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Self-Studying for APs

kaitmtn8kaitmtn8 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited December 2017 in AP Tests Preparation
Hi, I am a sophomore in high school. I took no APs freshman year and this year I am taking AP Biology.

Next year, I think I may take two or three APs. I have read about self-studying for AP exams and courses. I was thinking about AP Psychology or Human Geography and was wondering how one would go about doing this. Thank you!

Replies to: Self-Studying for APs

  • listcollegeherelistcollegehere Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    you can either take an online class with a credible site like Johns Hopkins CTY or something, or you can get a review book and self-study on your own. Then you'd just register for the AP class and take it
  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,368 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    For a look at many previous discussions on this topic, google:
    site:collegeconfidential.com self-studying for aps

    Self-studying for APs is typically not worthwhile. In addition, some APs are more rigorous than others; AP Psych and AP Human Geography are not known as impressive APs.
  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,368 Senior Member
    For a look at many previous discussions on this topic, google:
    site:collegeconfidential.com self-studying for aps

    Self-studying for APs is typically not worthwhile. In addition, some APs are more rigorous than others; AP Psych and AP Human Geography are not known as impressive APs.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 26,739 Forum Champion
    Self study if you are interested in the subject(s) not to impress college admissions. If you are interested in receiving college credit, make sure you check each target schools website to see what AP score is required to receive credit.
  • BooBooBearBooBooBear Registered User Posts: 389 Member
    Do not self-study for extra AP exams just for purposes of improving your college application. The most selective schools do not give much, if any, AP credit anyway, so that would be the only purpose if indeed aiming for a “top” school. I am assuming by “self-study” you mean picking a subject in ADDITION to the subjects you are taking as courses this year, and studying for the AP exam accordingly on your own.

    First, if you are actually talking about self-studying for the AP exam in a course you are taking, but not as an AP class—for example, taking Honors Biology and self-studying for the Biology AP exam—that is not a bad idea. If your class is any good, you will get more than 50% of the way there just by doing your schoolwork, and the self-study would likely improve your grade in the class. The commitment you are making is not a small one, but it is not immense either.

    Second, if you are going to self-study in a subject your school does not offer, but you want to take either for personal interest or career goals, that may be worth your time. Again, spending the time serves a purpose other than just burnishing your college application. Likewise, if you are planning to attend a college that WILL provide generous AP credit, self-study may enhance your future college academic life by getting ahead on a course sequence or fulfilling a general education requirement.

    Last, however, if really the point of self-study is because you think it looks good, don’t. Your college application’s most important parts may be test scores, GPA, and rigor, but students universally seem to underrate the effect of essays, EC’s, and teacher recommendations. The time you spend self-studying on a random subject could be spent participating in a club or sport, developing an already-existing passion, working, or just being an all-around good student liked by your teachers and friends. That extra 4 or 5 on a seventh or eighth AP exam will not make much of a difference in your life or your applications, but those other things likely will.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,192 Forum Champion
    I don't think self-studying for two of the less rigorous APs will add anything to your college application. IMO your time would be better spent excelling in the classes you are taking, getting involved in ECs you care about in a meaningful way, and enjoying time with your friends and family.
  • lindsgallindsgal Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    I self studied AP Environmental and this is how I was successful:
    1. Bought the Smarty Pants review book, read, highlighted, answered q's
    2. Did all the practice FRQs online (including practicing the math with no calculator)
    3. Do practice Quizlets!
    4. Go through any review books you can get your hands on!!!

    Good luck! I had a lot of fun doing it and I got a 5!
This discussion has been closed.