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A in a Regular course or a B in an AP...another viewpoint

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Replies to: A in a Regular course or a B in an AP...another viewpoint

  • snarlatronsnarlatron Registered User Posts: 1,519 Senior Member
    Students should take APs in subjects that they are good at or interested in. Taking an AP in a subject one "hates" is madness and a bad life pattern to start.
  • itsintheprocessitsintheprocess Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    I feel like if they question is truly between an A in a regular course or a B in an AP, then you should take the AP because the B in an AP will boost your gpa and colleges understand that AP's are supposed to be more challenging. However if the student would get an A in regular and a D in AP then that student should take the regular class because a D in an AP doesn't boost your GPA (at least in my school county it didn't). I would say though in most cases of AP and regular the main difference between the two was that AP's were more fast paced and came with a greater work load. If a student feels like they can handle it then they should go for it, but if they feel it's not for them then it's better to just do whatever they feel comfortable in.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 2,026 Senior Member
    Our school has no honors Social Studies classes just regular Social Studies classes and AP Social Studies classes. Also there is no calculus option other than AP.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 2,876 Senior Member
    Sorry, pet peeve: it is "pique" one's interest, not "peak" it.
  • lvvcsflvvcsf Registered User Posts: 1,895 Senior Member
    ^^^^ I knew that wasn't right. Thank you.
  • megan12megan12 Registered User Posts: 642 Member
    My son's school only allows their students to take honors and AP if they are receiving a 93 or above in a regular class, unless they get permission from the teacher. That seems to be a reasonable rule. If you're not getting an A in a regular class, why on earth would you take an honors/AP class?
  • labegglabegg Registered User Posts: 1,706 Senior Member
    edited August 12
    @Megan12 I think it is an unreasonable rule. B and C students are just as capable of producing good work and learning something from an AP class as an A student. It seems rather elitist and exclusionary to me. Not to mention there is value to an AP class beyond the academics. It teaches discipline, study habits, often the best teachers are AP teachers, the peer group is different. It's not all about the GPA...
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    Was at an Ivy info session recently and they answered the question by saying it's best to get an A in the AP.
    That being said, if you are aiming for competitive but not the tippy top schools, they like to see kids challenging themselves and likely would prefer a B+ in an AP to an A in regular
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    What I don't understand is if AP courses are intended to be equivalent to first year university level courses why are so many students taking AP courses let alone in grades 9 & 10? Why is it even assumed that every student is capable of doing university level work in high school? Certainly I can understand a percentage of students being sufficiently advanced to do so, but not for that to be the norm. I agree that for the most part if you can't get an A in a regular course, why would you take AP? Now granted I live in Canada and our university admissions process for most schools/programs is entirely grades based. We don't have to balance grades vs rigour and find the best combination. The majority of schools here don't even offer AB/IB/DE, though it is growing.

    DS19's high school is one of only a few in our board that does offer AP courses (there are also a few that offer IB). At his school it is a contained regional program which means that it is open to all students in the school board to apply but acceptance is by selection only.

    The way the program works is grades 9-11 are considered Pre-AP and it accelerates the regular university stream (what you would consider honours level) in their 5 core courses in grades 9 & 10 (English, Math, Science, French, Geography/History), and then they can choose which courses they want to continue in grade 11 based on which AP exams they intend to write. By the end of grade 11 they have completed the full grade 12 curriculum in their chosen courses having compacted 4 years into 3. Then they take the AP courses for grade 12 (there are only 2 courses that are available as grade 11 credit - AP US History and AP English Lang & Comp). It doesn't mean that you are restricted to taking the AP courses in grade 12, but in order to take them you have to first have completed the prerequisite Pre-AP courses first. You can't just opt to take AP Stats in grade 10 without having first completed grade 11 Pre-AP math. They haven't had to institute a minimum grade requirement since students aren't going to opt for AP courses if it's going to result in lower marks and also because since the program is selective class averages for most courses tend to be in the 90's anyway (with the exception of English which is why many students are opting not to continue take English at the AP level after grade 10).


  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 627 Member
    Yes, it is always best to get an A in an AP, and obviously everyone would if they could. The Ivy officer should have further admitted that due to overwhelming applicants, anything less than an A in an AP is probably not a serious candidate for those schools. But for those applicants not aiming for the very top schools, it is a serious trade-off for students of rigor vs. Grade protection.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    I think bigger schools that have a wide range of students, need APs to distinguish the really talented students from others. In smaller schools where the range of kids can be tighter, there is a trend to offer less APs or do away with them altogether, and at a lot of those types of schools there were limited APs to begin with and none or few in 9th and 10th grades
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,409 Senior Member
    My D is going to take regular calculus.

    I'm intrigued. What is "regular calculus" at your D's HS? How can it be any slower than Calc AB, which is already half a year of Calc taught over a full year?
  • itsintheprocessitsintheprocess Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    @bluebayou I took Calc AB and BC highschool and my senior year my school added a Calculus Honors course, and when I asked my teacher about how it differed from us in AB she said it basically is the same course as AB they just move a lot slower than we did in AB (for reference we finished the AB course in March and spent the rest of the time reviewing for the exam) and also they don't learn/practice the FRQs AP kids have to do. I'm not sure how it works for other schools but that's how they offered it at my school.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,409 Senior Member
    What I don't understand is if AP courses are intended to be equivalent to first year university level courses why are so many students taking AP courses let alone in grades 9 & 10?

    Many first year college courses are general survey courses, and rather easy for those who can memorize stuff.

    (Before the masses jump up and retort that US Hist AP is nothing like the first year history class at Yale, just remember that, while undoubtedly true, AP also counts for the regular kids who attend Cal State or SUNY or (fill in your state directional college name.)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,409 Senior Member
    edited August 12
    I took Calc AB and BC highschool and my senior year my school added a Calculus Honors course, and when I asked my teacher about how it differed from us in AB she said it basically is the same course as AB they just move a lot slower than we did in AB (for reference we finished the AB course in March and spent the rest of the time reviewing for the exam) and also they don't learn/practice the FRQs AP kids have to do. I'm not sure how it works for other schools but that's how they offered it at my school.

    Thanks for the info.

    Personally, I think that is both sad and a waste of tax payer dollars. To be ready for Calc as a Junior, 'process', you were obviously one of the more advanced math students. (The vast majority of kids don't see calc until college.) It just doesn't make pedagogical or economic sense to slow kids like you down. Better, IMO, to take a course like AP Stats, (extremely useful in the real world btw), and then BC.

    But then, I'm not curriculum czar. :-)

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