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AP Credits and Med School

21kookies21kookies Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Is it okay to take the AP credit in high school then retake the credit in college? Or when I take the AP credit I can never take the class again? For example, if I were taking AP Bio and get a 5 on the AP test can I retake that class again in college to make sure that med schools accept the credit? Or do I just not accept the credit in high school all together & wait til college to take the class again?

This is just hypothetical question I had floating in my head because I hear some med schools don't take AP credit.

Replies to: AP Credits and Med School

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,817 Senior Member
    edited April 19
    It's OK to take an AP class then repeat the class in college because college courses are often more in depth and cover material that was not included in the original AP class.

    Whether or not your college will allow you to take a course for which you've already received AP credit is an entirely different issue. Some colleges will allow it, but many won't.

    If you college does not permit you to take a class for which you already have credit (via AP exams), then you move to the next higher level class and take that.

    Medical schools that don't accept AP credits will usually allow you to substitute an upper level class for any introductory class you bypass via AP credits. If you look at the requirements, many med schools say 1 year of biology with labs--which means if you use AP credits to place out of Introductory Bio, you can use courses like genetics w/ lab or human anatomy w/lab to fulfill the admission requirements in biology. Same is true for chem. If you bypass gen chem, you'll need to take a semester (or a year) in inorganic or analytic chem w/ labs to fulfill admission requirements.

    Many medical schools state on their admissions pages that if you have AP credit for a required pre-req, you must take an equivalent number of additional credits in the same dept in college either to fulfill admission requirements or to be considered competitive for admission.
  • 21kookies21kookies Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    That makes sense thanks but still AP classes to take or not to take? Is it worth the extra work AP classes are?
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,817 Senior Member
    edited April 19
    1) Competitive colleges look at the rigor of your high school coursework when making admission decisions. Your high school counselor will be asked to evaluate the level of difficulty of the classes you took in high school. If AP classes are available and you don't take them, then you won't get that tip during college admissions.

    2) When you do get to college (even at your local in-state public college), many of your classmates will have taken AP Bio or AP Chem in high school. This will be their second time seeing the material so they will have an advantage over you when it comes to competing for the coveted As you'll need for the high GPA required for a strong med school application.

    3) Taking AP classes (and earning credit for them) may put some "slack" in your schedule during college so you can take classes you might not otherwise be able to fit into your schedule. If you plan to double major, major in something other than bio or chem (or any subfield of those), major in engineering, or earn a minor, having extra space in your schedule is very useful.

    4) Taking AP classes in high school will help prepare you for the demands of college classes. Many college freshman are unprepared for the level of performance/work required in college classes and consequently don't do well academically. Taking a few (or even 1) AP classes will give you some idea of what to expect in terms of the level of academic performance expected of college students and may make the transition easier.

    But in the end the decision is yours. You have to do what you feel is best for you.
  • 21kookies21kookies Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    So it is bad to major in bio or Chem? Why
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,817 Senior Member
    Medical school admission officers do not care what you major in so long as you have fulfilled all admission requirements.

    Majoring bio or chem is very common among pre-meds because there is significant overlap between major requirements and pre-med requirements. But you can major in just about any academic subject that you want. (I know of med students who have majored in agriculture, engineering, math, computer science, physics, English, Spanish, Italian, history, sociology, women's studies, public health, theology, philosophy, music performance...Really med schools do not care about what your major is.)

    The biggest downside to a bio or chem major is that those fields don't have the best post-graduation employment prospects should you be among the 60% of med school applicants who don't get accepted.
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