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Comparative ranking of these AP courses?

AstronomityAstronomity Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
I'm going to be taking AP Physics 1, AP Calc BC, AP Language and Comp, AP ComSci Principles, and teaching myself APUSH. Comparatively, which of these exams have been harder in your experience, and which should I prioritize the most in this coming year?

Replies to: Comparative ranking of these AP courses?

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,656 Senior Member
    DO NOT 'self teach'apush. Take it next year, or take American history 2 at your local community college if you prefer. Colleges want you to take the class 'in class's, with a teacher.
    In addition, 4 AP s in a year is PLENTY.
    as Stanford puts it 'it's not a game of who has the most AP 's, wins'. Another way to say this : be selective in your APs. Show your ability to balance a schedule and construct something that makes sense with who you are. Don't apply the 'everything but the kitchen sink'approach to AP s as it'll be held against you.
    BC and Lang would likely require the most work and higher -level thinking/analysis. Principles and Physics 1 are more rigorous than most classes but should require less effort to get a B or higher in them.
  • AstronomityAstronomity Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Regarding APUSH: my school has a reputation for our history department, which is not good. However, when you put it that way, it makes a lot of sense, because a mindless studier isn't who I really am either. Thanks for your input!
  • blue1articblue1artic Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    edited May 2016
    For BC Calc: The exam is okay, but definitely make sure that you are SOLID on your AB topics. A lot of the BC test is testing AB topics, so if you can nail those, and maybe you didn't do as well on the BC questions (series, etc.), you'll be on track to a 5. I personally find the AB topics easier, so if you are struggling, at least make sure you have a good foundation.
    The no-calculator portion of the exam has always been relatively hard, as experienced through the multiple practice tests I took (this years was a killer too), but thankfully the calculator section was much easier this year, but don't count on it always being like that. In my opinion the multiple choice is harder than the FRQ because the FRQ has more predictable question formats.

    This year's FRQ was okay, I completely messed up number 4 ;_; because I suck at differential equations but the overall difficulty was probably average to above average. Do not worry if you think you did bad, the curve is very forgiving for BC Calculus so as long as you study and put in the work you'll be good to go. I didn't feel amazing after the BC Calc exam, but I think I did well enough to get a 5.

    For English Lang: If you have a good English foundation/good English teacher, this test should be easy. The multiple choice is kind of like the SAT (more old than new), and it's more about practice than actually STUDYING anything. Again, essays are something you have to practice. The synthesis is generally the easiest in my opinion, rhetorical is okay if you've have practice (know how to identify rhetorical devices and quote), and argument can sometimes be a curveball and unexpected (thankfully this year's was pretty good) but that's more focused on your ability to persuade and come up with historical/literary references.

    I didn't study much for this test, and I am pretty confident that I got a 5 on this one. If you are good at English (I'm not even the best English student), this test should not be that daunting.

    Definitely study more for BC Calc, this class was one of the hardest math classes I've taken in high school and the test will make it seem like it is hard.

    Sorry about all the writing, and good luck!
  • CentryCentry Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member

    If Calc AB was easy for you, then BC should be too. A majority of the AP Calc BC Exam, about 70% I'd say, is composed of BC topics. The only new topics that pose a challenge are series (especially Taylor and Maclaurin), integration by parts / trig sub, and maybe polar or arclength.

    AP Language is the test that I feel like you can't or don't want to practice for, but you still can. Ask your teacher if you can have weekly multiple-choice questions, and write essays at least every three weeks.

    AP Physics 1 is algebra-based, so more about concepts than mathematics -- though formulas still play a heavy role. Test will be semi-difficult, but the curve is generous.

    AP US History in my opinion is the easiest if you can study throughout the year. I'd recommend review books such as Essential Content or AMSCO.

    AP Computer Science Principles, it's perhaps the most time consuming to learn but easy to review as your knowledge of CS is built and reused.

    Calc BC
    Physics 1
    Comp Sci
    U.S. History
  • AstronomityAstronomity Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    My school actually doesn't offer Calc AB, but what we have is this trimester system where the first two are Precalc Honors into what is called "Math Analysis." That said, Math Analysis is essentially content up to the definite integral and its applications. Would this be essentially what Calc AB teaches? I've also studied by myself mainly focusing on integration strategies that have helped me through Math Analysis, if that makes any difference.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,656 Senior Member
    Math Analysis is the beginning of Calc AB.
    Your school probably teaches the "real" BC, ie., not extended-to-two-years AB-BC class. So, you'd start in AB in the Fall. (the "real" BC class actually coves AB in one semester rather than one year, and the second semester is more advanced math).
This discussion has been closed.