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hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
OK, so the registration for AP tests will be coming soon. My question to cadets is: Should I take them if I get in? I know about validating, but what is worth validating (I plan on validating Biology and Chemistry) and should we? Will it make things more difficult being ahead of fellow classmates or will most be doing that? Any input will help a lot! Thanks!
Post edited by hornetguy on

Replies to: AP Tests

  • TuftsPleaseTuftsPlease Registered User Posts: 990 Member
    If I get in, I don't think I'm going to AP anything. I'd hate to be a year up and then be apart even more. Since afterall you are stuck for 4 years ... might as well go through a few intro level classes and reinforce everything over.
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    Ya, that's what I'm thinking too Tufts. I was kinda relaxing this yar knowing I won't be taking any of my AP exams except maybe Biology.
  • snipper_crsnipper_cr Registered User Posts: 512 Member
    Even if all my APs and college credit transfered, i dont think id use any of them for credit at the academy. If anything make the first year that much lightier academically. IE, retake the classes but already being exposed to the material it is not as difficult and get used to the academy academic system.
  • eeee14eeee14 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    Is this a good idea?? I always thought the goal should be to validate as much as possible. You guys do have a point though... make sure you know the stuff, gest used to the system... very good ideas.

    hmm... my parents would appreciate saving literally hundreds of dollars on the AP tests...
  • momoftwinsmomoftwins Registered User Posts: 2,668 Senior Member
    And if you get hurt and cannot start with the class of 2010 or if you have to leave during the summer or first semester...the result will be that you'll be attending another college with no AP credit to your name, therefore no college credit for those tough classes you're taking.

    The AP exams aren't all that expensive (think of the tuition dollars saved) and are a great way to get more college-level test experience. Even with a 5 in an AP exam, you won't necessarily validate a class at any service academy. In addition you find out how you stack up against everyone in the country who is also taking the exams. And being able to add "AP Scholar" or "AP Scholar with Distinction" to your resume can't hurt.

    Anyone who knows me from these boards will know that I never "tell" any student what to do. In this case I urge you to take the AP exams.
  • snipper_crsnipper_cr Registered User Posts: 512 Member
    AP credits are amazing. At the college im going to it saved over a year of tuition (which at my college, a community one, isnt much) get 31 semester credits. (6 history, 10 calculus (AB/BC), 10 Physics (EM/Mech), and CompSci (A)).
  • eeee14eeee14 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    So... take the tests in case something happens but don't try to get out of classes at the academy?? Is this a good plan??

    But I was also thinking... you have to be there for four years, but you also only get to be there for four years. Like, what if you have a very tough major and want to take fewer classes each semester?? I know the way they plan it you are quite overloaded compared to a normal college. Might it be better to not have to take those history classes that you took AP? My element leader from summer seminar suggested getting out of as much as you can. hmm... this is interesting.
  • texas_falcontexas_falcon Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    The way I understood it, if you validate something, for instance Calculus I, then during your first year, you take Calculus II. Depending on your major, if that's all the math you need, I don't know if that may free up your schedule when you are a C1C a little bit or if they make you substitute something else in that opening.
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    Where's UNCynical when you need her. O ya, vacation, we await your return!
  • usafamomusafamom Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    Hey everyone, i am a 3 degree in squad 23 at the academy using my moms sn. I hear all of you saying that you want to make your freshman year as easy as possible since it is hard enough anyway, but the years dont get easier as time goes on. In fact they just get tougher. My reccomendation to everyone, and again i am not telling you what to do, but rather just strongly suggesting, is that you validate absolutely everything you possibly can. Calculus and chemistry mainly, because a lot of the core level classes that you think would be easy are in fact quite the opposite.

    I was fortunate enough to validate both semesters of calculus and chemistry and i cant tell you how many people come up to me and say how much they regretted not getting out of those classes. Chemistry is one class that absolutely ruins people's grades and it is much easier to test out of it than it is to get an A in the class.

    For those of you worried about losing some of the knowledge from previous courses, dont. I have a very strong foundation on both calc and chem because everyone came to me for help with tutoring. Tutoring everyone else is almost better than taking the class because in order to teach someone else, you must have the understanding yourself and it really drives the info into you.

    As for what classes you should try to validate, History is almost impossible. I had a 5 on AP Euro and a very good understanding of the US hist and they didnt even consider me. Calc and chem on the other hand, if you do well on the placement tests during basic, and yes they are worth studying for, they are easy to validate. The same is true for physics, Comp sci and if you do well in Bio that one is easy to get out of as well. And if you absolutely hate writing papers as i do, I STRONGLY reccomend taking the AP english and Lit exams. I wish i could have gotten out of those papers.

    Thats all i have, but i will be around here until the 4th of Jan, so if you have any more questions just put them up and Id be happy to answer them. Good luck to all of you!
  • TuftsPleaseTuftsPlease Registered User Posts: 990 Member
    Son of USAFA Mom, may I ask what happens when you are opted out of a class? Do you just get a study for that Chem Period?
  • eeee14eeee14 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    what about macro/micro economics, government, and statistics?
  • UNcynicalUNcynical Registered User Posts: 686 Member
    Okay, okay, I'm back, haha.

    A suggestion I have is to check with the Academy and see which AP classes they do accept credit from. The list of classes they do this for is very limited and I don't know them off the top of my head.

    Getting a few classes out of the way with won't hurt at all. There are a ton of classes you'll still need to take here, so don't expect that getting AP credit will get you way ahead of your classmates and cut down drastically on the number of credits you'll take each semester. There is a certain number of resident semester hours each cadet needs to have, minimum credits that need to be taken each semester, and only certain classes you can get credit for, as I said.

    Not taking AP tests and/or getting high enough scores on them won't kill you at the Academy, but even getting one or two out of the way will help a little.

    Even taking AP or any sort of advanced classes in high school will help you at the Academy, since you've already been exposed to certain materials before going there. Sometimes things are easier to understand the second time around.

    Also keep in mind that there will be placement tests during BCT that can allow you to validate some classes.

    I took 7 AP classes in high school and didn't take any of the tests. In retrospect, I probably should have, but the $76 apiece seemed like too much at the time. None of the credits I took at the year of community college before I went to the Academy tranferred either. My first year academically didn't go so well, but I don't attribute any of it to not coming in with tranfer/validation credits; instead it was due to getting used to the whole "Academy experince." (I did validate into Calc 3 from the placement test I took in BCT. On a side note, if you're a non-technical major, you don't need to take any math beyond Calc 2, with the exception of statistics.)
  • TuftsPleaseTuftsPlease Registered User Posts: 990 Member
    I'm looking at the classes they mention in the Booklet. How is it actually possible to take that many classes in two semesters? Or is it a pick basis?
  • UNcynicalUNcynical Registered User Posts: 686 Member
    As another side note not really related to validating classes...

    If you want to know how the academic schedule is set up, I'll explain it to you, hopefully in the least confusing manner possible.

    We have M-days and T-days. The first day of each semester is an M-day, the 2nd a T-day, the 3rd an M-day, and so on. This means that some weeks you have 3 M-days and 2 T-days and others you have 2 M-days and 3 T-days. There are 42 lessons in each class per semester, meaning you go to a total of 42 M-days and 42 T-days.

    Each day is divided into 7 50-minute academic periods. There's breakfast (which is sometimes optional), 4 periods, mandatory lunch, commandant's time (during which there are meetings, etc.), then 3 more periods. After that are sometimes intramurals (depending on when during the year it is); dinner's optional.

    All your classes will be on either M-days or T-days, so you only have each class every other day (with the very rare exception of some language classes), meaning 2-3 times a week. Some classes last 2 periods, but most are only one. Chemistry and some other science classes are two periods, for example. P.E. is also 2 periods since there's extra transit time and changing time built in, but it only lasts for 8 lessons. Your first year here, in particular, you will be out of class during the academic day than you will be in class. For instance, assume you have 5 classes plus P.E. (typical for your first semester). You'll have classes on M and T days and you'll probably be spread out throughout the days. So a typical schedule might be that on M-days you have periods 1, 2, and 5, and on T days you have period 1 & 2 for chem, 3 & 4 for P.E. during the lessons you have it, and period 6. This means that on M-days, you're only in school for about 3 hours and our for 4, and on T-days, you're in school for 3 + 2 for P.E. and out for either 4 or 2 hours.

    During your free periods you can study. If you're back in your squadron, as opposed to going to the library, you have to keep your door to your room open, can't lay down/sleep, etc.

    The academic schedule doesn't seem too bad, though, does it? SO much free time! Don't be surprised, however, if you find yourself sitting down in your room to surf the net for a while and then wonder where all your times goes. There are all kinds of work ethics here, especially when it comes to school work. Things do get more busy as times goes on, although on the bright side, you should learn how to manage your time better here over time too. If you're thinking, "That'll never be me!" be careful. Even the people who fail out of here for academics had around a 4.0 in high school.
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