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How to convince mother to let me take USABO/USNCO instead of self studying 8 AP exams

yeetskeetyeetskeet 22 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited September 19 in High School Life
Help!! My mom wants me to take 8 AP exams, which means I won't have time for USABO or USNCO. How do I convince her to let me take less AP exams?
edited September 19
14 replies
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Replies to: How to convince mother to let me take USABO/USNCO instead of self studying 8 AP exams

  • skieuropeskieurope 39194 replies6984 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited September 19
    For starters, show her the thread where you can't sign up for the exams:

    Then she should look through some websites to see what colleges suggest about preparing for college. Here's one:
    Colleges are not impressed by self studying. They do not view it as showing initiating or being intellectually curious.

    When did this all of a sudden change from self studying 6 to self studying 8? How many AP exams did your mother self study in HS?

    And you're a freshman, right? There is a long academic road ahead for you that you have presented no valid reason for trying to rush.

    AP courses are, in theory, designed to mirror intro college classes. Depending upon which APs they are, you are talking about the equivalent of between one and two years of college work. There are few 9th graders who are ready for any college classes, but it takes a truly delusional person to think that a full HS academic load plus 8 self studies makes sense, and that's even before considering ECs. You are doing something outside of class that not related to schoolwork, right?
    Finally, not to be mean, I'm saying this as someone whose native language is not English: it's more important to have a solid foundation on things like knowing the difference between less and fewer than trying to rack up AP credits.
    edited September 19
    Post edited by skieurope on
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 810 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    On another post you said:

    I'm in 9th grade. and I really want to get some kind of hands-on laboratory experience.

    1. 5 AP exams with 5s on all of them (AP Calc BC, AP Biology, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, and AP Psychology)
    2. 800 on SAT Subject Tests for Math Level 2 and Biology M
    3. French 1 and 2 in middle school

    1. AP Calc BC and APWH with an accredited online high school
    2. French 3 and Chemistry Honors w/ Lab at an accredited online high school
    3. English 9 Honors at my public certified charter school
    4. Self Studying AP Chemistry, AP Physics 1,2, C Mechanics and Electro mag, AP Statistics, and AP Comp Sci A.

    I can tell your really bright but honestly
    1 colleges like to see you taking classes not just self studying
    2 colleges do not require nor just accept students who take tons of advanced classes including ivy league schools - in fact it can hurt you if they see you as an academic only person
    3 your in 9th grade - do some stuff for fun - not everything need be about academics
    4 it is good to have some non academic ec both to not look like someone who only cares about academics but also as a way to have a break

    Also why are you taking AP Calc BC if you already got a 5 on the test in 8th grade?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9223 replies494 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your mother does not understand at all what college admissions officers are looking for. What makes her think that they want kids with 8 self studied AP’s? They don’t.

    Dear Yeetskeet’s Mom
    As someone who understands the American college admissions process, your child has, unequivocally, zero chance of being accepted to an elite university simply by self studying APs. The overwhelming majority of applicants to top colleges will have a high level of rigorous coursework, top grades, and top test scores. Except for a very few exceptions (hooked students, who might well have all of those things anyway) every student they accept will be highly qualified.

    When every single applicant has great qualifications, and the college accepts less than 10% of those who apply, the college looks at other parts of the application. They care A LOT about teacher recommendations, activities outside of school, and the essays. They might also care a lot about where you live. The amazing student from North Dakota is probably going to have a slight advantage over the amazing student from New York.

    Even if the amazing student from North Dakota applies to Harvard, there is still no guarantee, because you have no way of knowing what Harvard is looking for in any given year. One thing that is certain: they will not care about 8 self-studied AP tests, because 1.) many kids either have no AP classes or do not have the money to pay for those tests. They do not use AP tests to make their decisions. Other schools might offer IB classes, still others might not offer AP, IB or anything beyond regular classes, and 2.) they do not like academic drones. 8 self-studied AP tests will not impress them, especially if a student attends a high school which offers AP classes. Better to get a good grade in a hard class at school.

    Colleges like to see students doing things they enjoy doing. If your kid loves studying, that is fine, but don’t expect top colleges to love that your kid loves studying. Being one-dimensional isn’t going to help your child’s app.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34064 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Gee, if you don't match in other ways, they may not be the least impressed by 8th grade AP. Or 9th. Mom2girls2 is giving a golden hint.

    Where'd mom get the idea more AP is some sort of hook? The cores matter most. Classroom experience. ECs. And being a normal balanced kid.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41872 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 19
    That type of plan is likely to get you denied at all selective universities because you'll be perceved as an Ap-taking drone.
    Top colleges want 6-8 for ALL of high school.
    What will make the difference is the positive impact you have upon others through school activities and community volunteering, or being a topnotch athlete/mathlete/chess/MUN champion, etc.
    edited September 19
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  • yeetskeetyeetskeet 22 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi guys!
    Thanks for all of your advice!

    1. changed to 8 cuz my mom was like "nonon u need to take more"
    2. also im taking ap calc bc course this year because i need a math course
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  • yeetskeetyeetskeet 22 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Also yes I do stuff that isn't academic-related. I read books (mostly fiction and a little nonfic) and I'm TRYING to learn how to play piano for fun. I also TRY to do art-related stuff for fun.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34064 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Reading is not a tip. What activities in the hs?

    And does all this still mean "self studying," which is in the thread title?
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  • me29034me29034 1675 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Reading, learning to play the piano, and “art-related stuff” all sounds like fun, but not the type of activities that you need to do to get into a selective college, if that is your goal. These seem like solitary activities. You need to get out in the world and do something that has an impact on others. Skip the self-studying and go volunteer for something instead.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41872 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The activities you describe won't get you into a selective college.
    Read Science fair season, how to be a high school superstar, and the gatekeepers (steinberg's).
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9223 replies494 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You need activities that interest you which involve being ACTIVE—involved in things that are outside your home. Not just reading, trying to teach yourself piano, and trying to learn art. Those are hobbies. There are things you can do at home that would be activities in the organized way that colleges are looking for, but not what you’ve described. (More on that below.)

    There must be clubs at your school. Join one or two. There are definitely volunteer opportunities in your community. Seek them out. Do some babysitting, lawn mowing, or snow shoveling in the neighborhood. Those are jobs. Or get an actual job if you are old enough. If you are obligated to be at home because you are a caregiver to siblings, or an elderly relative, or perhaps you do all the cooking and cleaning because your parents work very long hours, those things can count too. But if you have time to self study 8 APs, it isn’t likely you are doing any of the things I described.

    You have a LOT to learn about what it takes to get into top schools, and your mom is not helping. Luckily for you, College Board has made it more difficult for you to pursue your fruitless exercise.

    If you really want to self-study an AP or two, because your school doesn’t offer the class and perhaps you’d like credit for the score, that is reasonable, especially if you are trying to keep tuition costs down by starting at a public U with credits. Be aware though that top colleges rarely, if ever, give credit for AP or IB scores. They might, perhaps, give you placement for some. Each college has its own policy.
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  • yeetskeetyeetskeet 22 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 20
    Ok guys! Thank you for all the advice. I'll try doing the stuff you suggested (clubs, jobs, volunteering) this year. I appreciate all the feedback. It was actually very helpful
    edited September 20
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41872 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You need 6 classes per school year (8 if block schedule). Total, 24 classes for High school, including 20 academic classes, of which 6-8 should be AP. Mostly As.
    That's the expectation for highly selective colleges.
    You thus end up with free time and colleges want to see what you do with it.
    Are you impacting your school or community? What sort of impact?

    THIS is how they decide along all students who have the aforementioned academic basics. Not by taking more classes.
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  • bopperbopper 14063 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    For example, Stanford says:
    Students currently enrolled in AP courses are not required to submit AP scores as part of our admission process. AP scores that are reported are acknowledged but rarely play a significant role in the evaluation of an application. Grades earned over the course of a term, or a year, and evaluations from instructors who can comment on classroom engagement provide us with the most detailed insight into a student's readiness for the academic rigors of Stanford.

    We expect applicants to pursue a reasonably challenging curriculum, choosing courses from among the most demanding courses available at your school. We ask you to exercise good judgment and to consult with your counselor, teachers and parents as you construct a curriculum that is right for you. Our hope is that your curriculum will inspire you to develop your intellectual passions, not suffer from unnecessary stress. The students who thrive at Stanford are those who are genuinely excited about learning, not necessarily those who take every single AP or IB, Honors or Accelerated class just because it has that designation.

    Let me state clearly: we do not admit students solely because of their AP courses/scores. There is no minimum or recommended number of AP courses. AP scores are not part of an admission formula.... What we are saying is that, despite what you may have heard, college admissions isn’t a game of whoever has the most APs, wins.
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