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at what point do I draw the line for taking APs just for colleges?

rickportegarickportega Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
edited July 2007 in AP Tests Preparation
I've never really liked the liberal arts: english, art, and history classes. Ive been more science and math focused, and plan on taking a nice load of of those next year (junior year). my question is even though I hate history and english classes, should I take apush and ap english next year for the sole purpose of pleasing colleges, or should I stick with on-level in those areas and focus on my math and science? I know its best to be balanced in all areas, but I feel like it'd be such a waste to work so hard on classes I dont want to take. And from what Ive been told, those 2 are really hard classes, so if I took the on-level equivelent instead, I'd presumably have much more freetime and might self study 1 or 2 that Im actually interested in taking.
Post edited by rickportega on

Replies to: at what point do I draw the line for taking APs just for colleges?

  • AzNChoiBoi8AzNChoiBoi8 Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
    not every college expects you to take every ap class. if you focus in math/science (i'm in your same boat), they will see that you are strong in those areas and perhaps reward you for that. by overloading with ap's, the classes you could have gotten As in might suffer as well. personally, i never took APs in english or history but took the most challenging route in math/science at my school and still ended up roughly where i wanted to be. if you want, you could self-study for something like english which doesn't require a ton of memorization/preparation and try to pass it. if you don't pass, just don't report it on your application and they will never know you took it.
  • rickportegarickportega Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    bump. anyone else have an opinion? I appreciate the response
  • oasisoasis Registered User Posts: 2,069 Senior Member
    When should you draw the line of taking APs?...

    ...when you can't afford the AP fee anymore. ;)

    Anyways. I am a science/math person too, but I am also interested in history, so that's why I went ahead and took AP English and all three history APs, some through self-study.

    If you really don't care about english and humanities, you don't *have* to take it. However, if you choose to avoid it, colleges could dock you some points for not taking "the most vigorous courseload"...but other than that, I think you would be okay with pursuing your academic goal.

    My advice is that you should look around the school and see if AP English is more of a "challenging course" or an elective. If the top students in your class are taking AP English or APUSH, you should go for it - this is not to "please colleges," but rather, remaining competitive. If you don't care much about the selective schools, however, then you'd be fine taking any course that you want.

    I wouldn't recommend, however, self studying either APUSH or AP English (esp Lit). Both tests require specialized essays that you probably wouldn't have a very good handle on unless you take a course. Contrary to what the poster said above, tests that require extensive amounts of memorization (like Bio and Psych) are actually easier to self-study for. It's the ones that require specialized skills like coming up with essays and merging information (like APUSH's DBQ) that are more difficult.

    If you want to self study history, you can consider AP World or AP Euro. Both tests have an easier version of the APUSH DBQ and are fairly easy to self-study for. I did them both and I was really happy about the amount of interesting information I learned (it's like reading a storybook, wheras APUSH is like memorizing a book of Supreme Court cases and names).
  • heyyjudeheyyjude Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    Some of those liberal arts classes can intertwine some with math and science. Maybe English is the only case in which this is applicable, now that I think about it. But being able to write definitely helps you, no matter what fields you're thinking of going into.

    However, if you don't think you can DO well in those classes, then don't worry too much about it. I wish I were more apt in the math/science classes.
  • DeltaRoyaleDeltaRoyale Registered User Posts: 596 Member
    take ap's...
  • bigp9998bigp9998 Registered User Posts: 774 Member
    If you take the APs in high school, you can oftentimes avoid those english/hist classes in college and instead take classes that interest you when there are so many more available. I would take the classes just make sure you get a four on the test.
  • sbc1234sbc1234 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Take the english course...even scientists need to know how to write. Plus the english teacher will become a big help with college essays/recs. Science teachers, as good as they are, can't write for crap and some colleges require a rec from a "science/math" teacher and a "humanities" teacher (typically you get more interaction with an english teacher than a science/math). As for APUSH you can move it to senior year if you want to do the advanced science classes now (bio, physics, chem)
  • kollegkidkollegkid Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    Definitely take the hardest course load you can. You'll benefit from the higher level English skills when you need to write papers in the sciences later.
  • inguyeninguyen Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    It's up to you. Which is more important...your GPA or your course load? I'm not saying you won't do well in the classes, but if you do struggle with those subjects, don't expect straight A's. I didn't take AP English this year because I didn't want to get a B in the class and considering the teacher is a natzi-maniac I probably would have.
This discussion has been closed.