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AP Prerequisites

neonnnneonnn Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
My school is very strict on AP Class prerequisites. For AP Biology, you need to have taken regular biology and regular chemistry already. The same goes to AP Chemistry. You need to have taken regular chemistry and regular biology prior. Unfortunately for me I took physics my freshmen year, so I can't take AP Biology and AP chemistry within my four years of high school because of these prerequisites. (unless I take summer school but that's crazy expensive)

And for AP Computer Science you need intro to com sci first.

You also need to have taken Calculus AB before going into BC.

Are colleges aware of these prerequisites schools have in placed for AP classes? Because I know people in other schools who can take AP Biology, Chemistry, Com Sci without any prerequisites. They can also skip to calculus BC instead of taking AB. Because I'm worried I might look "less hardworking" than those students. I feel like my school is undermining their students and putting us at a disadvantage with these prerequisites, than schools without strict prereq's.
Does it also look bad if I don't take AP Chemistry and AP biology in high school, if i want to major in biochemistry? Is it bad that I'll only be taking Calculus AB, not BC? It's not that I'm scared of these courses, I would love to take these ap classes but my school has a dumb policy with AP course prerequisites and it's really frustrating.

Replies to: AP Prerequisites

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,170 Senior Member
    Actually, whoever told you there were nobpre reqs for AP bio and AP chemistry was either lying or embellishing an uncommon situation.
    Almost all school mandate bio and chemistry before
    If you didn't take bio in middle school, you can take biology via a virtual school or summer school. Then sophomore year you take chemistry. Then you can take AP chemistry junior year and AP biology senior year.
    Or, more common even among high achievers, take just one AP science, either chemistry or bio. If you want to major in biochemistry then I'd recommend taking AP chemistry.
    As for calculus, some schools have calc ab- bc as a sequence (calc 1, calc 2) and other schools have an either/or situation. Colleges don't care whether you took a or bc anyway as long as, as a wannabe stem major, you took calculus.
  • neonnnneonnn Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Interesting. Thank you for that insight.

    Would you say that students who are able to take AP Biology without any prerequisites are at an advantage than students at other schools who normally have to take chemistry and biology prior? Are they more privileged towards college applications?

    I'm just wondering because I see a lot of threads where people take both ap bio and ap chem in their high school years.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,170 Senior Member
    Most students (virtually all) who take AP bio had bio and chemistry; often, they took bio in middle school.
  • neonnnneonnn Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I took biology and physics in middle school, but my high school is making us retake it again
  • malvernvarnamalvernvarna Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    At my school, both chemistry and biology have to be taken in high school as prerequisites. Plenty of people double up, taking chem and bio at the same time, and them take AP Chem or Bio in the following years. The administration has recently been allowing sophomores to take AP Bio WHILE they take first-year chemistry if they've had first-year biology, which I've heard hurts the class dynamic, since they don't know what's going on, but whatever.
  • malvernvarnamalvernvarna Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    Also (and this seems ridiculous to me also) kids at my school can choose to take AP Calculus AB or Honors Calculus after Pre-Calc/Trig and then take AP Calculus BC. Honors Calc kids can choose to "challenge" the AB test, and Honors and AP are weighted the same in calculating weighted GPA. So basically the only difference between Honors and AB is that for AB you are required to take the AP test, while it's optional to Honors kids, and people generally like the Honors Calculus teacher (who also teaches BC) better than the AB teacher, although she isn't even really a better teacher.

    I think for AP Comp Sci you're required to take Honors Comp Sci 1, which is an intro to java programming course that a lot of people take for their technology credit anyway. There's no prereq for AP CompSci Principles, though, so a lot of freshmen are taking it. Pretty much everyone loves our comp sci teacher.

    We have AP Physics 1 and 2 (not C - no one in our state teaches C) and Honors physics, but Honors is not a prereq for AP 1; AP 1 is logically a prereq for AP 2.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 41,179 Super Moderator
    Would you say that students who are able to take AP Biology without any prerequisites are at an advantage than students at other schools who normally have to take chemistry and biology prior? Are they more privileged towards college applications?
    No to both. Colleges give no brownie points to students who take AP classes in an earlier year.
  • neonnnneonnn Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Yea but the thing is I can only take AP biology compared to other students in different schools who took AP Chemistry AND AP Biology
This discussion has been closed.