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4 Years of Language vs. AP Science Class


Replies to: 4 Years of Language vs. AP Science Class

  • mardadmardad Registered User Posts: 1,120 Senior Member
    I was going to play devil' advocate and advocate the fourth year of Latin until I read your post about the Latin teacher being boring. This is the deciding point. My daughter is in Spanish 3 now and is learning nothing, not opening a book and getting an A+.
    But, let's just suppose the Latin teacher was actually competent for the sake of argument. I would point out that AP physics B is algebra based and your son will want to take calculus based Intro to Physics when he gets to college. The Latin on the other hand would give him another side to his education that he might not get at college.
    Is his class doing Cicero or Virgil next year?
  • acinvaacinva Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    I would definitely post on the Princeton board to see what those who have been accepted have to share.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471 Senior Member
    Latin is a tractable language for self-study, and he could do that on his own schedule.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    S, graduating in 3 years, had only 3 years of Latin. He placed out of the foreign language test, which was based on the SAT-II, by scoring 600+. He had a great Latin teacher, though.
  • sjmom2329sjmom2329 Registered User Posts: 2,930 Member
    Beyond the question of admissions, I think that the AP Physics would be more valuable for success in a college engineering or science program. My S was able to take AP Calc BC, AP Physics, AP Chem and AP Bio, and I think that that's almost a prerequisite for doing well in a physical science major at a selective college. His schedule DID allow for AP in a foreign language -- which I know your son's does not -- but I think the main benefit for him is that it satisfies the foreign language requirement at his college.
  • lkf725lkf725 Registered User Posts: 4,781 Senior Member
    Since your son already took AP Bio and Hon. Chem, would it be possible to take the AP Physics and AP Language next year? I can't imagine that they would hold it against him that he only took one chem course in high school.
  • mootmommootmom Registered User Posts: 4,162 Senior Member
    OK so regardless of what some colleges are looking for, which would HE rather do? Which is HE more excited and passionate about? I'd say that's the one he should take.

    (Insert something here about following your passions rather than trying to make yourself into the student you think a particular college is likely to accept... and add a small pinch of salt for those few schools that have 4-year language requirements/preferences...)
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 34,234 Senior Member
    My kid had to choose between taking a 4th year of Mandarin (& jumping from "regular" to honors or AP Mandarin) or dropping it & taking his 2nd year of AP Physics (C--E&M). He is VERY glad he choose to take physics instead with a teacher he loves & he plans to pursue engineering anyway, not languages. The schools he applied to never mentioned his not having 4 years of language & he got some good merit aid. (Oh yeah, he only took one chem & one bio class in HS too.)
    It's important for the student to decide what s/he wants--I agree with mootmom.
  • sjmom2329sjmom2329 Registered User Posts: 2,930 Member
    Sorry, I got distracted during my earlier post and didn't really say what I wanted to. I meant to add that even though my son took a bunch of AP math and science classes, he still finds the physics and math classes at his college to be challenging. BC Calc let him take multivariable/vector calculus 1st quarter, and he's also taken differential equations and complex variables. His AP physics allowed him to place into an honors sequence for first year physics, but his school does not allow kids to skip this series. I think most of the kids who major in engineering or physical sciences would have taken the AP classes in high school, so I think that your son would be at a disadvantage if he didn't have the same opportunity. These majors are hard! At a school like Princeton there are bound to be some really bright kids -- I think that if your son wants to pursue these majors he should do as much prep as possible in high school.
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    My son is another one who likes to follow his interests (which is why he likes schools like Brown without core curriculums). Next yr, he will be taking AP Physics and no language (he did 3 yrs). He doubled up in sciences (our HS requires one yr of honors level before AP level) because he wanted to take AP Bio, AP Chem and AP Physics. He is one of those kids who refuses to take the cake class just because it's an easy A (if he's not interested in it, he considers it a waste of time). Not sure how that attitude will play out next yr...

    When my d was looking at schools, she found many state universities didn't require 4 yrs but most selective LACs expected 4 yrs. She did take 4 yrs of honors level but her college didn't require 4 yrs. And as it turns out, she doesn't even need to take language in college - but I think she may minor in it because she likes it.
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