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Senior Year Advice

BardownBardown Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Hi all,

This is one of my first times posting here, but I do quite a bit of reading. I figured if anyone could help me with my problems, it would be you guys and gals. Here's a little background about myself:
Public school (2,000 kids, each counselor has 400ish kids)
Looking at attending a selective college (Vanderbilt, Harvard, Northwestern, etc)
This year for my advanced classes I took AP Chem, Honors English and Honors History (That's really all my school has).
Looking to go into a form of engineering (mechanical, chemical) and entrepreneurship. Thinking about med school

For next year, a lot more APs open up due to prerequisites being met. However, we are on a trimester system with five classes per day and my school doesn't offer APs fourth hour. In addition, most APs are offered only once per day so that creates a scheduling problem. Right now, I am definitely going to take AP Calculus AB and AP Physics. Past that, I have to decide between AP English, AP Bio, Spanish 4, AP Gov, and AP World History. All of them interest me...do colleges prefer to see one over the others?

With that being said, am I in my right to ask for a note to be made that I tried to take more AP classes but was unable to due to the school's scheduling? Also, we have AP Calc BC on our course offerings, but it will not be offered next year. Should I also ask to have that made note of? My counselor really doesn't spend a lot of time with us and is not used to sending kids to anything but a state flagship or equivalent, so that is why I came to you guys. Thanks for all the help and trying to lessen my stress. You are awesome.

Replies to: Senior Year Advice

  • halcyonheatherhalcyonheather Registered User Posts: 8,987 Senior Member
    Past that, I have to decide between AP English, AP Bio, Spanish 4, AP Gov, and AP World History.
    In order from "best" to "worst":
    1. Spanish 4
    2. AP English
    3. AP Bio
    4. AP Gov
    5. AP World History

    This isn't really about rigor...it's about fulfilling their subject recommendations. I'd recommend taking Spanish 4 because top colleges recommend taking four years of the same foreign language. You also need to take four years of English, so take regular or honors English if you don't take AP.

    There are actually two different AP English courses, Language and Literature. Does your school offer both of these classes? Would you be able to take one of them along with Spanish 4?
    With that being said, am I in my right to ask for a note to be made that I tried to take more AP classes but was unable to due to the school's scheduling?
    If your counselor marks your schedule as "most demanding" in their recommendation, you'll be fine. You could ask them to make a note of the situation in their letter, or you could say something about it in the Additional Information section on the Common App. But this is a problem at a lot of high schools, and colleges understand that it's usually not possible to take all the AP classes offered unless your school only offers two or three.

    Colleges will also receive a school profile that gives information about your school. This is made by your school, so different school profiles include different things. (My high school sends like one person to a selective college every year—I don't even mean Harvard, I mean a college that rejects people—and our school profile hardly says anything. But more "knowledgeable" high schools will tend to include more.)
  • BardownBardown Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Thanks for the reply! That really helps.

    Not sure how to quote your response, but my school only offers AP Language. I can take that along with Spanish 4, which I will be for sure taking as I think about it more. However, taking these two classes means that I will have to drop AP Bio, which isn't a deal breaker for me.

    I assume that my counselor will mark it as "most demanding", but it is something that I will ask about. Although I will ask her to make note of this in my letter, I will talk about it in the Additional Information in the Common App as my counselor isn't exactly reliable. Our schools sound the same, and I do not expect the school profile to be all that great.

    Once again, thanks for all your help. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.
  • halcyonheatherhalcyonheather Registered User Posts: 8,987 Senior Member
    Quoting works like this, without the asterisk.
    [*quote]Quoted text goes here[/quote]

    You can also do this.
    [*quote=username of the person being quoted]Quoted text goes here[/quote]

This discussion has been closed.