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Senior Year - AP Calc BC or AP Statistics?

njlokknjlokk Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
edited December 2012 in AP Tests Preparation
Hello. I am a junior and am currently enrolled in AP Calculus AB. I am doing well in the class, and am maintaining an A average pretty easily. However, I am not sure what I should take next year. I know that prestigious colleges generally view Calc BC much more favorably than Statistics, but there are a few factors that are making me unsure whether I should take it. First of all, at our school, AP Calculus BC covers both AB and BC curriculum, so if I were to take that next year I would essentially be repeating a lot of the stuff from this year. I actually was originally enrolled in BC this year after Honors Precalc last year, but after I got a D on the first test I pretty much realized that I was not going to do too well and that I would be better served in AB. Part of the reason for this is the teacher is EXTREMELY difficult. Out of all of the very top students in that class, I know only 2 or 3 that manage to get an A. Obviously this worries me as I would like to keep my GPA as high as possible (currently it is a 4.0 so I would rather not have it go down...). AP Stats on the other hand is quite easy at my school and I could easily get an A in it. Basically my question is this: would I be better served taking Calc BC and getting a lower grade or taking AP Stats and getting an A, in terms of how colleges would view me? Please note that I my intended college major is either International Relations or Economics, so it's not as if I am a hardcore engineering or math type of person.

So yeah, what should I take? Thanks!
Post edited by njlokk on

Replies to: Senior Year - AP Calc BC or AP Statistics?

  • pseudoquotientpseudoquotient Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Since Calc AB and Calc BC overlap, it won't be as difficult taking Calc BC next year. However, I think you should go with AP Stat, since you're not a math/science major. I think colleges would be pretty impressed if you got an A (or did well on the exams) both in AP Stat and AP Calc AB.
  • njlokknjlokk Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    I actually have friends in BC that have taken AB, and they are not doing well. They say that they know the all the calculus concepts but the teacher makes problems extremely complicated algebraically (he also doesn't curve anything).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,759 Senior Member
    njlokk wrote:
    Please note that I my intended college major is either International Relations or Economics, so it's not as if I am a hardcore engineering or math type of person.

    Statistics is generally useful for any social studies major. However, AP statistics is not always accepted by colleges. Check the colleges you are considering.

    Note that the economics major can be math-heavy. Minimal math requirements for economics are a year of freshman calculus and a semester of statistics, which will be used in intermediate microeconomics and econometrics. Students intending to go to graduate school in economics take more advanced math courses, including junior level math courses for math majors, and more in-depth statistics courses, as well as math-heavy versions of intermediate microeconomics and econometrics, if available.
  • DreamBig96DreamBig96 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Sorry I'm a bit confused here: If you take AP courses in your senior year and take the test in May, would the universities see it on your application? I'm talking about self-studying here since my school doesn't offer some AP courses.
  • njlokknjlokk Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    if I took BC and got a B or a C in it first semester (and it brought down my 4.0) would colleges care much or would they just like that I'm challenging myself?
  • njlokknjlokk Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    Dreambig: they would see whatever my grade was in the class first semester, and I'm concerned I won't be able to get an A, or maybe even a B, in it.
  • afrojackafrojack Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    Stats if you wanna not do work and have an easy math,

    Calc if you want the college credit and have the advantage of a high school setting instead of taking it in college
  • valeasvaleas Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    Go take stat, senior year is for chilling
  • joshuabovejoshuabove Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    You should take both. Stats is much more chill than Calc at my school, but Calc isn't that hard either... I thought stats was pretty fun and there was barely any work for me to do since all the concepts are pretty intuitive. Well, my advice isn't very useful anyways...just do what feels right!
  • njlokknjlokk Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    I would probably prefer to take stat because I want to enjoy senior year and BC is gonna be a LOT of work. But will it make any significant difference in my application?
  • rc777azrc777az Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Remember that your senior course load is only one factor in your application. Are you taking any other AP classes senior year? If you are, that may make up for taking AP Stats. AP Stats is fairly easy, and I'm awful at math. Literally your calculator can do almost all the work.
  • njlokknjlokk Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    Yes, I will be taking 4 or 5 other APs (Spanish Lit, English Lit, Physics B, Econ, maybe one more). I am just concerned because I have always taken the most rigorous courses before dropping into AB this year, and I hate admitting that a class would be too hard for me to do well in.
  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 3,299 Senior Member
    I think you should take AP Statistics. Lots of economics is based on statistics. My daughter having AP credit for both Calc AB and Statisitcs - satisfied all of the math requirements in her college's core.
  • carbs2carbs2 Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    Go with AP Stat. You'd get bored in BC most likely; it's just AB all over again with a few extra units. At my school, you aren't allowed to take both. It's either one or the other. And statistics is a really good thing to know about for future math courses, etc.
This discussion has been closed.