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I'm wondering what you hear locally about availability of AP courses for ninth graders, or about comparable hard courses for comparably young students through other channels. I get the impression that in some places it is not allowed at all for a freshman to take an AP course, or that at most only one course is allowed. A separate issue is how many ninth graders are well prepared by their middle school experiences for taking courses that are that hard, and I'd love to hear your comments about that as well. I'm trying to wrap my mind around what a typical ninth grade class schedule looks like, and what kind of homework and studying is expected of kids that age. I ask this in the context of colleges claiming, just about unanimously, that they look most carefully at what kind of courses applicants took in high school. What courses CAN college applicants take in the first year or two of high school?