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Only 3 APs senior year?

agreatperhapsagreatperhaps - Posts: 596 Member
edited May 2013 in College Admissions
I will probably only be able to take three APs next year, and I'm really disappointed about it. Freshmen year I was in all college prep classes, sophomore year was all accelerated classes, and junior year I'm in all accelerated classes, plus an AP class.

Next year my guidance counselor is pressuring me to take pre calc, so it looks like I'll have to drop AP stats- either that, or...I don't know. It could be any of my other classes- including my honors electives, AP humaities....

Now that I think about it, I just don't want to give up any of my classes for this stupid pre calc- I'm just not interested. The only one I don't mind giving up is AP Stats, but that would have been my fourth AP, and I want to show colleges how much I've improved since my early high school career.

Sorry for rambling so much. But will 3 AP classes instead of 4 look bad for semi competitive colleges (think Lake Forest level)? Would it be better to keep the AP Stats and pre calc, but drop an honors elective I'm actually interested in?
Post edited by agreatperhaps on

Replies to: Only 3 APs senior year?

  • milkweedmilkweed Registered User Posts: 665 Member
    I think you'll be fine; my child got into an Ivy with only 2 APs in his senior year and 2 in his junior year.
  • littlebuilderlittlebuilder Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    You'll be fine with only 3 APs, I only had 3 as a senior and Stanford took me. Pre-calc will also probably be far more beneficial, because you will eventually have to learn calc
  • glidoglido Registered User Posts: 5,786 Senior Member
    Three is plenty. You will be fine.
  • starrynight29starrynight29 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    3 APs are plenty, excel in all 3 & good luck! :)
  • SikorskySikorsky Registered User Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    The answer to the question that you didn't ask is, I agree with your counselor that a high school student should prioritize precalc above AP Statistics. If you're going to take only one of those, it should be precalculus.
  • beth's mombeth's mom Registered User Posts: 3,361 Senior Member
    I agree with the prior posters who said 3 APs is enough. Certainly 4 APs vs. 3 APs should not tip the scales at Lake Forest College. I also agree with your guidance counselor and would prioritize pre-calc over AP Stats. FWIW, my daughter took both - regular college prep pre-calc and AP Stats, and thought that the pre-calc course was more challenging. I don't think colleges will necessarily be more impressed by AP Stats in the absence of pre-calc than they will by pre-calc. What are you planning to major in?
  • zephyr15zephyr15 Registered User Posts: 2,298 Senior Member
    If the choice is pre-calc vs AP stats, then go with your GC's recommendation. To be honest, pre-calc may be the more rigorous course.

    3 APs should be fine.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 17,146 Senior Member
    It also depends on the availability. The admission office will look at the school profile and see how many AP your school offers and how many you take. If your school only offer 5 AP classes and you take 3 of them, you are good. There is no set rule for the number of AP classes (or exam) you will need to take, otherwise those crazy kids in California with 10+ AP in their portfolio will be all in top schools. By the way, many students do not take AP classes at all.
  • agreatperhapsagreatperhaps - Posts: 596 Member
    @bill- My school offers more than 20 APs :/ That's including 3 AP languages. It's technically possible to take a total of fifteen AP classes, but even the smartest kids (i'm thinking of the three smartest kids in my grade) probably take around 12- though the smartest kid probably takes less than that (we don't offer his AP language and he's probably not interested in classes like Human Geo).

    @beth's- Probably something like communications or linguistics.
  • stressedoutttstressedouttt Registered User Posts: 4,111 Senior Member
    can your GC force you to take Precalc? when you say that she's really pressuring you, do you mean that she's trying to make you take it against your will or that she's convinced you that it is necessary for college?

    I remember that in a previous thread you mentioned that you had a lot of issues with math. if you do decide to take precalc, I would suggest going over it in the summer to help you out. maybe take precalc over the summer to give you a head start, if that's possible.

    Which 3 APs are you planning on taking? Taking Physics, Bio, and Chem in one year is very different than taking US Gov, Stats, and Psych.
  • agreatperhapsagreatperhaps - Posts: 596 Member
    No, my guidance counselor can't force me- she just thinks it's the best choice for college.

    And no need to look down on the humanities- I'm not interested in science very much. The three other APs are English Language, US Gov, and....Human Geography? I'm also taking Law (it's an honors class), and I'd be okay with dropping that for pre calc- would it be better to keep stats and drop that course?
  • tarheel97tarheel97 Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    I just wanted to add, don't let your counselor pressure you. The classes you take are up to you. The experts don't always know best and I've found that a lot of "experts" don't always know what they're talking about.
    I can also say from personal experience DON'T TAKE A CLASS JUST TO RAISE THE NUMBER OF APs ON YOUR TRANSCRIPT. I did that this year and I am so deeply regretting it and paying for it now. Take APs because you like the course, not because you feel like you have to. I don't think it would be bad to take AP stats. A lot of majors especially in the medical field have AP Statistics as a requirement. However if you're more into science and physics, definitely take pre calc over stats. Calculus and physics are hand in hand.
    Most colleges aren't all about a certain number of APs. They want to see that you had a rigorous course load though and I think stats and pre calc are about equally challenging as I've seen at my school.
  • stressedoutttstressedouttt Registered User Posts: 4,111 Senior Member
    I didn't mean to look down on the humanities. They're very important subjects. It's just that the way that the AP curriculum (and the typical HS curriculum) lays it out makes the science APs much more rigorous than the humanities ones.

    GCs aren't always right. You've already asked about this in another thread, so you've gotten a lot of opinions. I would say just go with your best judgement.
  • Apollo6Apollo6 Registered User Posts: 1,534 Senior Member
    FYI, Few schools accept AP Stats as equivalent to a college math course, even in statistics. If you will have a math or quantitative reasoning requirement in college, you need the precalc background. Without it you may need a remedial math course. If your interests lie in humanities you probably will study statistics in college but the AP course will probably not meet your requirements.
This discussion has been closed.