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Spanish - Really Important

apostle365apostle365 - Posts: 131 Junior Member
edited February 2008 in AP Tests Preparation
I am a freshman in Spanish 3. I am always looking for ways to stand out, and I discovered an opportunity that would let me take AP Spanish next year (sophomore). I would self-study the material for Spanish 4 (going through the textbook, reading a novel and writing an essay about it, workbooks, etc.) and then gain entrance into the AP class. So, is this a good idea? Would I learn more taking the Spanish 4 class (I hear that year is pretty critical)? Also, I take this track into consideration because of my GPA. What would you say is better: a 4.63 (4 weighted classes) and 5.0 (all weighted classes) or 4.83 (5 weighted classes) and a 4.83 (same)? This would simulate the projected GPA of my soph. and jun. years if I did not or did take AP Span soph. year (oops, it makes more sense if I say did or did not. oh well) Unfortunately, the language courses at my school are not honors, until you reach AP. You can see that AP Span. jun. year would give me all honors/AP (at my school, it's pretty much impossible to have all honors/AP because of the basic requirements needed to graduate). If I took AP Span. soph. year, I would try to take French junior and senior year (hopefully AP by senior year). Overall, my Cum. GPA could be slightly better if I take AP sophomore year. But isn't this just a petty concern? I am probably taking this way out of proportion, but I need to decide by the end of this week.

I really want to study more languages (German, French, Greek). I would study these languages whether or not I have more room in school to take at least one of them (like Junior and Senior year French). Would a college care if you have received formal credit for the languages you know? Most require at least 3 years, and I want to go to Princeton or MIT. How would I tell them about the languages I've studied if they are not formally documented on, say, a transcript, for instance? And if I never do take a formal language course at school after Spanish, this would open up more room to take more advanced math and science courses at my nearest university.

So many things to think about!!!!!! I would appreciate any insight or advice. Please try to answer many, if not all, of my questions. Sorry if my paragraphs are too bulky :)
Post edited by apostle365 on

Replies to: Spanish - Really Important

  • agentunderfire38agentunderfire38 Registered User Posts: 499 Member
    At my school, we only need to take three years of Spanish to get into AP Spanish and four if you really wanted to, but no one does four than AP. But, currently I am in Spanish 3 and it is pretty easy for me. The people in the current AP Spanish class at my school say it is impossible to get an A in the class, which I am probably not going to do AP and stop Spanish and add on a math or science class. I think you should ask people in AP Spanish and see how hard it is and how much more of a challenge it is than the regular Spanish classes. You want to make sure you will get an A in AP to get the grade boost or else a B would not be worth skipping. In Spanish 3 we have learned a ton of new tenses (future, present perfect, past perfect, present perfect of the subjunctive, etc.), so if you haven't learned those yet in your Spanish 3, I would say do Spanish 4.

    Also, you sounded kind of skeptical if you would even get into AP Spanish with reading the novel, writing an essay, etc. Is this a sure way of getting into AP, of course doing well on them, or is this a proposition? Hopefully this can help a little.
  • apostle365apostle365 - Posts: 131 Junior Member
    Well, that's what I would have to do to get into the class (by the end of the summer). I know I could do the work, but the question is whether I would be doing it to do it or to learn it. But yes, I agree with the point that it would be stupid to skip ahead and get a B. I NEVER WANT A B (if I have the power to do something about it, in this case I do). Thanks for the help.
  • all605all605 Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    At my school, if you're a junior in spanish 3 and are doing well (have an A I assume), then you're allowed to skip spanish 4 and go right to AP spanish. Honestly, I took spanish 4 and it was a joke. At least in my experience, I'd say spanish 4 is definitely not necessary as long as you have a pretty good grasp on the grammar/vocab you've learned already. You review all the grammar in AP spanish anyways.

    It might be structured different at other schools though.
  • SENI08SENI08 Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    In my school, if you did well in Spanish 2, you could take spanish 3/4 combined. Many people take spanish V AP, and a bunch take Spanish VI AP (I opted not to continue for Spanish VI because though the teacher was incredibly sweet, she didn't actually teach much.) If you do take the AP exam, though I absolutely recommend reading a book in spanish. You don't have to write a report or read a classic or anything...just pick a book that you know really well in English and read the translation. It will help your vocab, your sentence structure, and your grasp of how it is actually spoken/written. Plus, if you read it out loud (the easiest way for me) you also gain speaking experience. Like I said, my teacher didn't really teach, but I ended up with a 5 on the exam due mostly to reading one of my favorite SciFi novels in spanish. (As well as what must have been a hefty curve.) Don't just read one for Spanish IV, though, it wasn't a rigorous class.
  • SENI08SENI08 Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    And in your GPA range, I'd say it makes absolutely no difference. As long as you challenge yourself (which you are either way) and take classes that actually interest you, you will be fine. If not many honors are offered, the college will see that. I'd say once you pass 4.0 it's all superfluous. All A's and a few B's looks good regardless of the weighting. In some ways, I'd say the unweighted GPA is more important anyways...they can see the rigor and then the GPA without confusing the two.
  • OniLawlietOniLawliet Registered User Posts: 881 Member
    AP Spanish is notorious for being one of the more difficult AP classes. My friend, who now goes to a top LAC, said he only managed to pull off a B in the class, and that AP Spanish "will rape you like a Nantucket fireman."

    I'm in AP Spanish and it is quite difficult. My school requires, however, that one takes Spanish levels I-IV before taking AP. My Spanish IV class was mostly reading Spanish literature and learning some more advanced grammar. AP Spanish is constant practice excercises, and (for me anyway) the reading of several dense works. We've read Like Water for Chocolate, House of the Spirits, and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Very tough stuff.

    I'm not sure how your school's AP class is, but I honestly recommend you take Spanish IV in your sophomore year, then AP in your junior year. Though there are many CCers who have taken AP courses as early as their sophomore year, I think these COLLEGE-LEVEL classes are designed for juniors and above. Not only that, but if you take Spanish IV for your sophomore year, you will be far more prepared for AP than if you just did a self study.

    Just my .02
  • apostle365apostle365 - Posts: 131 Junior Member
    i think that I have decided to do what you suggeted Onilawliet. My decision was based primarily on all of those reasons that you mentioned. btw, i will take AP Phys. or Bio and AP Calc. my sophomore year. That will put me at AP USH, Calc. BC, Bio or Phys. (whatever one I don't take soph.), Chem., and AP Span. I will have all weighted classes (honors/AP) junior year, and that is a pretty big deal at my school. What's still fortunate is that my senior schedule is not screwed up: alot of university math and physics courses. Thanks for the advice. You probably provided the most rounded opinion of all the posts. Oh, and that analogy was very funny.
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