at your school might be a lot more time-consuming.
  • RedSn0wRedSn0w Posts: 241Registered User Junior Member
    Ah okay thanks guys, if anyone else has something to add on please do.
  • darkwalrus77darkwalrus77 Posts: 128Registered User Junior Member
    If it is about how hard it is in balancing the workload and stuff, then it is because either the work isn't hard or the person is pretty smart. I mean, honestly, it wasn't hard for me to get a 5 on APUSH and a 5 on Lang and I didn't study at all. And the work in class was basically a joke. For Calc this year I'll probably have to study for a 4 because I'm just not as good at math.

    If you mean to physically be allowed to take the classes, then it depends on the school and if the kid is a nerd or not. At my school, I just take the highest level class I can, but didn't go full nerd and take 2 math classes a year. I'm sorry that I don't get high off of being a nerd and would rather broaden my horizon and dabble in art (I was considering going to art school). The highest level for me meant no AP's until Junior year, and for even the super nerds it meant only 1 ap (calc) in their soph year.

    This upcoming year, however, I'll be a senior so I can take whatever classes I want to take which means 7 APs, but our semester doesn't finish until mid Jan, after applications are due, so technically i'll only have 2 AP classes fully finished by then and right after ill have 5 if the schools check my grades.

    Basically, don't worry. For every kid who focuses on school an optimal amount, there is one who is taking those 12 APs by junior year or whatever and the college reads them as a "flat" person with no life. On the other side, there is the kid who doesn't challenge themself at all. Try to balance the two. Take hard courses, but excel outside the classroom; become an actual person, someone who has a personality and is fun to hang around. Not only will colleges favor you, but if you don't get into the place you wanted to get into, you'll have had a bit more fun, know more about the world, and have set yourself up for more opportunities at whatever "lower" level school you do go to.
  • tylrrveratylrrvera Posts: 330Registered User Junior Member
    When you have 6 periods or more, its SO much easier. I have a block schedule, of the same 4 periods everyday, so it is literally impossible for someone to take more than 11 AP classes by the time they graduate. I envy other people, but I guess the schedule allows me to balance my life pretty well.

    On the other hand, if you arent taking the MOST rigorous schedule you can, then how is that going to look to Admissions Counselors?
  • darkwalrus77darkwalrus77 Posts: 128Registered User Junior Member
    IMO block schedule is way better. And we have 4 classes a day x2 = 8 a year. Physics has an extension though so I can only take 7 APs (and gym as half of the extension). Still that's 7 in a year. It's not the block scheduling's fault we can't take more. We just can't take any soph year really and not many junior year.
  • tylrrveratylrrvera Posts: 330Registered User Junior Member
    but the terrible part about the block scheduling is first semester only AP classes FORCE you to self-study from january through may. Its terrible!
  • jasonleb1jasonleb1 Posts: 721Registered User Member
    My school has 7 classes and a block schedule which is really conducive to taking AP classes and the reason I was able to take 10 before college.
  • Aj39vn23cf2Aj39vn23cf2 Posts: 398Registered User Junior Member
    My school has the same 7 classes every day and a 1-hour lunch period. I'm heading into my Junior year (took APUSH as a Soph, self-studied for Bio/Env Sci/US Gov) with AP Physics B, AP Human Geo, AP Lang, AP Comp Sci A, AP World, an Engineering class, and Spanish III as my schedule. The reason I could fit so many into my schedule was because I dropped out of my school's math course (they wouldn't let me skip pre-calc for AP Calc AB & I didn't feel like wasting a schedule slot) and have fulfilled basically all of my graduation requirements in my Frosh/Soph years. At my school, you need to take Honors Chemistry/Bio to go into their respective AP classes, but basically every other AP class have no prerequisites. So to save two slots in my schedule for AP classes, I've decided to self-study for Bio and Chem.

    Basically, I'm able to physically take 5 AP classes in a year because I've fulfilled most graduation requirements my Frosh/Soph years, I've dropped out of my school's math course, most of the APs don't have prerequisites like they do at many schools, and I'm self-studying for the APs that have prerequisites. I'm able to do it mentally and time-management wise because AP classes aren't rigorous at all at my school (102% average in APUSH!).
  • smwhtslghtlydzedsmwhtslghtlydzed Posts: 1,555Registered User Senior Member
    It really just depends on the school, some schools teach for the test and the classes are super easy and doable, while many schools go above and beyond what's required, and in the schools like that it's a lot harder to take a bunch of AP classes.

    What annoys me about people taking 6-7 APs is, unless they're super easy, doesn't that detract from doing what you care about? I realize there's pressure to take the highest level available in everything, and that's what I've done for the most part, but it bothers me when people are considered 'slackers' for only taking 2-3 APs if they're choosing to focus on the classes that they care about and really want to spend time on?
  • jasonleb1jasonleb1 Posts: 721Registered User Member
    It really just depends on the school, some schools teach for the test and the classes are super easy and doable, while many schools go above and beyond what's required, and in the schools like that it's a lot harder to take a bunch of AP classes.
    This too, but going above and beyond, in my experience, isn't great for the AP test. My chem teacher taught us college gen Chem, not "AP Chem". I did very well (upper 90 percentiles) on tests taken from a college test bank, but got a 2 on my exam. But, at the end of the day, I'd rather flunk the exam and do well in the class when I get to college.
  • socalgrl257socalgrl257 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Some schools offer more APs than others, and some students can handle more APs than others. My 2 cousins who got into Harvard Law did not take APs until their Jr. year of high school while I started taking APs as an 8th grader. It simply is how much you feel you can handle. Remember, you may not have as many APs as others, but you may have 10x as many extra-curriculars, have a job, raise siblings, and have super powers to save the planet. Don't stress out about it.
  • stressedoutttstressedouttt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
    not to mention, some people just don't need to sleep

    ... I'm not joking......
  • Izzy Busy BeeIzzy Busy Bee Posts: 3,762Registered User Senior Member
    AP classes aren't as rigorous/time-consuming at their schools and it's probably not difficult to get into the class in the first place.
  • RedSn0wRedSn0w Posts: 241Registered User Junior Member
    Yeah I see that some aren't rigorous, but I mean it literally, it is almost impossible (not work wise, but class wise) to fit in 5+ APs. All out AP classes except for AP Phys require a prerequisite and AP Phys still requires an A in all math courses taken. For example, AP USH requires Developement of Wesern Civilizations (H). AP bio and chem require their original reg classes. Etc etc.
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