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Course rigor question

halcyonheatherhalcyonheather Registered User Posts: 8,987 Senior Member
edited July 2013 in College Admissions
Sorry if this is confusing!

TL;DR version: I've taken 3 out of 6 AP classes my school offers, and self-studied the three I didn't take the classes for (as well as one other test they don't offer). Is that okay, or will I look lazy or something?

Long version:
Up until this year, my school has offered four AP classes: Biology, Chemistry, English Lit, and US Government. I took the first three, but AP US Government didn't fit into my schedule, so I self-studied it.
I also self-studied three other AP classes they didn't offer: Calculus BC, Statistics, and US History.
I thought I was getting ahead by doing that, but my school decided that next year they're going to start offering Statistics and US History. So I've taken the tests but not the classes.

I can't take any AP classes next year because I'm taking all dual enrollment classes (at a university, if it makes a difference). First semester I'm taking Intro to Ethics, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, and Intro to Number Theory, and second semester I want to take more math classes if the first three don't kill me. It seems like these courses should be impressive, but I'm not sure.

I'm sure my GC will say my courseload was "most demanding," but I just wanted to make sure I'll be competitive at most schools (higher-ranked state schools, not HYPSM or anything).
Post edited by halcyonheather on

Replies to: Course rigor question

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,095 Senior Member
    Taking college courses, particularly sophomore level and higher math courses that are more advanced than any AP course, should certainly be considered a very rigorous course load for a high school student.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,742 Super Moderator
    I'm sure my GC will say my courseload was "most demanding,
    What more can we say? You've already checked that box. Work on getting good grades now. Quit worrying about this.
  • mitchklongmitchklong Registered User Posts: 813 Member
    Your admission picture looks good. Consider looking ahead to college to fill out your first year. If the AP classes transfer in take the other classes you need to complete your freshman/sophomore college requirements. And screen colleges so that you only apply to the ones who will give you credit for your work...call them and ask them what classes they will transfer in and what kind of credit you will get.
  • halcyonheatherhalcyonheather Registered User Posts: 8,987 Senior Member
    My AP scores.
    4 - Biology, Chemistry, English Literature, U.S. History, Calculus BC
    3 - Statistics, U.S. Government

    I passed all of them. :D But no 5s. :(
    I'm wondering how these will affect my admissions chances...I plan to send them all. I was happy with these scores, especially because most of them are self-studied, but people on here act as if anything lower than a 5 is some kind of abomination.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,742 Super Moderator
    Most colleges don't consider AP grades for admission, only for the decision on whether or not to offer course credit.
  • halcyonheatherhalcyonheather Registered User Posts: 8,987 Senior Member
    Will the new Common App ask about AP tests taken? (Is there any way to tell them about self-studying US History and Statistics so they know I didn't just skip them entirely? My school didn't offer them before 2013-2014, and I can't take them then.)
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,446 Senior Member
    You'll have to wait for August 1st to find out, as the details on the Common App site do not address test scores: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/CA4/eLearning/Whats_New_in_CA4/Whats_New_in_CA4.htm
  • halcyonheatherhalcyonheather Registered User Posts: 8,987 Senior Member
    Another question:

    Will it matter that I didn't take honors classes freshman year, if I've caught up since then?
    The reason was that I went to this small (as in, 15 students) private school in eighth grade and didn't have the prerequisites for biology, geometry, etc. when I transferred to the public high school.
    I could say that somewhere in my application, but if it isn't necessary I won't.
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    Stop obsessing over small details, especially what you took freshman year. They do not care about that. Making notes about inconsequential things will make you look like you have no perspective. Worrying about AP classes you can't take is unprofitable. Focus on things that matter that you can do something about. Go back to working on your essays.
This discussion has been closed.