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Is taking AP Bio and AP Chem in the same year reasonable?

sillywafflesillywaffle 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hello, I am currently a junior in high school and am weighing my options for next year's classes.
Here's what my schedule would look like:
AP Lit
AP Gov/AP Econ (Each 1 semester)
AP Calc
AP Bio
AP Chem (or a study hall)
French 4
Art Class

My goal is to become a medical scientist, and for this reason I think AP Bio/Chem would benefit me.
However, I'm also aware that the schedule I have planned is insane. Even without chem, I'd be busy with the other classes.
If anyone on here has had a schedule similar to mine, or even taken one of the classes that I have listed, please give me advice. Is AP Bio/Chem manageable with what I will already have?
13 replies
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Replies to: Is taking AP Bio and AP Chem in the same year reasonable?

  • SammoJSammoJ 88 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My S19 says it is insane. He had 2 AP science courses (different years) and AP Lit. All very time intensive. I think taking one science junior year and one senior year would be wiser, and still gives you a strong background going into med sci.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39824 replies7261 threads Super Moderator
    Is AP Bio/Chem manageable with what I will already have?
    For 99% of high-performing students, no. And you forgot your hidden class in the Fall - College Applications and Essays. Students always underestimate the time involved.

    If any current students in your HS have this schedule, ask them, as the workload is often dependent on the specific teacher.

    Also note that for pre-med, AP science credits usually can't be used to fulfill med school prereqs, so you'll likely retake chem and bio in college anyway.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 728 replies71 threads Member
    D21 is a stem kid, which I'm guessing you are too. At least for her AP Lit is a massive time drain.
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  • chardonMNchardonMN 105 replies12 threads Junior Member
    AP Econ and AP Bio (along with Calc and other post-AP courses) at the same time are proving quite challenging for my S. I wish he hadn't taken both, although he really does like the Bio. He thought he would like the Econ more than he does. Those two APs are super tough at his school. He will be ok but it was sure hard when he was writing his apps.
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  • one+twoone+two 140 replies7 threads Junior Member
    At my S's school at least a half dozen kids take 6 AP classes senior year (Physics instead of Bio which they do Jr. year usually). Both my Ss did. Although one had 2 study halls (dropped his language since he'd reached level needed for college apps and no additional elective) and the other had 1 study hall (dropped his language since reached needed level but had band as an elective). Having the study hall(s) gave them extra time during the day to do homework. The one with 2 study halls also was on sports teams Fall and Spring, the other was in marching band Fall. They did spend a LOT of time on school work. I cut them a lot of slack on helping around the house, participating in family time, etc. because they were so busy with school work.

    Another question is how many college applications will you be doing, where are you applying and will you score high enough on the AP exams to make it worthwhile. One of my S applied to 2 safety large state schools with Honors programs and started college technically a junior with all his AP credits although he'll have to go 3 years to get in all his major requirements. The other spent a lot of time on college apps but picked a school where although he scored well he got no credit that reduces his time in college, just placement into higher sections.

    Personally I was opposed to them taking all those APs senior year. They both still insist they enjoyed the academic experience for what it was.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2464 replies47 threads Senior Member
    In DD's high school AP Bio and AP Chemistry each meet for 1.5 periods a day. That in itself limits students. OP, you might want to check your curriculum guide to make sure your high school is not set up the same way.

    In either case, I would advise you to pick one or the other.
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  • nomoodnomood 181 replies20 threads Junior Member
    If you have any friends that are currently seniors, talk to them about how they're doing in their classes.

    For AP Lit, at least in my school, we have to annotate everything we read, and we have an essay due every week or every two weeks, and we have about five books a semester. Not exactly hard, but extremely time consuming. I don't think that I would have been able to do AP Bio AND AP Chem AND AP Lit. At most, I'd choose two of them.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29670 replies58 threads Senior Member
    That you have to ask is a good sign that it is insane for you to do this. There are students who have done this, who are doing this. Many are hot to trot, hungry eager to do this. That’s a big factor in doing this. It’s a tough go, and a high risk. Even those highly motivated will not do as well as they hope. It has backfired.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1301 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Completely dependent on the student. My D had friends who took two AP sciences senior year and were fine. They were both top 10 in the school. It would likely be extremely difficult for an “average” student. Or even an “average top student”.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4237 replies13 threads Senior Member
    And don't forget 2nd semester senioritis.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7839 replies66 threads Senior Member
    My D doubled up on AP chem and AP physics C senior year (along with AP calc) but she dropped down to British Lit because her GC wouldn't let her sign up for that many APs. It was a crazy amount of work. Can't imagine trying to do it with AP lit.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42150 replies453 threads Senior Member
    Drop to Honors English and prioritize AP Chem over AP Bio.
    I'd say if you want to double up in science, take AP Chem and another biology-related science class (Anatomy&physiology, for instance, even if it's not directly related to what you'll do as a freshman)
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  • bopperbopper 14144 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    I would counsel against too many APs Senior year (esp. 2 lab sciences), and this is why.

    In the fall, you are in college application season. You may be taking the SAT again. You may want to visit some more colleges. You have to write college- specific essays (hopefully you already wrote your common app essay over the summer.). You have to fill out your Common App and get recommendations.
    Also you may be in marching band or Sports or be a leader of a club. College Apps is like another time-sucking EC on top of that.

    Then in the spring, you may have senioritis. You are been accepted to college and are looking toward the finish line. You have to study for the AP tests...it will be difficult to study for too many at once.

    Stanford U says:
    "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."
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