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Junior Course Selection Help

hocuspoquishocuspoquis 5 replies3 threads New Member
edited January 26 in High School Life
Hi! I'm currently a sophomore in high school, and we're applying for courses for our junior year. I would like a bit of advice when choosing which courses to take. I am in a "Center for the Medical Sciences", which makes my schedule a bit weird. These are the high school classes I have taken before the junior year:

Math: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalc Honors, AP Calc AB, AP Stats
English: English 9 Honors, English 10 Honors
Science: Earth Science, Medical Bio Honors, Medical Chem Honors, AP Bio
History: World History & Geography I, World History & Geography II Honors
Language: French I-III, French IV Honors
Requirements: Personal Econ and Finance (Dual Enrollment), Health & PE 9/10
Electives: Madrigals Honors (Chorus)

I have heard from almost everyone that junior year is the year "that counts". I have no idea which classes I need to take to get into the colleges that I want. Because I am in a specialized center, I am required to take AP Calculus BC, an AP Science elective, and a center elective of my choosing (Microbiology & Immunology, Anatomy & Physiology, Genetics & Biotechnology, Organic & Biochemistry). Here is my tentative schedule for the junior year:

1. AP Calculus BC (required)
2. Organic & Biochemistry (required center elective)
3. AP French V
4. Honors Madrigals (Chorus)
5. AP Physics I OR AP Chemistry (required science elective)
6. AP US History OR Honors US History
7. AP English Language & Composition OR Honors English 11
8. Debut (Show Choir) OR AP Music Theory

I am considering colleges like UVA, Johns Hopkins, and MIT. I have no idea what I want to pursue as a career, and I enjoy math, science, and music, and I love to help others.

Courses 1-4 are pretty much set in stone, but I'm not certain what to do with the rest of my schedule. My first dilemma is with the required AP science I have to take. I narrowed my choices down to AP Physics and AP Chemistry, but both options seem good. Since I have just finished taking Honors Chemistry, AP Chemistry would be a similar class to take, but if I don't take AP Physics I next year, I won't be able to have the option to take AP Physics II in my senior year.

Another question I've had is whether to take my English and history classes at an AP or an Honors level. I have excelled at these classes in the past, but my junior year will be packed with so many AP classes, and I'm worried I might fall behind. I run varsity for cross country and track (2 hours a day for 5 days a week after school; meets on Saturdays), so I was wondering if I would still have enough time to fit in these classes at an AP level.

My final concern is whether I should take an eighth class or not, and if so, which class would be more beneficial. My school only allows seven classes, run on block scheduling; however, I can take an eighth class if I take an Early Bird class (in this case, AP Calculus BC). The two classes I am considering to fill this spot are Debut, a show choir class that is treated as college prep, and AP Music Theory, a challenging but intriguing class at my school. I would prefer Debut, but would colleges care if this class affected my GPA? Since I have all A's for freshman and sophomore year (knock on wood), a college-prep class, even with an A, would drop my weighted GPA.

I have a whole lot of questions, and answers to any of them would be so helpful. I'm trying to set myself up for a year that I can finish with all A's while maintaining some sense of sanity. Thank you for your time!
edited January 26
2 replies
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Replies to: Junior Course Selection Help

  • ElDoughBoyElDoughBoy 16 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I'm currently a junior taking AP Chemistry & APUSH. Personally, these two are the hardest for me this year, but every school is different. If I were you i would ask people about the level of difficulty of these classes you're considering. Then, determine what classes is worth taking and what classes you know you can manage with your sports. Time management is key! Based on your previous coursework, you look you can handle a lot of these AP's. Also, I wouldn't do the 8th class because you're already doing honors chorus this year, so just hold #8 for senior year.
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  • h8annahh8annah 206 replies25 threads Junior Member
    If you are planning to major in anything STEM related, make sure to fit AP Physics (or even honors) in somewhere, whether it may be junior or senior year! If you are more interested in an engineering route, it might be advantageous to do both Physics I and II as it shows your interests, but it is by no means necessary. Many schools will not let you test out of physics using the AP Physics 1 and 2 curriculum. Colleges generally will only accept credit for calc-based physics over algebra based (physics 1 and 2) AP Chemistry is a great option for a pre-med, but still even for an engineering or other science track. This generally fulfills the Gen Chem class.

    Personally, I think Physics and Calculus compliment each other well. Even though Physics 1 is algebra based, you might benefit from taking the course concurrently with calculus. My opinion would be to take AP Physics I next year and then either AP Chem or AP Physics II senior year. Both Chem and Physics require math, but Physics requires more. I also think Physics would be a better option junior year because it gives you time to explore a different science class before you start deciding on majors for college apps!

    If you're interested in STEM, perhaps pick one between APUSH and AP Lang. Though, depending on your capabilities, it is possible to manage both. Both classes will improve your writing skills. AP Lang covers rhetoric, syntax, and analyzing short, non-fiction texts. APUSH is essentially all of US History.

    I think if you want to lower your stress level, it might be better to have an extra period free. Then, you have time to do your homework, make up tests, ask teacher for help, study for SAT/ACTs, or even have a break!

    Good luck!
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