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Pre-Haverford Educational Issues - Advice Needed! (long)

KelseyMKelseyM 180 replies11 threads Junior Member
(This is long and may take a few minutes of your time. Apologies.)

Hello all,
I have resurfaced from high school life in the midst of a troubling issue that, again, I need advice on.
Now that I have been "Matched" via QuestBridge to Haverford College (again with much thanks to all the people over there in that thread who made it happen), I have been doing my best to optimize my education towards advancing it as far as possible to be ready for Haverford, but am unsure of what to do.

First comes my major problem I am not sure how to address.
I had created a thread prior in the year of this same subject and thought not too much of it. Simply put, I was wondering if AP Chemistry was feasible given a Dual Enrollment class. In order to compensate for the seeming lack of rigor/transferable credit in my current schedule, I considered taking AP Chem so that I could already start working towards the knowledge I need for my future biochemistry concentration at Haverford.
However, now that I have begun studying for the exam with this class, I'm immediately reconsidering based on several reasons, which I will try to explain below.

Firstly, there are curriculum discrepancies between my Dual Enrollment Chemistry II class and the course requirements/exam subjects of AP Chemistry, notably:
- The labs are significantly different and do not teach the skills AP labs want
- This general chemistry II course only extends to Kinetics and does not cover additional material on the AP test such as metalloid properties and beginnings of organic chemistry
- The topics that are covered are not covered as in depth. I have been using the Molecular Approach textbook and study guide as supplement, but the material seems much more expansive than my community college dual enrollment class and takes more time to study for.
- The class meets one day a week for both lecture and lab for 4 hours and is one semester, which is a stark difference from a daily possibly year long AP Chem class.
- My professor teaches...well, different than an AP Chemistry teacher.

Secondly, I am already taking classes with extensive coursework and exams to prepare for. Some who see this may know me already, but I have to re-clarify: My school does not offer APs. Instead, it offers AS-level Cambridge courses, and I am taking the following courses w/exams:
- English Literature (2 exams)
- Environmental Management (2 exams)
- Global Perspectives (1 exam)
I would like to earn, at the very least, a b on all of these exams, which takes a good bit of studying, especially Literature.

Would it instead be optimal to sacrifice taking the AP exam, and instead get a deeper understanding out of my college course class (using the same Molecular Approach textbook, but not studying for the AP exam) so I can do well on the Haverford placement exam?
Would I, though, be sacrificing preemptive mastery of the subject? Would an AP chem score even matter for Haverford due to the placement exam being the ultimate factor in advanced placement? Do I look any less prepared than my peers? Is it worth putting myself under stress I can no longer deny exists?

My eyebrows are raised also with regards to my school's very inconsistent and disadvantageous educational choices. You know how I said they offer AS-level exams, right? Haverford, as you may know, doesn't take those exam credits. If I take the same approach as I am considering with the AP chem exam, should I instead place emphasis on learning and connecting with course material just for preparation and the love of learning? In complete honesty, I do favor Cambridge over AP. It's more rigorous and gets me more invested in course material. It just really, REALLY sucks that my school not only doesn't offer A-level (thereby maximizing my education potential), but also doesn't offer courses I would benefit from, aside from biology, which I took and loved (AS chemistry, AS Mathematics (they actually dropped this one this year because there wasn't enough!!! :neutral:)) What's even the point of AS level? To serve as a tease?

Lastly, I had to drop a dual enrollment french course (French II) because I couldn't pay for it and because I was deadset on taking the AP chem exam. Should I consider taking up a French textbook on the sidelines to prepare for Haverford's French Placement exam?

This has been bothering me ever since I started this semester and I have been caught in kind of an existential limbo with it. What do you think? I appreciate any word given to any part of this.

Thank you for your time and I eagerly await your response.
4 replies
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Replies to: Pre-Haverford Educational Issues - Advice Needed! (long)

  • STArtMomSTArtMom 3 replies0 threads New Member
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding but you've already matched to Haverford via Questbridge, so you're already accepted for Fall 2020? If so I'd suggest you talk to admissions at Haverford and ask for their recommendations, alternatively ask your mentor at Questbridge. This isn't a question that someone on this board should be answering. Haverford's admissions should be very able to steer you in the right direction. Good luck, great school (I'm an alum and my son is HC '21).
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10369 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    I get the sense that, again, you are way overthinking this. You do not need to take AP chemistry. Haverford knows what your school offers you. You are in already. They don’t expect you to come in with AP scores, which don’t give you an advantage in terms of your ability to learn new material.

    Haverford is going to have a lot of support should you find chemistry difficult, which you may well do. The knowledge you will need to major in biochemistry at Haverford, you will get at Haverford. A Haverford prof isn’t going to use AP chem as the basis for his/her curriculum.

    The whole point of a placement exam is to see which level of class is suitable for you. You don’t need to “do well.” You need to be in the right level of class. Study for the AP chem exam if you like, but honestly, self study is nothing like being in the actual class. FWIW, my D self studied for an AP and got a 5. She decided to enroll in the 100 level class because she didn’t feel her own study was thorough enough. She was very glad she did. AP classes are not the same as college classes.

    By the time you graduate from Haverford, you are going to know what you need to know to have a great degree in biochemistry. No need to put the cart before the horse.
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  • KelseyMKelseyM 180 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Thank you guys for your input! I wasn't going to do it for credit purposes anyway, moreso for preparation. I'll just use my dual enrollment class as prep, and maybe look deeper into one of my textbooks I was given if I have time and interest. I feel a lot better about it now, thank you!!
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  • GabbyygarzaGabbyygarza 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Heyy!! My name is Gabriella and I also got matched to Haverford through Questbridge! We have an instagram group of all the Questbridge Haverford Class of 2024 and we would love for you to join! My username on instagram is @gabriellagarzaa contact me so i can add you! It’s a great way to make friends before class starts! If you dont have instagram let me know and maybe we can work something out!
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