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Which AP classes to take

js984839js984839 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hello,

I'm trying to decide what AP courses to take next year. I have 7 spots, but with band i have 6 open. Here's what I'm planning on.

Physics
Band
AP Economics
AP Spanish Language
AP English 11
AP AP Us History


I need to decide between Calculus AB or Calculus BC. Is there a big difference? Also, are the AP courses I'm taking generally hard?
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Replies to: Which AP classes to take

  • Scientist101Scientist101 29 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited November 4
    If you are good at spanish, AP shouldn't be hard. It is mostly about culture and not grammar. AP Econ is an easy class (at least at my HS). AP english 11 is the same as AP language and composition which is not usually regarded as a tough class but does require a lot of work. Now... AP US History (nicknamed APUSH) is a very hard course in my opinion. There is a lot of material to cover and it is generally regarded as a tough course.

    Coming to math and science... I am pretty sure AP Calc AB is a prereq for AP Calc BC, so if you haven't taken AP Calc AB yet, you probably cannot take AP Calc BC. If you plan to major in humanities, your course load is good and makes sense. However, if you are looking to do math and science, I would take AP Bio, AP Chem or AP Phys (1, 2, or C). Otherwise, your schedule looks good.

    AP Calc AB is far easier than BC mostly because it is a prerequisite course. And yes there is a big difference.

    AP Calc AB covers a medium scope of calc topics in decent depth and is not hard if you like math. BC isn't "harder" in any way but covers way more material than AB and moves a lot quicker (it also goes more in-depth). You could take BC without AB if your school allows it, but most require calc AB before calc BC.
    edited November 4
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  • nomoodnomood 173 replies20 threads Junior Member
    For calc, it depends on your school. At my school, Calc bc is actually calc ABC, and ab is just ab. Find out what it is at your school. I jumped straight into bc, but only because I took honors pre-calculus. It really depends on you and how comfortable you are with math.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78957 replies701 threads Senior Member
    edited November 4
    Coming to math and science... I am pretty sure AP Calc AB is a prereq for AP Calc BC, so if you haven't taken AP Calc AB yet, you probably cannot take AP Calc BC.

    Many high schools offer calculus BC that can be taken immediately after completing precalculus.

    The choice between AB and BC is that BC covers more material at a faster pace. BC's pace is similar to that of calculus in college, while AB goes at a slower pace. Colleges that give advanced placement for AP calculus scores often give higher placement for BC than for AB.
    edited November 4
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1232 replies16 threads Senior Member
    I am pretty sure AP Calc AB is a prereq for AP Calc BC,

    In some schools it is, in some schools it isn’t. The AP curriculum doesn’t require it. BC starts at the same point but covers much more material, so at a faster pace.

    My D’s HS requires it, and the Calc BC teacher says he gets through the material already covered in AB in about 4 weeks. In a straight BC class, with student coming from PreCalc, it takes 9-12 for the same material.
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  • XtremeBlaze777XtremeBlaze777 32 replies10 threads Junior Member
    AP Calc AB is far easier than BC mostly because it is a prerequisite course. And yes there is a big difference.
    @js984839
    Obviously it depends from school to school but most of the time AB is NOT a prereq for BC and since you seem to have the option, I'm guessing your school lets you go straight to BC (I'm not trying to discredit this person at all because their high school obviously did make AB a prereq). I went straight to BC from precalc honors. What you need to know is that BC is NOT harder than AB. The difficulty is exactly the same it is just that BC moves much faster so you have less time to grasp the concepts and adds on a couple of extra topics (which are fairly hard). Since you are a junior, I don't recommend taking AB then BC senior year because most of the BC class will be a repeat from AB (I would recommend going AB then a different math such as AP stat if you end up choosing AB). You do seem to be an English/Humanities person though so only go to BC if you are okay with math. My recommendation is to figure out the drop deadline and sign up for BC (if it's moving too fast, you can switch to AB and it should be a very easy transition). I highly recommend this if your school also offers Multivar/Calc 3 for seniors because that would look really good on your college app and place you out of so many math reqs. Also, BC could get you out of Calc 1 & 2 in college whereas AB only gets you out of Calc 1.
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  • Scientist101Scientist101 29 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I completely agree with you. I don't really know what other schools do, but at our school, AB is definitely a prereq for Calc BC. But, It does make sense for someone good at math to directly go from Precalc H to Calc BC. But, technically, if the course (Calc BC) moves faster, doesn't that make it harder than Calc AB, even if the same topics are covered? Also, I am sure, that Calc BC has a wider syllabus scope than AB because if topics are covered quickly, then there is more time to spare during the year for the introduction of more advanced topics, right? If yes, this would make it slightly harder. I haven't taken any of these courses as of yet, so I don't know, thanks for the information though!
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  • happy1happy1 23030 replies2274 threads Senior Member
    Nobody here knows you, your abilities, the demands of your HS etc. I recommend you speak to 1) your guidance counselor and 2) your current math teacher. Your guidance counselor should help you to come up with an overall schedule that is challenging and not overwhelming. Your math teacher should be in the best position to assess if you should take Calc AB or Calc BC.
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