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Please help me plan my APs.

sam2005sam2005 0 replies1 threads New Member
edited February 20 in High School Life
Hi, I am a freshman. I would like to know how many APs are recommended for getting into good/selective/Ivy league colleges? I am interested in Science and wish to pursue a career in medicine. By doing Honors Biology in Sophomore year, Honors Chemistry in Junior year and Physics I L2 in Senior year,( my school doesn't offer honors Physics) would I be in a good position if I choose to follow the science stream in college?

Additionally, in my Sophomore year, I will be doing AP Gov and AP Econ, Honors Spanish III, Honors Algebra II and Geometry L2(doubling up), Honors English-which I am thinking of changing to L2, and Honors Biology. I wanted to do H or L2 Chemistry as I had one elective left although, it is not possible in a 10th-grade schedule, hence, I would be doing it in my Junior year. I had planned to take L2 Physics and AP Bio in my Junior year and AP Chem and AP Physics I in my Senior year but I can't do it the way I had planned because of not having Chemistry in Sophomore. I want to do AP in all these 3 subjects though I don't know if I can handle the workload in self-study and the only alternative is to get an AP class course in Senior year, if I decide to replace it for Physics I L2. In this case, what is the best route to go through?

Also, how do students manage labs in AP Biology, Chemistry, and other courses if they are doing self-study?

Now, based on my schedule for high school, how competitive am I for good/selective/Ivy league colleges? How should I plan on improving my schedule for the next three years? Please help me plan my APs.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
edited February 20
4 replies
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Replies to: Please help me plan my APs.

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7458 replies76 threads Senior Member
    Take a deep breath and slow down.

    First, even the super most selective schools will evaluate your transcript in the context of your school. Your GC will have the option of ticking boxes from 'most' to 'not' rigorous. Once the 'most' box is ticked, the colleges won't be looking for anything more. APs are not a magic bullet, and there is no set number you 'should' take.

    Second, self-studying for APs doesn't get bonus points from AdComms. The only reasons to self-study APs are 1) you are trying to get as many credits as possible to transfer; 2) you are trying to get exempted from intro level classes (and note that the rules for both of those vary a lot by college) or 3) you are applying to universities outside the US who use APs for admissions.

    Third, if you really truly want to go to medical school the best college for you is the one where you can be a star, get top marks, and graduate without debt.

    Finally, read this from MIT admissions. Use it as you HS plan :)

    https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/applying_sideways/

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81083 replies728 threads Senior Member
    edited February 21
    Take a deep breath and slow down.

    First, even the super most selective schools will evaluate your transcript in the context of your school. Your GC will have the option of ticking boxes from 'most' to 'not' rigorous. Once the 'most' box is ticked, the colleges won't be looking for anything more.

    For the most selective colleges, the "most demanding" box and the top rating for overall academic achievement (and other ratings asked) should be considered a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for admission for an unhooked applicant. It has been claimed by admission insiders that admission readers may look at the actual courses chosen for determining how rigorous a schedule the applicant chose beyond seeing the "most demanding" box checked.

    For reference, here is the report that the counselor fills in for The Common Application: https://commonapp.my.salesforce.com/sfc/p/#d0000000eEna/a/0V000001Avzq/PBXzR0UOtu4hSdgTXHDH9Sk6bTeQ6w8l2NQblq_KoZ0
    edited February 21
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7458 replies76 threads Senior Member
    Agree w/ 'necessary but not sufficient', and agree that the actual course sequences may be looked at- but noting that the 'more' isn't self-studying for extra APs (which I read as the core of the OP's post)
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42538 replies460 threads Senior Member
    edited February 25
    If you're aiming for a top 50 university/LAC, you should aim for all 5 core classes for 4 years or equivalent, with 6-8 judiciously chosen APs, dual enrollment/running start/PSEO classes, IB or a combination thereof.
    Typically, it means:
    -4 years of honors English including AP Lang
    -4 years of history social science including one AP History
    -Foreign language through level 4* or AP
    -Biology honors, chem honors, physics honors or AP physics 1, plus AP Bio or AP chem or AP physics C
    - Math through precalculus honors or AP calculus if aiming for a science or business major, precalculus+AP stats if not aiming for STEM/business (although calculus honors is appreciated)
    - electives that reflect what you're interested in (often, an art class is advised).

    I wouldn't advise taking non honors science/math if you're aiming for a stem major and your school offers honors.
    edited February 25
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