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How to manage many AP classes

PeterGramPeterGram 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi I'm taking 7 AP classes in my junior year. I plan on studying for the SAT and am worried the work load will be too high for that, as well as some other outside activies I have planned for my future career. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Replies to: How to manage many AP classes

  • joecollege44joecollege44 116 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    That’s easy to manage...drop 3 of them.
    7 is too many.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7304 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Why are you taking that many? Which ones?
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Please list them so we can help.

    Also, what's your GPA, what classes are you thinking of taking next year, and colleges you're thinking of?
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  • PeterGramPeterGram 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hi. Sorry, I was wrong. It wasn't 7, it was 6, typo.

    AP Computer Science
    AP Calculus AB (moving to BC soon hopefully)
    AP Chemistry
    AP English III
    AP US History II
    AP Statistics
    Gym
    Latin III

    I'm looking for MIT or Princeton, or pretty much any good college I can think of. I'm going to pursue both neuro and computer science.

    Also I don't know how to calculate my GPA. I have 3 Cs in english, stat, and history, and As in chem, comp, latin, and calc
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2263 replies40 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, you can safely drop AP Stats. Calc AB covers your math. Given your majors and your plan to take BC, stats isn't going to add much.

    Your school web page or your guidance counselor can show you how to calculate your GPA. It is fairly simple, but one question is whether or not gym is included in your school's calculations. Three Cs can hurt you, depending on all your other grades. You really need a 3.8/4.0 UW to have a shot at MIT or Princeton.

    Also, if you time your test and registration correctly, SAT studying can be done over the summer. Your choice, really.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7304 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What are AP English III and APUSH II?

    What do you mean you don't know how to calculate your GPA? Are you an international student with a different grading scale? Generally speaking A= 4, B = 3, C = 2.

    Why two math courses? IMO, you don't need stats. Do you have your fine arts requirements done?
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Drop AP stats. It won't add a thing to your schedule's rigor ad you'll need to take statistics (probably calculus based) in college, regardless. Move to honors history.
    You're better off with 3 APs and straight A's, than with 6 and 3 C's.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34219 replies379 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 19
    3 C grades does suggest you're sensitive to overload.

    Colleges look at transcript to see what rigor, sure. But also what overall success, incl in humanities.

    Many kids applying to P or MIT will have no C grades.


    You need a level of thinking and judgment for those colleges, knowing yourself and the college targets. Lighten your load so you can do your life well. Find schools less reachy.

    You could drop AP stats now and APCS now or after first semester. Neither is some tip.

    Meanwhile, read up on what top schools do look for, what the colleges say, not others.
    edited September 19
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  • PeterGramPeterGram 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Another question. What advantages are there to keeping certain things over others, like CS and stats? If I decide to keep them, they won't do anything for me in the long term?

    Also, my only extra currocular activity in school is chess for now. But I'm not a big fan of sports, so should I do a little bit of volunteering and stuff to get to my colleges? How much time should I consider using to volunteer?

    Also how do colleges value entrepeneurship? If you've done stuff outside of school already, and are planning to do more in the future, how much of an impact would it have?
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  • PeterGramPeterGram 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Well I'm doing AP English III as a course. I don't really know how else to word it as it was on the curriculum
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2263 replies40 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 19
    "What advantages are there to keeping certain things over others, like CS and stats? If I decide to keep them, they won't do anything for me in the long term?"

    We're saying it will not tip any needles for admissions purposes, not that there are no benefits whatsoever. If your school ranks, then having an extra AP class - and doing very well in it - will help your ranking. If you do well on the AP exam you may be able to get college credit, or waived from a requirement, or be able to start at a higher level class in college. You have to weigh those benefits against potentially being overwhelmed and having your grades suffer.

    "Also, my only extra curricular activity in school is chess for now. But I'm not a big fan of sports, so should I do a little bit of volunteering and stuff to get to my colleges? How much time should I consider using to volunteer?"

    Unless you are a very high level chess competitor such that it takes a lot of your time, you are competing frequently, and have won a few awards, I would suggest getting involved in another activity in addition to chess. Don't volunteer because you think it will impress a college. While competitive schools like to see you care about people or issues other than yourself, they will also see through activities done simply to fluff your resume. So pick an activity carefully. Personally I would do something related to your major, especially since you don't enjoy sports. That's not a hard-and-fast rule, though.

    Entrepreneurship is a mixed bag. Starting a business in itself is not uncommon. If a business becomes too successful you risk leaving folks to wonder about succession plans while you're attending school, or if your heart will really be in the college community since you'll be torn between classes and running the business. In your case, if you are decided between neuroscience and computer science, a business interest just muddies the waters. Not that you won't perhaps have a business later, but I would save it for when you can focus on it.
    edited September 19
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Definitely participate in at least one more activity that you pick carefully and can get very involved in. Could you do Theater tech, for instance?

    Guessing that AP English III is AP English Language&Composition.

    Some subjects are "core" subjects: English, Math, Science, Social Science, Foreign Language. Colleges expect a certain curriculum as a pre-requisite to the classes they offer: 4 years of English (with preferably one AP English), Math through Precalculus or Calculus, 3-4 years of a foreign language, each of bio/chem/physics + either one of these (for a STEM major) or APES/something else or one of those (if not STEM), 4 years of History and social science (generally, World or European History, US History, and Government/Economics + sometimes Human Geography, senior seminars, etc), and, generally, an art class (music/visual arts/performing arts). You can (should) go beyond that, of course, and take classes in subjects of interest for your electives.

    So, statistics is a nice complement, but it's known as one of the easiest AP's. It doesn't add anything to curriculum rigor.
    CS Principles is an excellent overview of the field and CS:A is a good introduction to programming but neither is a "core" course. It's important for you to earn A's in your core courses.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34219 replies379 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Getting to jr year with one EC is a problem for P or MIT. (On top of the grade issues.) It's going to look like you're low energy or don't care to engage with others. Or plum don't know activities are very important to tippy top colleges. They show openness and for stem, some experience in the sort of teamwork that matters.

    I'm guessing you haven't read the MIT admissions blogs yet. Don't put any uber reach on your list until you've done the work to understand what they want, how you compare.

    Yes, community service is valued. It's a way a kid shows he can see the needs around him and gets involved. The choice of what comm svc matters, too.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    With 3Cs and only one EC (unless OP is competing at national/international level or similar level skill+ involvement) I would say OP is just listing colleges at this point.
    Getting a Princeton Review's best colleges to find interesting colleges and choosing an activity where they make a difference is probably the most urgent.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1381 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 20
    I hope I don't sound harsh. Some students can manage even more rigorous set of courses with ease, but you don't seem to be one of them, as your 3Cs have demonstrated. With those, you can already kiss MIT goodbye (and probably Princeton too). You need to be realistic with your college selections as well as your HS course selections.
    edited September 20
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  • PeterGramPeterGram 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    It's still only the start of the first semester, though. And every other year before now I had honor roll every mp except one. Is there really nothing I can do?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7304 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    3 C grades does suggest you're sensitive to overload.

    This. You are taking too many AP courses. Drop Stats for sure. Maybe CS as well. If your grades don't start improving in your core subjects, move down to regular US.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4255 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Listen to the advice above but is there anything you can do? Sure get a tutor. If not, listen to the above advice. BTW - chess is awesome at any level. It does help to be maybe on the varsity team and competing. Level of competition or rating might matter but most colleges know that is takes a lot of time, endurance, smarts, intelligence and analytical thinking to play chess well. Also starting a business is also great and gives you another ec. My son had a very small ebay business that he did for several years. More of a hobby. He talked about the learning aspects of the business like communicating with customers, how he learned to value his products for sale (each needed to be researched). How he got his products was unusual at his age. You can pretty much turn anything into interesting talking points. You can express what you learned in the process whether you have 2 customers or 2,000.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34219 replies379 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Not sure how one gets honor roll with C grades, but it is not a tip. Different hs calculate it differently, there is no standard. Same with honor societies.

    Actual performance matters. That's in the transcript. Tippy tops view performance in 2 ways, at least: evidence of past learning/prep (that basis) for future challenging courses, and a measure of your effort. TT colleges are tough, once there, competition from strong peers and the professor expectations.

    Thing is, one needs to understand what P and MIT are about. Or any top target. No one just gets to say, but I have the gpa and the dreams.

    And yes, they want to see ECs relevant to them, not just whether you like one thing. They're looking for rounded kids who show they can step out of their box. In many ways, that does mean conventional activities- not far flung money ventures. You're applying to college and they want college-relevant experiences and energies.

    Nothing wrong with chess, but the #1 player in the world isn't going to walk into a single digit college. And not if that's the only thing. And there are C grades.

    So you have 2 issues: hs performance as an indicator and finding the right colleges for your own record.
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  • PeterGramPeterGram 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Oh I meant I didn't get C grades before this sememster. The only reason this came about now was all mainly due to mispreparation, which is what I need to work on.

    Does writing a book count for an EC?

    And should I start volunteering then?
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