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AP English Language or AP US History?: High School Course Selection Advice

collegeboundrxn1collegeboundrxn1 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
Hi, there!
I would like to pursue a STEM or business/economics major in college, so my courses have emphasized math and science. I am a sophomore and I have only taken regular English and history courses for two years. (No Honors or APs)

For junior year, I plan to take:

Honors Precalculus
AP Physics 1
AP Psychology
Journalism (School Newspaper) - Elective
Biology Research - Elective

I will not have lunch this year and I was wondering if I should take AP Lang or APUSH? Would taking BOTH be an overload with the classes I am already taking? I'm not the strongest in the humanities, but I know English is an important skill for life. At my school, most people take APUSH.

I'm thinking about taking one because I don't want to take too many rigorous courses. However, I have not taken AP/Honors in either subjects and my guidance counselor recommended I take both. Any advice if both are too much or which one I should take?


Replies to: AP English Language or AP US History?: High School Course Selection Advice

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,064 Senior Member
    How well have you done in previous English and history courses, and did you like them?
  • collegeboundrxn1collegeboundrxn1 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    Hi @ucbalumnus ! The English and history classes I have taken are pretty easy and I manage to score 95+ on both. History is pretty interesting, but English has been a bit easier. I'm concerned that a jump from regular to AP in both may be too much, but I don't know what the two classes are like.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,064 Senior Member
    What do your current history and English teachers recommend?
  • mathhappymathhappy Registered User Posts: 27 Junior Member
    I am currently a "STEM-y" junior and am in both classes, so hopefully I can help you out with this. Granted, however, I do not go to your school so the best advice would come from upperclassmen at your school who have taken these classes and can give you insight into the teachers, workload, etc. Taking both with the rest of your courseload is possible, but it may or may not be the best option for you. Also, if getting a high score on the AP exams are important to you, you should ask your GC what students typically get on them.

    At my school, APUSH is a total grind (most tests are 3 chapters, must turn in notes for all of them, frequent projects, etc) so it takes up a lot of time and course grades are not what most students are accustomed to. Unless you're really "into" history, I'd say that you should invest your time elsewhere. However, you did say that most students at your school take this one, so my guess is that it isn't nearly as much work as around here. You'll really have to find out what to expect.

    AP Lang is pretty laid-back at my school, but I've learned a lot so far and my writing skills have improved tremendously. You're right that reading and writing are important life skills and are valued by all colleges, regardless of major. The AP exam emphasizes timed writing quite a bit, which some students aren't accustomed to and struggle with at the beginning.
    I will not have lunch this year

    Just for the record, I think this is a terrible idea. You should not let academics negatively impact your health and you need some time during the day to be social.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,762 Senior Member
    If I had to pick between the two, I would say AP Language. It can really help with prepping for the ACT/SAT.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    Not to derail the thread but why are you taking AP Psych, that's a social science course and not really needed for STEM, unless is something of interest to you. The other question, is can you drop down to the the standard or college prep class if you start struggling in either of the AP classes? You can't in some schools, so if you can, I'd recommend taking both APs and dropping Psych since your GC and teachers recommended it. As someone posted above, you have to ask the upperclassmen which class is harder and has more assigned work. Typically, APUSH is a huge time sink, as was also noted. Lot will also depend on the colleges you're applying to, most colleges will not need to see a ton of APs. Good luck.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,579 Super Moderator
    I have to agree with @theloniusmonk - take both (assuming you GC and teachers agree) and rearrange your schedule to balance workload/rigor, if needed. AP Psych, as an elective, can be pushed off to senior year if you really want the class. AP Lang will make you a better writer, which is a life skill, but more importantly, invaluable for when you write college apps.
  • TheBigChefTheBigChef Registered User Posts: 301 Member
    I agree with #6 and #7. No reason to take AP Psych. Replace it with APUSH and/or AP Lang. In terms of difficulty, I don't know that there is much difference between APUSH and AP Lang. I think it comes down to individual aptitude and who is teaching the classes.
  • collegeboundrxn1collegeboundrxn1 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    @TheBigChef @skieurope @theloniusmonk
    Thanks everyone! I wanted to take AP Psych because the upperclassmen said its a really interesting course and if I take it in 11th grade I can take Post-AP Psych Senior year. I think I will end up replacing AP Psych with a regular elective and take AP Lang and APUSH because they seem more useful.
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