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AP Biology & AP Chemistry in the same year?

Scientist101Scientist101 51 replies9 threads Junior Member
Previous year schedules (scroll down for question):

*** Freshman Year ***
English I H
Algebra I CP
Environmental Science CP
World History CP
French IV CP
Cartooning & Animation
Music Technology & Applications

The last two are electives.

*** Sophomore Year ***
English II H
Geometry CP
Biology H
Algebra II H
AP French
Computer Programming I
Computer Programming II H
-- Online: Chemistry H --
-- Summer Enrichment: Precalculus H --

The last two before Chemistry H are electives.

Hello! I am a current sophomore and am planning my schedule for my Junior year at High School. I plan to take the following courses:

*** Junior Year ***
AP Language & Composition
AP Calculus AB
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
Study Hall
AP Computer Science A
-- Online: US History I CP --
-- Summer Course: Financial Literacy --

The double up on science seems to be a little overdone. However, I am very successful in both Biology H and Chemistry H previously. I maintained a 96 in Biology H and a 97 in Chemistry H respectively. Coming to the above course load, the teachers at my school for AP Lang & Comp, AP Biology and AP Computer Science A are very easy. The median grades I heard from my older friends for the three classes are 93, 95 and 95 respectively. However, the AP Calculus AB and AP Chemistry teachers are not necessarily "difficult", but are far tougher than the latter. I am really good at Biology and Computer Science. I can handle math as it is my strong suit. AP Lang & Comp will require some work, but I feel like it will be easier. I have maintained A's in my previous Honors English (I, II) classes.

However, AP Biology and AP Chemistry together seem to be intimidating. Even if Biology is my strong suit, how do you guys think the stress will hit me? Not personally, but how do you guys feel the workload will be like? I will also take a study hall to compensate for labs, which I believe should give me time to study for my classes. I do a few clubs that are relaxed and pursue sports recreationally, not professionally. I have a lot of time on weekends to myself that I use for studying. I work on research projects related to Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence out of school, which are laid back and lenient.

A data point: Currently, I am taking Biology H and Chemistry H in school along with Algebra II H and Geometry CP. My Algebra grade (97), allows me to skip Precalculus and jump into AP Calculus AB. Also, this is what I am looking at senior year:

*** Senior Year ***
AP Literature & Composition
AP Calculus BC
AP Statistics
AP Physics C
Concurrent Enrollment: US History II
Law & Order
Business Organization & Management
-- Self-Study: AP Psychology --

The last two are elective courses and are fairly easy and simple. I might even consider self-studying AP Psychology during my senior year. The same amount of extracurricular activity as in my Junior year applies. Thanks!
15 replies
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Replies to: AP Biology & AP Chemistry in the same year?

  • RockyPARockyPA 95 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Similar schedule to my daughter's schedule as a junior:

    AP Calc BC
    AP Physics C (Mechanics)
    AP Chemistry
    AP English Lang
    AP French
    AP CS Principles


    Contrary to what seems to be the common refrain here on CC, two AP sciences is definitely doable for the STEM oriented student (which you seem to be). She took AP Biology in 10th grade... that was a lot more busy work than her AP Chem and Physics C classes to be honest, although conceptually easier.



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  • OneMoreToGo2021OneMoreToGo2021 387 replies0 threads Member
    My own kid did Honors Chemistry, both AP Physics C: Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism, and Multivariable Calculus as a sophomore, so it is definitely doable. Just make sure to keep up with the labs.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40797 replies7594 threads Super Moderator
    Contrary to what seems to be the common refrain here on CC, two AP sciences is definitely doable for the STEM oriented student (which you seem to be).
    Nobody with strong history of solid advice ever said that. :)
    Similar schedule to my daughter's schedule as a junior:

    ....
    AP Physics C (Mechanics)
    AP Chemistry
    Nope. Not similar. AP Physics C Mech is a half year course stretched to a full year. Even AP Physics C Mech + E&M combined with AP Bio or AP Chem is not too too bad.

    The caveat that I say is that taking AP Bio and AP Chem is a killer because both are amongst the hardest APs and both have extensive labs (which means extensive lab reports) - far more labs than AP Physics. Many schools double block these courses or require before or after school time for labs.

    The 2 can be done concurrently, but generally by the Uber-academics who don't have time-consuming EC's. Whether the OP fits this group is something none of us know.
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  • SJ8218SJ8218 41 replies0 threads Junior Member
    There is no right or wrong answer for timing of AP courses. It all depends on the students and instructors. What one always remember is the preparation needed in the summer for those AP courses. I know for both my kids, the requirements is to have chapters outline done in the summer for AP Bio. Both my kids took AP bio as Sophomore and save the other two AP science in Junior year. The EC the student is doing is also very important. In our school district, FRC takes up a lot of the kids time during build season. We are talking about 3+ hours M-F and another 8 hours on Saturday. Taking multiples AP means something got to give in term of EC. There is not way around it.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14390 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    For someone who didn't take biology as a freshman, this seems quite the leap
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  • SJ8218SJ8218 41 replies0 threads Junior Member
    bopper wrote: »
    For someone who didn't take biology as a freshman, this seems quite the leap

    Why is it a leap if Biology H (I assumed honors) taken in Sophomore year? Some kids are not ready to take Biology in freshman year.
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  • Scientist101Scientist101 51 replies9 threads Junior Member
    For AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics I, AP Physics II and AP Physics C (M + E&M), our school allows the same amount of time given to labs. Basically, all the courses have the same time given to labs. However, I do not know what the labs are like. But, the record at our school is that AP Biology and AP Chemistry labs are more time-consuming than any of the AP Physics labs. However, for AP Bio, the teacher is known to be easy and there are many kids who double up on AP sciences. A couple who did AP Bio + AP Chem did say that it took some work, but it wasn't impossible. They had a similar course load to mine in their Junior year. They had maintained straight A's too.

    I was unable to take BIology H as a freshman as I moved into the US in 8th grade and was forced to take regular Math 8, putting me in Algebra I CP freshman year. To catch up and get ahead, I plan to take on the course load that I posted above. I have taken the Biology and Chemistry subject SATs and have scored an 800 on biology and an 800 on chemistry if that projects how I might do in the respective AP classes.

    Also, I plan to take the Physics subject SAT and maybe SAT Math Level 2 in the future. I haven't taken the SAT yet, which I need to prepare for. I might take it at the end of my sophomore year, and depending on my score, retake it Junior year. Otherwise, coming to EC's, I have a few. I work on an Artificial Intelligence project to (hopefully) be published in the Stanford journal. Also, I take up to four clubs every year, and one of them is an academic team. So, 3 clubs and an academic team. However, these are quite laid back. I will gain more community service senior year, as I finished 144 hours at a doctor's office freshman year because my classes were easy and I had time.

    I will drop EC's in order to pursue my double if needed. Also, I may drop the number of clubs I join to cope with the classes. Thanks for all the advice!
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  • RockyPARockyPA 95 replies10 threads Junior Member
    edited February 19
    @skieurope

    "The 2 can be done concurrently, but generally by the Uber-academics who don't have time-consuming EC's. Whether the OP fits this group is something none of us know."
    [/quote]

    My daughter took AP Bio last year, so I am aware that is more time consuming than AP Physics. However, I believe she could have handled taking AP Bio and AP Chem together, and still have a life. Maybe she is an "uber-academic" but she also has a very time consuming ec (ballet). It is possible for some students, that is all I was saying.
    edited February 19
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  • OneMoreToGo2021OneMoreToGo2021 387 replies0 threads Member
    @Scientist101
    Also, I plan to take the Physics subject SAT and maybe SAT Math Level 2 in the future.
    Why bother with physics? With 800s in bio and chemistry already, just work on getting an 800 math level 2 and call it quits. These subject tests are not hard if you know the material, and no one is going to doubt your ability with those scores already.

    You will be fine with the double AP science course load. Don't sweat it.
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  • Scientist101Scientist101 51 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Nice, then I will focus on Math Level 2 and my SATs more. I'll drop the Physics subject SAT. Thanks!
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  • Scientist101Scientist101 51 replies9 threads Junior Member
    A quick (and stupid) question, what does "uber-academic" mean?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40797 replies7594 threads Super Moderator
    edited February 27
    A quick (and stupid) question, what does "uber-academic" mean?
    A one-dimensional person whose life solely resolves around academics. Which is fine for a PhD candidate, but not as prized in HS students.
    edited February 27
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  • happy1happy1 23574 replies2338 threads Senior Member
    edited February 27
    Unless you are an true science whiz kid I would not take AP Bio and AP Chem simultaneously for the reasons stated above -- the one person I know who successfully took those classes together and did just fine was a brilliant scientist who ended up at CalTech for undergrad (and she took them in her senior year). Why don't you just move one of the classes to senior year?
    edited February 27
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  • Scientist101Scientist101 51 replies9 threads Junior Member
    edited February 27
    I will be taking AP Physics C senior year, which is reputed as the hardest course at our school. Therefore, to finish all three major sciences, I plan to take AP Biology and AP Chemistry together in my junior year and save the latter for senior year. However, I am still keeping AP Physics I and AP Physics II as open options. What about AP Biology and AP Physics I junior year? Then I will take AP Chemistry senior year.
    edited February 27
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  • Scientist101Scientist101 51 replies9 threads Junior Member
    edited February 27
    Sorry, I couldn't edit the previous post in time, here is what I want to say:

    I will be taking AP Physics C senior year, which is reputed as the hardest course at our school. Therefore, to finish all three major sciences, I plan to take AP Biology and AP Chemistry together in my junior year and save the latter for senior year. However, I am still keeping AP Physics I and AP Physics II as open options. What about AP Biology and AP Physics I junior year? Then I will take AP Chemistry senior year. I want to major in Neuroscience/Biology and minor in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence, so I am trying to take all major math and science subjects. Especially, at least one year of them.
    edited February 27
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