right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Advice on Science Classes for 11-12

isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
Hello again CC!

I am currently a junior at an early college program at a CC. My courseload this semester consists of English Composition 1, Precalc Algebra, College Success (required one credit hr), third-semester French, and American History 1, plus my only high school-level course, earth science (it's a graduation requirement and there was no college option, so I'm just happy to be getting it done in a semester).

All of these are required for graduation except French, which is an asset to college apps. However, next semester, I won't be taking any high school-level courses, and I can take up to 5 college-level courses. The only courses I must take for graduation next semester are English Composition 2 and American History 2. I also plan on taking Precalc Trig as I want to get to Calc 2 or 3 by the end of HS. That leaves two spots open.

I am pretty set on taking a sequence of two college science courses after I finish earth science in December. The options are obviously biology, chemistry or physics. While still at a traditional HS, I took Honors Bio in 9th grade and Honors Chem in 10th grade. I disliked bio due to poor instruction, but loved chem and performed well in both classes.

So my question is, which of these sciences should I lean towards? I don't have a specific career in mind yet, and imo haven't yet explored the more math-heavy parts of chem and physics, but I highly enjoy math even if it's difficult. Here are some cons of taking each course sequence-

Bio: The last time around, I didn't find it that interesting, and I'm weak with pictures while being strong with math, if that means anything. I remember the diagrams sometimes being a struggle, but nothing studying couldn't fix.

Chem: I performed very well in H. Chem, looked through the syllabus for Gen Chem 1 and found it to contain almost the exact same concepts. Since I'm already taking a course that borders heavily on review (precalc alg) I'm worried the same would be true for Chem 1 (not 2 but 1 is prereq). Maybe this wouldn't look so impressive.

Algebra-based physics: I couldn't get started spring sem (would have to wait till senior year) because I have to complete PC Trig first. Also, I've heard calc-based physics is better anyway.

Calc-based physics: First of all it'd be hard, not just the course itself but the steps I'd have to take to get there. I'd need to take calc 1 over the summer, which is not a huge issue as I'm thinking about summer courses anyway, but that might not be an ideal way to start calc. Then after calc 1 I'd be taking Phy 1 with Calc 2 and Phy 2 with Calc 3 in Spring 2021. D

Sorry for the ramble! Opinions are appreciated and thank you!
31 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: Advice on Science Classes for 11-12

  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Oh also, I know it might seem weird I discussed other courses, but I may be talking about what other courses to take besides science if I find a resolution on that.
    · Reply · Share
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42056 replies453 threads Senior Member
    General chem (if taught properly) is nothing like the high school intro class. It's a weedout pre-med class.
    Algebra-based physics is hard enough, unless you take a "light" version for non science majors (taking the light version would be ok if you haven't taken physics in HS, kind as a pre-requisite for General Physics.) Calculus based Physics is meant for 'hard science' majors (physics and engineering). It's in no way "better" than General Physics.
    A good science class to take in the spring after Earth Science would be Environmental Science. Then Intro to physics in the Fall senior year + General Physics 1 if you haven't taken physics yet, or Intro to physics and general chem 1.
    You should try and take the 4th semester of French to increase rigor (4 or 5/AP is preferred for very selective universities, although level 3 is ok for selective universities such as flagships.)
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited August 23
    Thank you MYOS! I'm not sure how much the CC tries to weed people out but I'm sure you're right in some cases. The explanation of physics classes makes sense; I'm pretty sure algebra based is 151: College Physics 1 while General Physics 1 at this particular CC is calc based (course number 251). Then there's a physics 110- conceptual physics- that seems to be the basic one you discussed. I've not taken physics yet so not sure if I should do that or 151. Maybe 110 so I can at least show colleges I've done physics and do it in the spring? Then I can move on to another science if I want as a senior.

    Thanks for educating me on calc-based. I think the undergrads on this other forum were a little too quick to criticize algebra based.

    Actually, the course I'm taking now is technically both Earth/Environmental, so I'm probably fine on that front. And I would love to take 4th sem French, but it's not offered. Trying to think of ways to keep French in my life and as you said increase the rigor since I legitimately enjoy it. But trying not to get too carried away atm because I have a class and the usual standardized tests to prep for as well. I've thought about taking a second language since I love languages but I understand that would probably not have an impact on anything college-related, yes? For my classes yet to be filled I'm debating between several options like psychology, sociology, comp sci and public speaking. Some of it would depend on if I decide to go for an associate's as many peers are doing. I think I would go for an AA degree if I did, since I have a lot of potential major ideas but fewer that fall in the premed/engineering/CS box than the social sciences one, and just fill my flexible credit hours with calc and such.

    Sorry I'm a little indecisive but that's what I'm here for and I'm definitely pushing myself to think hard about it. If anyone else has any input on anything said so far in the thread feel free to jump in :)
    edited August 23
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78600 replies697 threads Senior Member
    edited August 24
    Beginning physics courses in college are typically of the following kinds:

    * Calculus-based physics for physics and engineering majors. Typically, the sequence starts the semester after calculus 1, and calculus 2 and 3 are expected to be taken at least concurrently (if not before) physics 1 and 2. High school AP physics C covers some topics, though at a lower level of calculus knowledge due to being assumed to start concurrently with AP calculus AB / calculus 1.
    * Non-calculus or light-calculus physics for biology majors and pre-meds who do not need the calculus-based physics for their majors. High school AP physics 1 and 2 emulates this type of non-calculus physics course.
    * "Physics for poets" course for non-majors looking for a general education requirement.
    * At some community colleges, there may be a high school level preparatory physics course that can be taken before calculus-based physics for physics and engineering majors, if the latter course lists high school physics as a prerequisite (in addition to calculus).

    Beginning college general chemistry is commonly shared by biology majors, chemistry majors, engineering majors, and pre-meds. Some colleges which list high school chemistry as a prerequisite to general chemistry offer a high school level preparatory chemistry course for those who have not had high school chemistry.
    edited August 24
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78600 replies697 threads Senior Member
    MYOS1634 wrote: »
    Calculus based Physics is meant for 'hard science' majors (physics and engineering). It's in no way "better" than General Physics.

    A student who knows the prerequisite math and likes math may find the calculus-based physics for physics and engineering majors more interesting and understandable than the non-calculus-based one for biology majors.
    · Reply · Share
  • InfoQuestMomInfoQuestMom 277 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I don’t have advice, but I wonder if any of the posters could comment on the purpose of an early college program? I see that you are taking high school level courses at the CC, what does that achieve and how is that preferable to courses at the high school?
    · Reply · Share
  • skieuropeskieurope 39596 replies7188 threads Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE:
    I don’t have advice, but I wonder if any of the posters could comment on the purpose of an early college program? I see that you are taking high school level courses at the CC, what does that achieve and how is that preferable to courses at the high school?

    Valid question, but one that deserves its own thread instead of derailing this one.
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Ucbalumnus: thank you so much for all the info! It really helps. I'm not sure I'm satisfied with taking "physics for poets" as a math person, but I don't want to assume anything regarding how I'll feel about calculus as I know it can be a mixed bag. (Have friends who felt relieved by calc and others who majorly struggled after being successful in previous maths.)

    InfoQuestMom: due to Skieurope's post I won't go into much detail; however, I had many academic and a few personal reasons for deciding to transfer to the early college. It is something some are opposed to but it's working out very well for me so far, definitely a matter of preference and goals. As Skieurope said, feel free to start another thread and I and others would be happy to discuss the subject!
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited August 24
    I take it that not having physics is a detriment to admissions? Thank goodness I discovered that because many people at both schools don't seem to be too aware. On one hand I had a brilliant friend get into Chicago for math without it, but another amazing friend attending Carleton for IR took it, presumably helped her chances.
    edited August 24
    · Reply · Share
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42056 replies453 threads Senior Member
    Conceptual physics = physics for poets. A really easy introduction to big concepts in Physics (like forces, motion, electricity..) without many math-based problems.
    As a math person you may like the Algebra-based class more but check it's designed for people who have never taken any physics class.
    I wouldn't recommend taking a Calculus based physics class without a foundation in physics first (no matter how much you like Calculus).
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Yes, I'm pretty sure it is alright to take algebra-based without having had prior physics. It may be a good idea for me to ask the department directly, though?

    Okay, that's a good thing to keep in mind. Thank you!

    If I end up doing algebra-based throughout both senior year semesters, I'm not sure I need to take a spring science especially if I'm going for an AA. I had an AO from a selective school tell me that as long as I have one of each core subject per year (not necessarily semester) that is ideal. I still wonder about the potential impact though. Might be on me to prove my course load is still rigorous?
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I am unsure on whether taking "physics for poets" would be seen as any more rigorous than passing on science for a sem until algebra-based.
    · Reply · Share
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42056 replies453 threads Senior Member
    If you are good at math you could jump straight into Algebra based physics - ask your adviser at the CC, ask how common it is is to take that class without any physics/physical science class.

    You need one core course per year, either one full year course in high school or one semester CC courses.
    · Reply · Share
  • EveningEmphasisEveningEmphasis 15 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Conceptual Physics!
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @EveningEmphasis you recommend it? Would you mind telling me why? :)
    @MYOS1634 I have another math course to do next semester before I can jump into algebra-based :/ but I will definitely talk to my adviser. Also, do you mean ONE semester CC per year, or two?
    · Reply · Share
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42056 replies453 threads Senior Member
    One semester-long CC course per year = one year-long high school course.
    You should be taking 4 CC classes per semester. Out of the 8, a minimum of 5 should be the core classes. Obviously more than 5 ups the rigor if you choose wisely (ie., Leisure studies is a fun elective but isn't a core class. One per semester such class should be your limit.)
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Alright thank you so much, MYOS!
    Yeah, we have to be enrolled in 4 HS/CC combined to be considered full time students. But we can overload with 5, if we want. I did with French because my classes this sem are pretty easy, but I'll see as to the future.
    And yes, if I took electives, I probably wouldn't do anything ridiculously easy lol- more classes like psych, sociology, public speaking with a teacher who's decently hard, etc.
    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I think I should also warn my friends who want selective colleges to take physics lol.

    For me, it'd be nice to have an option like Tufts or Davidson, but seeing as I'm earning CC credit that's meant to transfer in state, UNC-CH and NCSU are starting to move a little more clearly into the picture. Don't want to rule anything out though. Anyways good to act like I'm shooting for selective because I'll def be trying (and UNC is pretty selective anyways from my county).
    · Reply · Share
  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 832 replies4 threads Member
    don't rule out private schools just because your taking cc classes - my daughter did two years of early college (no high school classes) and had no trouble getting into schools - public instate, public out of state and private.

    here is the advice I gave my daughter regarding early college though her high school guidance counselor and her high school dual enrollment guidance counselor also made sure:

    1 map out all remaining graduation requirements
    2 add any classes you might still need to be competitive for colleges of interest
    3 fill the rest with electives of personal interest (my daughter took 5 classes a semester)


    · Reply · Share
  • isla701isla701 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @momtogirls2 thank you for offering your input here! I was going to talk to my counselor about this because I'm still interested in the idea of privates, especially LACs, despite this program.

    One thing I've worried about is SAP- if I take a bunch of EC classes that don't lead to a degree by the end of HS, will that reduce my finaid at a 4 year? Or is that only for credits I elect to actually transfer to the 4 year?

    The way I'm thinking about it, I can map it as:
    -grad requirements- 1-2 per sem.
    -"good for admissions" classes (I'll count calc in this even though I enjoy math)- 2-3 per sem.
    -electives- 1-2 per sem.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity