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Precal And Accel Chem over the summer??

Lion32Lion32 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
I'm currently in ninth grade. I am talking 2 APs and a couple of other hard classes I doing awesome so far and I think I will get all A's this year. I can't change my schedule this year, but I want to ramp it up next year. I'm interested in math and science so I wanted to take a couple online classes over the summer, specifically math and science. If I don't do that I will be taking 4 AP next year and some hard classes but if I do take the online courses then I think I'll be taking 4 or 5 AP and a couple other hard classes.

Should I do it?

I welcome all advice.

Replies to: Precal And Accel Chem over the summer??

  • mathyonemathyone Registered User Posts: 4,225 Senior Member
    Let me quote an admissions officer at a top school: "It's not the case that whoever has the most AP classes wins."
    So it that is the motivation for this, I wouldn't bother. The fact that you are just talking about "APs" and numbers of "APs" makes me think that you have fallen into this fallacy. Because if you were not obsessed with the AP label then you would have told us what your actual classes are.

    You need to be aware that not all APs are created equal. I'm going to venture a guess that one of the APs you are taking is AP human geography. Don't be misled into thinking that you can base your expectations for other AP courses on that course. Freshman year is kind of transitional between middle school and high school. The difficulty level will ramp up.

    It's hard to advise over the web, because I don't know what kind of student you are. But I think it would be a mistake to try to jump into so many APs in your sophomore year. Even 4 APs as a sophomore is a lot of work, and I'm not sure why you feel you need more. There are occasionally posters on this site who took on too much, didn't do well, and are sadly trying to do damage control and mop up the mess they got themselves into. So I really would only consider this if you aren't merely expecting As but actually finding the classes boringly easy and clearly way outperforming your peers. There is nothing sadder than seeing an A student over-accelerated and turned into a stressed out B/C student.

    FWIW, my kids took hmm 2 APs each freshman and sophomore years and they both got into several elite colleges. And they were pretty busy taking those courses with 6 others. Your best source of info on the challenge/workload of these APs will be students who are about as strong as you are who have taken the courses in your school. But for your own sanity and if that isnt sufficient reason, for college admissions as well, you will be better off spending more time on activities than grinding away at every possible AP.

    I also suggest you map out a 4 year high school plan, and see whether you can accomplish what you want to in high school without doing the summer school or whether you really need it to do everything you'd like to. You should be focusing on what you want to get out of high school for your education and career exploration, not AP tallys.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,958 Forum Champion
    1) MATH: I think it is okay to take a math over the summer esp. if you started in Alg 1 and want to get to Calculus by senior year. You could also double up on Alg2 and Geometry. If you want to get farther than Calc 1, then map out what/where you could take further courses
    2) SCIENCE Honestly I would not do this. No advantage to getting ahead really...take Bio, Chem, Physic (prefereable at honors level) and then at least oen AP version of those.

    It is more important that you get A's at an honor level than to be getting B/Cs at an AP level because you are not ready.
    I would not try to accelerate too much as a sophomore. See how it goes this year/next year and then maybe ramp up the APs.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,834 Senior Member
    1) I would not take accelerated chem nor precalculus over the summer. It won't make you more competitive. You're better off using your summer wisely (job, project, volunteering).
    2) precalculus honors as a sophomore is already 2 years advanced. It means calc as a junior. Map out your progression over 4 years. You need to end with calc senior year.
    3) take accelerated or honors chemistry sophomore year, AP physics 1 junior year and if you want to major in stem AP Bio or AP chem or AP physics C; if not stem, APES.
  • symmbowLsymmbowL Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    If you truly want to learn more in the areas of chem and math, go for it. Don’t do it for the college admissions though, last year I took three math classes honors geometry algebra 2 and trigonometry because I do have a passion for math and self studied PreCalc over the summer ( and I had a lot of fun making connections to beginner topics with advanced topics) to be in BC Calc this year, however it doesn’t mean you have to self study. Again, only if it’s worth your time, meaning it is enjoyable.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 800 Member
    I would agree with those telling you to think twice about taking those classes in the summer. It might be better to take a class unrelated to your main interests (to get rid of a graduation requirement) or use the summer for an enrichment experience. Take science during the school year for a more in-depth authentic lab experience. You could do a dual enrollment lab class if you want. Since you're already ahead academically, I keep coming back to the feeling you're better off rounding out your resume with some challenging enrichments.
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