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Considering/debating senior year classes. Take AP exams or not? (I have long story)

chesschocolatechesschocolate Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
edited August 2011 in High School Student Topics
I took the highest classes throughout high school, but I had dropped them since I struggled and was a slow test taker. As a second semester Junior, I got A's in Micro and Macro- the only APs I've taken so far. I also learned a lot about school and studying, although I still have to really improve my test taking speed.

Btw I haven't taken the ACT yet but will, so I plan on only applying ED to Lake Forest College, which doesn't require ACT. If they don't accept me (I think my chances are very good, almost definite though), I'd apply RD (can I?) to other colleges.

I stopped playing chess after reaching expert, so I was originally planning to finish studying my chess opening repertoire "project" (and endgames) and to play in big tournaments next summer to reach national master. (How much would national master help for med school admissions?) Then, I thought about adding Stats to just Calc AB. Now, I'm really leaning towards taking a bunch of APs (maybe 4-5, including Calc BC) and studying very hard so I can learn as much as possible (not worrying too much at all about grades), and forgetting about my chess project; but I could still get to national master by playing in small tournaments throughout the school year and over next summer.

Is the last option a good idea? If I were to do the last option, should I take the AP exams for all the AP classes? Or is it too late for me to "rack up" a bunch of AP credit? I may be wrong, but my reasoning is that if I get more AP credit, I'd risk having a poor foundation from the AP classes if I take higher level classes in college (but would it look a little better on med school applications to have more AP credit?) Or, I could take the AP exam only for Calc BC, and not for my other AP classes but still get a good foundation from those classes. I tend to think that saving money from AP credit isn't an issue at all for my family. I'm also curious, will I lack time/space to take higher level classes if I don't have a lot of AP credit (compared to some of my friends, at least)?
Post edited by chesschocolate on

Replies to: Considering/debating senior year classes. Take AP exams or not? (I have long story)

  • icecream29icecream29 Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    Well, now that you've finished your junior year, you're GPA is pretty much set especially since your applying early decision. You would have to start on your RD applications even after you apply ED because some of the due dates are anywhere from November to January, so you probably wouldn't get your ED results until after that. I really recommend taking the ACT or SAT just for the sake of applying to other schools. That's probably what you need to focus on because even though the SAT or ACT may not be required, a lot of students will probably be sending them in, and that might put you at a lower spot than them. It's nice to have a lot of AP classes senior year but some colleges might not even look at that, like when you apply ED. They'll only see the classes you're taking, which could help you. As for becoming a chess national master, it'll only be useful if you can achieve that before you write your application. You've already achieved so much in chess that I don't think it would really make or break your chances. GPA and test scores are far more important when applying to pre-med programs than receiving a higher title in chess competitions, even thought that is a really nice accomplishment. In my opinion, it's never bad to have AP credit because it will prepare you better for college and those rigorous med classes, and calculus looks pretty good when applying. Being great at chess probably won't help you as much in the future if you're going for med school, and you've already accomplished so much in it :)
  • whitenoisewhitenoise Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    First things first, you have to take the ACT or SAT at least once.
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