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senior year workload?

tupac4tupac4 Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
Okay, so I'm currently a junior in high school and have taken the most rigorous courses that my school offers. I have a total of 6 AP classes: APWH from freshman year, APUSH from sophomore year, and AP Lit, AP Psych, AP Chem, and AP Gov this year. I was planning on taking AP Bio, AP Physics 1, AP Comp, and AP Micro/Macro next year. I sort of want to take AP Macro out of my schedule for my senior year just because I want my senior year to be more relaxed and fun. I was also planning on dropping my Anatomy and Physiology class to take study hall and fiber arts because, again, I wanted to relax my workload for senior year. However, if I'm applying to top-tier Ivy League level schools, would this be frowned upon for senior year? I know course rigor is extremely important, but I feel like 10-11 AP's is already impressive. And that doesn't even include all the honors classes I'm taking. I really would like to take a small break on the academics my senior year because a study hall would be really, really nice, but I also don't want to do anything that could damage my chances for admissions.

Replies to: senior year workload?

  • super5000ifysuper5000ify Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    Compare it to your previous year. If it's consistent with or more rigorous than Junior year, you're good. If there's an obvious drop in rigor, that's when there's a problem.
  • littlelotte485littlelotte485 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member

    I'm a HS senior, and I've taken/am taking some of the courses you've got right now. When I graduate, I will have taken all the AP Courses my school offers, which is AP Language and Comp, AP Bio, AP Calculus AB, AP Physics C: Mechanics, and AP Literature and Comp (our school is new and really small, so that's why there are so little). Anyways, I took AP Language and Comp and AP Bio last year, and I did pretty well, scoring a 5 and 4 on the AP exams for those classes, respectively. From my experience, let me say that the courseload for AP Lang will depend on what books you're reading, and whether or not your teacher makes you write a lot, and is a super harsh grader (like mine was). For AP Bio, know that this course has the hardest AP Exam to take, and will demand you do complex readings in your textbook every night for HW, perform extensive labs, and be able to recall lots and lots of details. If you want to do well on the exam, you're going to need to do lots of practice outside the class, and may even need to read chapters in your textbook that you won't get to because you won't have time in the school year to do everything. So that's just my opinion on these courses, just so you can get a feel for what may be demanded on you.

    I understand you want a lighter courseload (I'm taking 3 AP classes, plus 5 Honors classes this year), so I do think it is a good idea to ease up on the course you are taking. If you don't mind my asking, what honors classes are/will you be taking next year and this year? This will have some role in whether or not you need to take more/less AP classes. From what you have said (correct me if I'm wrong) but you want to drop AP macro/micro, A&P (Anatomy and Physiology) and Fiber Arts from your senior course list, am I right? If so, I suggest dropping A&P, if you want to take AP Bio. A&P requires you to do lots of memorization (more so than Bio, IMO), and I don't think you'll want to deal with two very complex biological science courses in your senior year (unless you want to pursue medicine or biology, which in that case, you might not have a problem). Also, you may want to keep AP micro/macro in if you are good with math, because I've heard that that course isn't as difficult (especially when compared to AP Physics 1). And that's another thing: AP Physics 1 may be hard for you if you aren't a math person, because you're going to need to understand the concept plus the algebra that will go with it. I'm taking AP Physics C (calculus-based Physics, so my situation is a bit different from yours). As regards, I got a studiorum (what we call a Study Hall) and it has been such a major help, because not only does it give me time to complete my HW, but I have time to do SAT/ACT practice, start or finish college apps, and research scholarships, etc. So definitely take the SH, especially if the honors classes you're taking next year are not too rigorous.

    Basically, it will depend on the other courses you are taking this year and next year, and your performance in the classes this year. Obviously, you're wanting to apply to Ivy-league schools, so I'm believing that your GPA is high, and you are high-performing, and hardworking student. So evaluate your plans for what you want to study, and the honors classes you're taking now and planning to take next year, and then you can choose your AP classes. I just kind of want to know what honors classes you're taking/planning to take before I give any solid advice. Sorry for such a long reply, but I hope it helps! Good luck with everything, and I hope I was a little bit helpful! :)
  • tupac4tupac4 Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Thank you for the replies, both of you! I'm considering switching out my preplanned schedule of Honors Finite/Pre-Calc for AP Stats instead just to add another AP class onto my courseload, but I'm not sure. Each of your responses were extremely helpful.
  • paveyourpathpaveyourpath Registered User Posts: 1,296 Senior Member
    @tupac4 You want to be careful that your transcript doesn't come across as someone who was more caught up in chasing AP classes than pursuing courses that truly interest you. Make sure to have time to spend on ECs that you enjoy and that you will be able to speak and write about with enthusiasm. Applicants with the "highest degree of rigor" box checked are a dime a dozen because applicants to the Ivy league schools and highly selective schools are outstanding students who are taking rigorous course loads, enrichment courses, etc. At the end of the day, colleges have to select applicants that add something to the class they are building. Think about what you want to be able to draw on to make yourself stand out. Spend time on a talent you have or try something that challenges your comfort zone.
  • snowfairy137snowfairy137 Registered User Posts: 2,081 Senior Member
    Honors precalc is more rigorous than AP Stats
  • mohammadmohd18mohammadmohd18 Registered User Posts: 501 Member
    At a certain point, after you have taken 8 or 9 APs, you reach the point of diminished returns. The more APs you take after that will not help you much (think logx graph. Y-axis is benefit, x-axis is number of APs).
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