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The AP/IB/AICE/college/etc. course arms race...
These days, it seems that high school students aiming for highly selective colleges are racing to take as many AP, IB, AICE, college, etc. courses as they can, and some high end private prep schools claim that their courses are better and more rigorous than AP, IB, AICE, etc. courses.
Seems a far cry from the days when college-prep high school students mostly took standard college-prep courses, with a few AP courses in their best subjects after taking the honors prerequisite courses in those subjects the previous years.
How common is it to get into a highly selective college these days with at most a few (fewer than 5) AP, IB, AICE, college, etc. courses (and not attending a high end private prep school claiming that their courses are better and more rigorous than AP, IB, AICE, etc. courses)? Or even no such courses at all?