Yesterday at 11:49 pm edited July 25
A major factor here is the availability of many different levels of the same topic area in most high schools. Students select classes carefully with an eye towards choosing classes they know they will do well in. Then, faced with prospect of getting a B (oh no, heaven help him/her) they can usually drop down a level. The upshot is that many students have never experienced a grade in the B range. They tend to have an inflated impression of their own abilities. And, when they get to college, they often flip out if they sense their grade isn't going to be in the A range. Some will barter, plead, lie, beg and if nothing else works, complain. Some will badger the prof endlessly, begging for EC or a break or a deal. It is pitiful/pathetic/sickening. More and more, the students appear as fragile little snow flakes who feel their lives are ruined if the prof is unwilling to be pressured to make up an A grade for students who have not earned them. Pathetic!
Basically with few exceptions, grades are meaningless. That is true in high school and in college. Many profs will hand out A's to avoid confrontations. There are a few rigorous colleges with faculty member who don't allow students to badger but most do.
^^ I completely agree with this. But, I am dumbfounded when I see colleges stating that "The best predictor of college success is high school grades". I guess maybe it's the anti-SAT types with this logic? We have been to two highly rated high schools. At one school, it's easy to get A's, even in AP classes - and top students there took 10-14 AP courses. At other school, even the top students get some B's, the Honors classes are very hard - some harder than AP classes - and kids take maybe 6-8 AP courses.
Also, I have a friend who has all A's first two years of HS, in standard classes. The kid (and mom) can't handle the thought of a B, so takes easiest classes. Our HS is dropping class rank for this reason, and also for the other side of it, where the weighted averages give artificially inflated GPA's.
So, IMO, not all A students are created equally - not within a school, and not across different schools. But then there's so much focus on "rigor", which is driving many students into a stressful high school experience.
@Golfgr8 - In most good quality public suburban schools, the most common is Algebra 1 in 8th and Geometry (regulor or Honors in 9th. But many private schools have a more advanced track, with Alg 1 Honors in 7th and Geometry Honors in 8th. Some public schools allow acceleration to that (or offer it) too, but others consider Geometry 9th to be challenging and won't let kids accelerate past that (the theory being that depth and problem solving is more important than checking boxes and moving on).
BUT...if you want to complete BC Calc in high school, then it's important to accelerate. I found that out the hard way and my son is playing catchup.
What year are you? You could retake them next year, if time permits (ie, don't bother if you're a senior; and if you're a junior you may have others to prepare for, so a matter of priorities). I'd only worry about the Chem, and only if you are interested in STEM / science majors. You don't get credit at most highly selective schools anyway; you just place out of a class if you have a 4/5 (sometimes 3). But at competitive schools, you may not want to place out anyway. I know people that did that with Calc and Chem and then were getting D's in the next level...not a great way to start freshman year, esp in their cases as Pre-Med.
Skip the test and if they ask - you are planning to take it Senior year as you needed more time to study. Everyone knows it's a hard test so that's fine. Also results don't come back until July so that way colleges won't see the score (or know if you took it senior yr) anyway. It will look worse to get a 1/2 then to not take it. Also if Calc is challenging - then u should retake it in college anyway if you're a STEM major.