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Senior Year Schedule: How important is showing academic rigor?

lavenderlillieslavenderlillies 7 replies4 threads New Member
Hi everyone, I am in need of some advice for my senior year schedule. I am currently set up to take 3 AP classes: AP Bio, AP Calc AB, and AP Macroeconomics. I was wondering if I should take 4 instead (that is the max amount of APs a senior can take), but there's a catch. In order to add another AP class I would have to switch it out with Anatomy and Physiology, which is a class I was really looking forward to. I want to take on the pre-med path in college and feel like this class would help familiarize me with some medical content. So if I didn't make a change, would taking only 3 APs affect college admissions in any way? I also took 3 my junior year and I'm hesitant because I know a lot of schools look at the rigor of a student's schedule; especially during 12th grade. If I were to take out Anatomy and Physiology, I'd probably take either AP Physics or AP Environmental Science instead. I spoke to my counselor about this too and she pointed out both perspectives, but I'm still not 100% sure about what to do. Thanks in advance!
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Replies to: Senior Year Schedule: How important is showing academic rigor?

  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 323 replies10 threads Member
    Not all AP classes are created equal. APES is considered to be an “easier” class. I don’t see a reason to take that instead of A&P. Ask your counselor if taking the 3 you already have will still allow you to be given the “most demanding curriculum” designation on her recommendation form for the common app. That designation is more important than the overall number but your school may have a target number to get it.
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  • happy1happy1 24201 replies2428 threads Super Moderator
    edited June 30
    The person to ask is your guidance counselor, not any one of us. Rigor is relative to what is offered in your HS.

    Hopefully you have already completed a sequence of bio, chem and physics in HS. If you have not taken physics at all then you should do so.

    The top tier colleges will want to see the guidance counselor check the box on the recommendation saying you have taken the most rigorous course-load available at your HS (which doesn't mean taking every AP class -- there is often some latitude in this). If the guidance counselor says that your prior and current HS schedules are sufficient to get that most rigorous box checked then you should be fine. As noted above it may be that A&P is considered more rigorous than APES.
    edited June 30
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  • twokids2gotwokids2go 115 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Definitely ask you guidance counselor, but I would think that 3 APs your senior year would be fine (assuming you also took at least 3 combined in 9-11). My D20 got accepted into a T20 LAC with only 3 her senior year (AP Stat, AP Chem and AP HUGE), but she took 5 her junior year (AP Calc BC, AP Chinese, APES, APUSH, and APLang) and none in 9th or 10th. If you really are interested and want to take A&P, I would do that and not worry about finding a 4th AP to take.
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