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Is a C in an AP Class Bad?

vc2021vc2021 6 replies2 threads New Member
Hello, currently I have a “C” in AP Calculus AB and it’s most likely going to stay that way for this semester. I was wondering if colleges (such as UC’s and a few private schools in CA) would take this heavily when considering admission and if it will make my transcripts appear poor. I’m also taking 3 other AP classes in which I have A’s in all of them, so I’m unsure if they help to reinforce the negative impression of the C.
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Replies to: Is a C in an AP Class Bad?

  • GumbymomGumbymom 28845 replies213 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    Are you a Junior or a Senior? One grade will not make a significant impact but it really depends upon on where you are planning to apply or have applied.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1629 replies25 threads Senior Member
    What do you mean by “heavily” and “poor”?

    Schools look at grades in totality. One C will not disqualify you from any school. One C will not be as attractive as an A or B. It’s a data point.

    Every application has strong and weak points and they provide a full-spectrum view of the candidate. You want to maximize your portfolio of data points, and a C is likely on the low end. But it’s not an anchor that sinks an entire application.

    I’m not clear on what “reinforce the negative” would mean.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35111 replies398 threads Senior Member
    What major? If stem, a C for the year is no help. You said UC and the competition is tough.

    It's not as simple as the transcript looking poor. It's whether the grade makes you look less prepared for, eg, a stem major. What are you doing to improve this. A C followed by a 2nd sem A is a whole different picture.

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  • mikemacmikemac 10395 replies151 threads Senior Member
    It isn't the end of the world, but it isn't going to help.

    However I think you're missing the real message here. That is to understand *why* you are only getting a C and then taking steps to correct the issue(s). Difficult classes like Calculus reveal weaknesses that other HS classes, even AP, may not. When you get to college you'll want top study habits or the problems surfacing here may happen in many more classes & subjects.

    Are you not spending enough time? Are you studying ineffectively? A lot of kids think that reviewing the chapters and homework before a test are the way to go, but this misses 2 of the most effective techniques for studying (distributed practice and self-testing).

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