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Does getting a B+ in AP Calculus Freshman Year drastically reduce my chances?

squ1rrelsqu1rrel Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
I am on track to get a B+ by the end of the year in AP Calc AB, and as a freshman it's quite stressful. It'll be extremely hard for me to push my grade up to an A-...my parents say that I must devote all my time to calc now and get the A- because top colleges will overlook me due to this B+. I get easy As in all my other classes, but I also don't really have much else to put to the table at the moment, as a large portion of my life so far has been spent on soccer...consistent injuries mean that this might not work out for me. Is it true that my chances reduce drastically when I apply to top colleges such as MIT? Is all the extra time I might spend worth the A- which isn't even guaranteed?


Replies to: Does getting a B+ in AP Calculus Freshman Year drastically reduce my chances?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,762 Senior Member
    One B+ wont keep you out of any school. Especially for a course that is usually for seniors, that you are taking as a freshman.

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,040 Senior Member
    One B won't hurt your chances. However, if indeed you were inappropriately accelerated, a second B in next year's math could very well hurt your application for places like MIT. Proceed with caution.
  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I do agree I'm not quite appropriately accelerated...I took quite a few online courses, so my foundation isn't very solid...it's not extremely hard, but I do need to spend quite a bit of time on it...maybe because it's my first AP class? The average in our class is about a 75 or so.
  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    Get a 5 on the AP exam and then ask the teacher to bump up your grade.
  • NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,367 Senior Member
    What part of the course are you struggling at? Students tend to struggle with the Algebra. Calculus has rules and once you understand the rules you will be fine. The problem is the Algebra. B+ is actually a good grade for some like you "Freshman"
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,036 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    Are you mentioning MIT as an example or is that the school you would like to apply to? The issue isn't a B+ or A-. Chris Peterson of MIT is a rep on this site a lot. Maybe he'll weigh in but read this-relevant for the highly competitive schools even if you have no interest in MIT: https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/applying_sideways/
  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    MIT is a school I would like to apply to...
    It takes a while for me to grasp the Calculus concepts, but then I just mess up on algebra or silly stuff most of the time. No matter how hard I try, I always make small mistakes even after checking my work...
    My teacher hand-writes all of his tests, so the questions differ quite a bit from the textbook. It requires more in-depth thinking than a lot of Calc AB classes I believe.
  • RiversiderRiversider Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    It’s never a good idea for an average good student to skip math courses. Summer, in-line and credit by exam acceleration often leaves a bad foundation. It’s a sure way to shake their confidence and cause stress.

    At this point, just do your best. One B grade in a senior course taken as freshman is not going to alter admission outcomes at MIT or any other top 20. Now don’t go on taking MVC or Linear Algebra, just because they are part of sequence. Take Stats and CS to keep a math course but not mess up GPA and rank.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,579 Super Moderator
    My teacher hand-writes all of his tests, so the questions differ quite a bit from the textbook.
    Which is good preparation for the exams any decent college STEM class.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,219 Forum Champion
    Is this a humble brag? Good gosh you are taking calculus as a freshman.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,723 Senior Member
    "my foundation isn't very solid"

    The issue is that calculus depends a LOT on algebra, trigonometry, and precalculus. If your foundation is not very solid, then calculus is going to be quite difficult. If your foundation is very solid, then calculus is actually relatively easy, at least if you are very good at math.

    Another issue is that calculus is something that you are going to use a lot in future work, at least in the "TEM" part of STEM and in physics.

    Finally, I don't understand what math you intend to take for the next three years of high school.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,968 Senior Member
    Finally, I don't understand what math you intend to take for the next three years of high school.

    I am wondering what the plan is also. Might there be more Bs ahead if this student continues in advanced math? Will MIT like it if there is no more math after this year?
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,654 Senior Member
    edited January 11
    Only rarely are students so advanced in math that AP calc is the right choice in 9th. Certainly not with just online classes behind you.

    Yes, a tippy top will see the B. And wonder why you took this class now, what thinking. Plus, to continue rigor, you're going to need to a) find those classes and b) pick up the more basic knowledge (and comfort level) you're missing. You need some remedial in algebra. No, stats and CS will not satisfy tippy top adcoms. They expect a progression.

    On top of that, you're naming MIT and I'll bet you know very little about that college, what they want, what it takes.

    Best luck. But read up, inform yourself, learn what holistic and stretch mean and how each college target has it's own spin. And improve the algebra.

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