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AP Physics C and AP Chem senior year?

jauntyjaunty 3 replies2 threads New Member
Should I take AP Physics C and AP Chem as science courses?

Current Senior year schedule (core AP Classes):
- AP Physics C
- AP Chemistry
- AP Calculus BC
- AP Computer Science


Let me give you a background real quick. AP Calculus BC will be easier for me because I've already taken a course that is basically the same thing online. AP Computer Science will also easy for me because I'll be walking into the class already knowing java (the programming language for the course). I'm really interested in science (currently taking AP Biology).

Could you guys provide your thoughts about the toughness of both Chem and Physics C?
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Replies to: AP Physics C and AP Chem senior year?

  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    edited February 14
    As with every question like this, it depends on your ability, diligence, etc.

    Capable students certainly can manage this schedule - several of my D’s classmates took basically this schedule, plus AP Gov and English/Gym/elective (most stayed away from AP Lit).

    Chem is a work-intensive course, but being paired with C isn’t bad. (Pairing with AP Bio can be a challenge.)

    “Capable students” being those who have shown the ability to succeed under a 3+ AP courseload as a Junior - typically top 10-20 students at a typical high school. It’s not a “normal” course load, but it’s not crazy.
    edited February 14
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  • jauntyjaunty 3 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you! The only downside to taking these courses is that I won't have any actual free periods. My school runs an 8-day schedule, both Chem and Physics C will be double periods but four of those days the second block is a free. This will allow me to either have a free during each day or 2 frees one day, and 0 the next (which i don't really mind)
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  • chaphillmomchaphillmom 119 replies11 threads Junior Member
    You may run into situations where you have labs due at the same time and the work load could be challenging to manage. I can't speak for every AP Chem/ Physics C class, student or teacher. I just know that S20 took AP Chem and AP Calc BC his junior year and is taking physics c his senior year (obviously with other APs and classes mixed in). The lab write ups seem to be pretty time intensive for Chem and Physics. (Or he isn't the quickest writer...that could be a possibility! :) ) You know yourself and your schedule outside of school better than anyone on CC, so I'm sure you will make the right choice.

    Another point to keep in mind is that college, program and scholarship applications can take a significant amount of time your senior year, along with interviews and visits. Even though my son's applications were all complete by October for college, he is still writing essays and going on interviews for various scholarships, fellowships etc.

    Good luck with your decision.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    jaunty wrote: »
    Thank you! The only downside to taking these courses is that I won't have any actual free periods.

    Our school runs 8 periods a day, 5 days a week. Both of my D's had at least 7.9 credits every year - a one semester, 5 day required gym class was broken into 3 days and 2 days per week over two semesters. So one semester they have lab 2 days and gym 3 days. The other they have lab 2 days, gym 2 days, and one single study hall day per week for one semester. This was relatively normal - one also took a cyber class at the same time.

    Is free periods at school with nothing to do a norm these days?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9265 replies93 threads Senior Member
    My D did both. Lots of work but manageable.

    @RichInPitt No one took free period at her school either.
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 41 replies6 threads Junior Member
    This is specific to my school, but physics C can be hell. It has destroyed the confidence (and GPA) of many a top 10% student. I took AP chem, and I have absolutely no regrets about it (I will be majoring in ChemE, though).
    As a senior, I opted out of physics C and took 1 and 2 instead and I still got into Georgia Tech for engineering OOS. I have a free period. (To be fair, I also took multivariable calculus at UNC-Chapel Hill.)
    My advice would be to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to APs.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9265 replies93 threads Senior Member
    Physics C was by far my D's hardest class in HS. Followed closely by AP chem. That said, they were also the most helpful courses for her in college.
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