Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

AP, honors, vs regular classes

j89j89 Registered User Posts: 1,103 Senior Member
edited February 2008 in College Admissions
As a high school freshman, I was often told that a B in a honors course was equivalent to an A in a regular course. Thus, I put myself through many "accelerated" classes and earned Bs. At the time, I was satisfied. Now, as a senior that's almost done with college application materials, I wonder what could have happened if I took regular level classes, just enough to have a 4.0 gpa. So..In your opinion, is a B in an honors course equivalent to an A in a regular? How about a B in an AP/IB course? Do you believe that colleges really look at these as equivalents?
Post edited by j89 on

Replies to: AP, honors, vs regular classes

  • bigreddawgiebigreddawgie Registered User Posts: 2,157 Senior Member
    how bout an a in ap courses. nothing trumps that.
  • IHaveAHobbieIHaveAHobbie Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
    why don't you answer his question instead of doing that...it sounds rude
  • happycollegemomhappycollegemom Registered User Posts: 1,170 Senior Member
    j89~ your guidance office should have the specific breakdown for the grade equivalents for CP,Honors,AP. but yes, in general schools want to see the "most rigorous" program of studies you can handle, coming out of high school. when schools list "secondary school record" as most/significantly important, that's what they mean...and they'll compare what your school offers with what you actually took. general rule is, getting a B,B- in an AP is fine. Cs begin the questioning. but most competitve schools know to look at course rigor, NOT just GPA>
  • j89j89 Registered User Posts: 1,103 Senior Member
    Yes, most schools do indeed look at the rigor for the course grade, but wouldn't it be better to end up with a 4.0 with 7-8 APs rather than a 3.8-3.9 with 9 APs (as I ended with)? Also... just a note that many scholarship opportunities, & etc, only see the gpa, and do not consider the quality of an applicant's courses. What do you think of that?
  • NarcissaNarcissa - Posts: 3,935 Senior Member
    I think a B in AP > an A in honors, especially if they're weighted the same, because colleges love to see you challenging yourself.
  • asdfjkl1asdfjkl1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    a 4.0 with 7-8 APs rather than a 3.8-3.9 with 9 APs
    With that many APs, I doubt it would make a difference.

    I do believe that colleges do see the equivalent. An applicant who takes all regular and ends up vald. may do better than the AP-taking kid with the 3.8/9 considering that the regular vald. had a consistent 100 without weighting.

    I think it depends on every instance.
  • HalieHalie Registered User Posts: 575 Member
    ^Yes, but they weren't challenging themselves at all.
  • asdfjkl1asdfjkl1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    Yes, it might be initially perceived that way. But, it would definitely depend on the school and the applicant.
  • sarah786sarah786 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    ofcourse it would be better to get an A in an AP class. i think what the original poster is trying to say is, hey i am not perfect, i tried my absolute best in an advanced course but i got a B. the whole point of taking advanced courses is taking that chance and i think that colleges will like that you continued to take advanced courses without getting discouraged.
  • cookiesgardencookiesgarden Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    I still don't know til this day why a "b" in an AP class would equal to an "a" in a regular class.
    truth is, it takes so much more time and effort to earn a "b" in AP classes(especially the most rigorous ones), than earning an "a" in regular classes.
    and too bad honors classes aren't really worth much. 90% of the honors classes I took throughout high school didn't count for "honors level" for the schools i've applied to..the same classes that brought down my GPA.
    By the end of my senior year, I will have taken 7 APs and 7 Honors classes. But I do know quit a few people who took no honors or AP classes, have a 4.0 gpa, and are ranked before me.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    Yeah, but that's why class rank isn't everything.
  • bulletandpimabulletandpima Registered User Posts: 9,826 Senior Member
    Colleges look at your transcript in many ways, one of the things sent is the amount of Honors and APs your school offers. What they are really looking for is to see you took the most rigorous course load available. Some schools hav 10 AP's others may have only 3. So to answer the question, a B in the most rigorous course loads is better than loading up in stds and getting all A's.

    As far as rank, I agree, our school ranks by uw, alot of kids have a higher rank than my ds because they got an A in weight lifting, while my son got a B in AP Govt. Yet, those kids won't get into the same schools, because their transcript does not make them competitive
  • AY8888AY8888 User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 592 Member
    Forget the Bs and As. If you are in a school that gives weight for AP, then take AP. a 90(Unweighted) in AP = or > a 95 in regular, college knows that grades will be lower in a more advanced class. However, if your school does not differentiate between the two in terms of weight for the harder of the two courses, you should get your acts together and make sure that you can perform at a 90 in AP when in regular you would get a 95. If the discrepency is more than 10, you should think to drop to a lower level. Maybe BC Calculus for AB Calculus or AP Chemistry to Honors Chemistry. I wouldn't drop all the way to regent level which doesn't enhance your application in any way. You also have to take into consideration class rank which is factored into college admission decisions [regardless of how small it is].
  • ZratazaZrataza Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    I think J89 has confused CP with AP else he wouldn't have said "Accelerated." Accelerated means one level up from regular and 1 level down from AP/Honors, thus, College Prep...so there.
  • happycollegemomhappycollegemom Registered User Posts: 1,170 Senior Member
    j89~ i'm just now responding to you. YES, i STILL think a 3.9-ish in all those APs is better than 4.0 in less! rigor rigor rigor! at least as far as the really competitive schools go! good luck!
This discussion has been closed.