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Community College Classes vs. AP courses

EiPiEiPi Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hi all,

I am an incoming junior into a competitive HS in California.

My intended major for college is CS / EECS / AI / Statistics.

Next year I will be taking AP US History, AP Chem, and Spanish 4 H. I have already finished AP Calc AB + BC and have taken Elementary Statistics at a local community college, so next year I plan on doing Multivariable + Diff EQ's at a community college.

For the upcoming year I elected not to take American Lit Honors for 3 reasons:
1) Not related to my major of study, better to develop a "spike".
2) Don't want to spread myself out too thin and risk doing poorly in the classes I have signed up for (2/4 teachers who teach this course are brutal).
3) Allow more time for extracurriculars.

Do you think my 2 APs + 1 college math course will be viewed as equivalent to some of my peers taking 3 APs? Is the course schedule of 2 AP's + 1 community college math course + 1 Honors class seen as academically rigorous enough for a selective college? In general, in the eyes of college admissions officers, how are community college classes ranked against AP Courses, is there any benefit to doing either one?

Replies to: Community College Classes vs. AP courses

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 69,872 Senior Member
    edited August 9
    Well, your community college math courses are more advanced than AP math courses, so it is not really an apples-to-apples comparison.

    For situations where AP and frosh-level college courses cover similar material (US history, general chemistry, statistics), it depends on the college. California public schools like community college courses; see equivalencies at http://www.assist.org . Private and out-of-state colleges may be much less friendly to community college courses, due to less standardization (from their viewpoint) than AP courses.

    A spike should be on top of a well rounded base, so taking honors or AP English can be helpful with the latter.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 10,836 Forum Champion
    if you didn't want to take AP Lit, then American Lit Honors would be acceptable...but I don't think I would take College Prep Lit if I could help it.

  • EiPiEiPi Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @bopper @ucbalumnus would you suggest that I self-study AP English Language and Composition and take the test this year?
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 10,836 Forum Champion
    No. Take the class
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 Registered User Posts: 609 Member
    What is your full class schedule? Are you taking any English class? Avoiding a topic isn’t the same as developing a “spike “.
  • EiPiEiPi Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @Eeyore123 next year I will be taking the following classes

    AP US History
    Drama
    PE
    AP Chemistry
    English
    Spanish 4 Honors
    Multivariable Calculus/Diff EQ's

    The only course I decided not to take this year was Amlit H due to the following reasons
    1) Multivariable Calc class is off campus and will take about 30-45 min to drive to so between that and my extracurriculars I want to make sure I will have time for the rest of my classes and avoid my grades slipping.
    2) Don't want to spread myself out too thin and risk doing poorly in the classes I have signed up for (2/4 teachers who teach this course are brutal).
    3) Allow more time for extracurriculars.

    The reason why I was thinking of doing the AP Language and Composition AP Test is that I can show colleges a mastery/proficiency at the college level in English.
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    An experienced parent suggested to me that my children take classes at our local community college and skip the A.P. classes. The reason being that colleges tend to take the credits from the college whereas with the A.P. classes you have to worry about one score on one given day (the A.P. exam) and even then it depends - some schools will take them and some won't. Greater chance to get the credit with CC and it shows you can do college level work more than a high school A.P. class.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 35,238 Super Moderator
    edited August 10
    An experienced parent suggested to me....
    The reason being that colleges tend to take the credits from the college
    Unless the experienced parent was speaking about transferring credit to the in-state flagship, I have to disagree.

    CC credits will usually not transfer to an OOS public and almost never transfer to a private. Of course, each college is free to decide what pre-college credits it will award, if any, so one should research the target colleges' policies.

    I agree with @ucbalumnus ; if the CC class is more advanced than what the HS offers (e.g. multivariable calc) then one should take the CC class, knowing the credit may not transfer. If the CC class is equivalent, I personally, would opt for the AP class for credit purposes. But from a rigor perspective, I think they would be viewed as equivalent.
    The reason why I was thinking of doing the AP Language and Composition AP Test is that I can show colleges a mastery/proficiency at the college level in English.
    Take the test if you want to take the test and/or hope to get college credit. But don't take the test to "show colleges a mastery/proficiency at the college level in English." The only way to "show colleges a mastery/proficiency at the college level in English." is to take a college-level English class. Acing a 3-hour exam does not show that.
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