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No Bio until 12th grade?

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Replies to: No Bio until 12th grade?

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,480 Super Moderator
    edited January 9
    Would having taken phys C in 11th and done well (assuming of course) be more helpful than AP bio if he decides he does want to apply for engineering, bc schools would see those grades/aps whereas they won’t if taken 12th grade (especially if he applied somewhere EA/ED)?
    Yes to your last question @havenoidea
    I actually disagree. No college will care if the student takes AP Physics C as a junior and AP Bio as a senior (or vice versa or takes both concurrently). Further, no college expects a student to run the AP science gamut. AOs will spend 10-12 minutes reading an app, so they're is not the time to get into that level of minutiae.

    For the student it may be beneficial to find out sooner rather than later that calc-based physics is not his/her cup of tea.
  • havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    @ sunnyschool yes

    @ lookingforward I believe the GC will be ok with it bc the group of advanced math kids did this sequence last year (they all went into engineering). Re, being bored, I don’t think so. Older S loved AP Bio, though took it in 11th, but it will be a completely new subject for S21, having taken no bio at all.

    So, it sounds like it’s fine, though I guess I still think it’s weird to have no biology at all until 12th grade. And, bc he is directionless at this point, I wonder if taking bio might cause him to think, “oh, maybe I’ll be a doctor?” Then again, maybe taking physics will have him saying “I want to be an engineer?”
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,480 Super Moderator
    I still think it’s weird to have no biology at all until 12th grade.
    FWIW, I had no bio at all in HS. So there are plenty of students who do just fine following the road less travelled curriculum-wise.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 1,129 Senior Member
    @skieurope - And I disagree, because we were told at several colleges, when applying to competitive Engineering and CS programs, that they love to see a grade in AP Physics. If you apply EA/ED, and are taking that course in 12th, they will not see the grade. However, since this is the case with most students, it may not make a huge difference --- though it could look *good* for the student to have an A or close in AP Physics as a junior and a 5 on the AP exam.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,622 Senior Member
    It's not that simple, sunnyschool. Lots of kids are on a fixed track. Lots of stem applicants take physics in 12. And if this is potentially for a tippy top, a lot more than the physics grade is needed- and can show readiness.

    But to entirely avoid bio? Must have been an extraordinary humanities applicant? OP's son does seem headed for stem.

    OP, if the GC is ok with this, I think it's fine to indulge him. Do make sure he has msth-sci ECs snd stretch, but also some rounding.
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 4,864 Senior Member
    Bio is not really dependent upon other sciences (a little bit with Bio-Chem, but we usually teach it in Bio, so not a pre-req). It can be taken any year.

    Many of the schools saying they are offering Physics first are really offering Physical Science - kids/parents shorten it to Physics. The two are not really the same, but there's no problem overall with that either. I'm sure some schools are offering real non-Calc based Physics first, but I know it's not all of them. The one I work at has Physical Science in 9th for traditional students.

    Plenty of students skip Physics entirely (why Physical Science got put into 9th grade) - again - not a problem unless one is heading toward majors in college that need it. I can't think of any who skip Bio entirely TBH. In our state, that's a Keystone test all Bio students have to take (or can substitute AP Bio scores).
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,480 Super Moderator
    @sunnyschool We can agree to disagree then.
    they love to see a grade in AP Physics
    I suppose it's all how the question was posed. "Ms. AO. Would you like to see a grade in AP Physics C" is unlikely to garner a negative response. Colleges can "like" to see all sorts of things, but that does not mean that the HS allows it. As @lookingforward says, for most HS students, taking AP Physics C before 12th grade is not even an option, yet somehow some get in EA/ED. If a kid was the right fit for a college, I would like to see the application where the AO said "Gee, we would have admitted him EA if only he had not made the bad decision of taking AP Bio instead of AP Physics C as a junior."

    But I will also say that, like with many questions, the answer of when to take X vs Y in any given situation is often "it depends."
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 1,129 Senior Member
    edited January 9
    @skieurope You are misinterpreting my statement. I said they would "like:" to see it, if the student did well.
    I did not compare it to other offerings or the track at the OP high school or any other school.
    SOME schools do have choice and flexibility -- in fact all three of the public and private high schools my children attended - as well as the 4th school where I attended a curriculum panel last night and asked this question after - DO have flexibility.

    The AO's often know the high schools and what courses and tracks are available to those students. They can see the choices made. For those applying to Engineering programs, having grades in Physics (that are good) CAN help and does not hurt.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,622 Senior Member
    Mine took physics in 9. One semester of that, the next semester chem. (Or vice versa, to balance teacher work.) Then, second part of each, in 11. It was a newish trend, to expose them to true physics earlier. (A girls school.)
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,699 Senior Member
    The stem track at DD's school had 9th grade H bio, 10th grade H chem, 11th grade H physics, and then AP science senior year. I honestly don't think the sequence matters and in schools without flexibility, it just is what it is.
  • books4lifebooks4life Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    DD took Honors Bio in 12th grade and was accepted to a top school. She had already completed AP Physics C junior year and AP chem Sophomore year and we were wondering if Biology was needed at all. We couldn't find enough anecdotes on skipping Bio altogether, so she took it. In the end she actually liked it a lot. Her senior year course load was actually less than junior year because she also finished Multivariable Calc in 11th. So, it may not matter if course rigor drops senior year as long as you have taken them earlier. And yes, her peers were sophomores in the Hbiology class and she didn't mind.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,318 Senior Member
    In our high school school goes on until the end of June. AP Bio is mostly juniors with a smattering of sophomores. (NY) AP Bio always has a big project after the AP, but the kids in AP Physics C who were nearly all seniors just played ping pong on the lab tables and had fun. But there's nothing wrong with taking the courses out of the more usual order.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,480 Super Moderator
    edited January 9
    Assuming seniors get out of school earlier than the underclassmen, if I were a student at @mathmom 's HS, I'd take Physics C as a junior and AP Bio as a senior. That way, it's the best of all worlds: I get to play ping pong, not have to do the AP bio project, and fulfill @sunnyschool 's rec that physics grade be on my HS transcript when applying EA/ED. >:)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,949 Senior Member
    mathmom wrote:
    the kids in AP Physics C who were nearly all seniors just played ping pong on the lab tables and had fun.

    But did they have to write up lab reports on the physics of how the balls bounce?
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,699 Senior Member
    DD's HS did cool labs after the AP tests for the remainder of the year in both physics C and chem. They did have to do write ups but she loved it.
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