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Is it okay to not take honors math junior year?

meemilymeemily Registered User Posts: 2 New Member

I’m planning to drop down from honors to regular math for my junior year because I wanted to add psychology. Math is a subject that I struggle with but manage to get pretty good grades (around A- for honors courses). However, it takes a lot of time and practice for me to understand topics in math, and since I’m also going to be tackling AP chem and APUSH in the same year, I decided to drop down from honors to regular math (for next year). Would this hurt my chances of getting into a reasonably good college? I was thinking of schools in the ballpark of Johns Hopkins, Wellesley College, Boston College, UC Berkeley, maybe Brown as a reach school. Since I have gotten good grades in honors math so far, would it look bad if I dropped down suddenly? I just think I would be too overwhelmed, and that regular math would give me more time to absorb knowledge.

Some background is listed below...(sorry if this is too much to read lol)

Freshman year: Honors math, honors environmental science, honors spanish, CP1 history, CP1 english, orchestra, art, P.E.
(Freshman history and english are only offered at CP1 level at my school)

Sophomore year (my CURRENT year): AP biology, honors math, honors Spanish, honors orchestra, honors English, CP1 world history, P.E.

Junior year (NEXT year) I am planning to take: regular math, AP chem, APUSH, psychology, honors Spanish, honors english, honors orchestra, P.E.

Thanks so much!

Replies to: Is it okay to not take honors math junior year?

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,916 Senior Member
    What "math", are you talking about? Regular calculus, precalculus, or regular algebra2?
    What major are you thinking of?
    AP chem without the first level of chemistry (honors chem typically) would be very very hard.
    Psychology is an elective and wouldn't justify taking the regular version of a core class. Can you take AP psych at least?
  • r2v2018r2v2018 Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    edited May 17
    Even AP Psych isn't an excuse for taking a lower level math.

    I would take honors physics (if you haven't taken it already) and Honors math. Dropping down between years doesn't look good, in my opinion. Also, don't take AP Chemistry without chemistry first, even if your school lets you do so. Trust me, it's not a good idea.

    If you are looking at Brown even as a reach, your competition will probably have honors math or even AP/dual enrollment math on their transcripts by the time they reach junior year.
  • meemilymeemily Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    edited May 19
    Thanks so much for your responses! For more details: next year’s math is Precalculus, and I’m planning (but not sure yet) to major in psychology /social sciences, which I think is under humanities. Also, my school only offers one year of chemistry, and it can be taken at a regular, honors, or AP level. I think I’m going to maybe switch to honors math and drop down to regular spanish.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,916 Senior Member
    Ok then - honors chem, honors Spanish, honors math, APSUH, AP LANG?
  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,151 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    I agree with the others - I would not drop down. Also note whether dropping down to regular precalc from honors would prevent you from taking AP calc senior year, as may be the case at some high schools - check the prerequisites for AP calc in your course catalog.

    As an aside, the schools on your current list don't seem to have a lot in common. Recognize that every single one is a reach due to low acceptance rates, not just Brown.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 1,754 Senior Member
    My thoughts:
    - you should be fine taking AP Chem
    - going to regular pre-Calc disqualifies you for AP Calc BC and possibly disqualifies you for AP Calc AB. If this is important to you.

    I would agree, if you really don’t want so many AP/Honors, I would keep Honors pre-Calc and drop Spanish to regular.
  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 Registered User Posts: 534 Member
    For Core Classes I would go with:
    Honors English
    Honors History (it may be a big jump from cp to AP without honors first)
    Honors Spanish
    Honors precalculus - you might not be able to go back to AP senior year from CP
    science - I would speak to AP chem teacher since it is typically not easy to start with AP chem
    This would show consistency or improvement for all

  • HS studentHS student Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    My opinion is certainly in the minority here, but I don't see anything wrong with dropping to regular math. You are planning to take a rigorous courseload already, and you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else here. If you think taking regular math would benefit you and you would possibly do better in your other hard/honors classes and/or psychology, there's no shame in that.

    As for competition, yes, others applying to those schools might be taking honors or AP math, but ultimately you need to do what's best for you. Sometimes taking one regular class is more helpful for your overall well-being than stressing yourself out with all honors/AP.
  • NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,335 Senior Member
    Taking regular precalc will not disqualify him from taking calculus BC or AB
  • simberry2simberry2 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    @NASA2014 That's not true. Last year, I planned to take honors pre-calc because normal math was easy for me. Then, we moved cross country and my new counselor made me take all normal courses because of how rigorous the school's academics were. I attempted to make the jump into Honors pre-calc in the middle of the year, but it would've just messed up my entire schedule. I talked to my teacher and wanted to do AP Calc BC, but she told me I couldn't do it because I was in normal pre-calc. Now, I'm doing AP Calc AB, even though I wanted AP Calc BC. Trust me, taking normal level PreCalc does disqualify people from taking AP Calc BC, considering I was one of those people.

    Now, back to the question. In my opinion, you should do honors precalc and take psych your senior year. Psych is an extremely common elective for students to take, but many don't take it until senior year because it's popular to a bunch of seniors and then the class gets booked up by them. Hold off on Psych until your senior year and go from there.
  • r2v2018r2v2018 Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    Whether or not the OP can take AP Calc AB/BC with regular pre-calculus depends on the prerequisites set by her school.

    For example, at my high school, nobody can go from pre-calculus (which is only offered as an honors class in my state) to AP Calculus BC; AB and BC are taught sequentially, so AB is a prereq for BC.
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