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Is AP Calc AB looked down upon when one is aiming cor a science related major?

OllieoppsOllieopps 1 replies4 threads New Member
Hello all, I’m a current Senior and the school year has just started. I’ve been in AP Calc Ab for two days now and am having second thoughts about picking the lower level, since I plan on studying science or engineering in college. I’m currently taking 4 APs(Calc,Physics 1,Lit, and Bio.) I would naturally have selected BC, but Im afraid my math skills still need to develop, perhaps not to the level, but to the speed of BC. Should I go for BC because it will give me a better edge on Apps in comparison to AB? In total, my APs add up to 9, the others being Capstone,Human Geo, Chemistry, US history, and Language. How much of a disadvantage would taking AB put me at? Any insight is appreciated, thanks!
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Replies to: Is AP Calc AB looked down upon when one is aiming cor a science related major?

  • DD2019DD2019 29 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited August 2019
    I have the same question regarding my son who's a junior in high school. AB or BC ?
    edited August 2019
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  • OllieoppsOllieopps 1 replies4 threads New Member
    He can probably take AB now and then BC senior year.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40797 replies7569 threads Super Moderator
    edited August 2019
    He can probably take AB now and then BC senior year.
    Depends upon how the school sets up AB and BC.

    Back to the original question, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It will depend on context - your total schedule vs. the schedule of other students from the same HS applying to the same college. It also depends on the tier of colleges. I don't think that a single course will be a make-or-break No college requires BC, but really tippy top STEM colleges may wonder why BC was not chosen where offered. But if the pace of BC is a concern, you are only one year away from where every class will be at that pace. Keep in mind though that an A in AB is better than a B in BC. Also every college, and I mean every single one, offers a Calc 2 class which will have freshman STEM students in it,
    edited August 2019
    Post edited by skieurope on
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 2371 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Math is a cumulative subject. If you are at the level where AB is appropriate for goodness sake don't try to take a more advanced class! An "A" in AB looks better than a "B" in BC. :) Colleges want to see that you've pushed yourself AND done well. And when you get to your college courses you will be better off with a really solid high school math foundation. Top-tier colleges are more than happy to teach Calculus to their STEM major freshmen.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82874 replies738 threads Senior Member
    DD2019 wrote: »
    I have the same question regarding my son who's a junior in high school. AB or BC ?

    A student who reaches calculus as a junior should be a top student in math, so if the BC course is suitable for students who have just finished precalculus, a junior who did well in precalculus should be able to handle BC easily.

    However, if the student struggled in precalculus, suggesting that s/he was inappropriately accelerated in math starting in middle school, then the slower paced AB may be more appropriate.
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