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Having completed CC physics, should my daughter also take the AP physics test?

socowondersocowonder 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi all
This is by way of a follow up to a question I posed in the Spring. Back then I asked if my rising Junior should take General Physics in the summer at the local Community College rather than take AP Physics with a sub par teacher. Upshot is that she took the CC class this summer (and received an "A".) We have had conflicting advice about whether she should *also* take the AP physics test next May. Does the CC "A" in physics meant that she doesn't have to bother with the AP physics? Wil adcoms see the A in cc physics as comparable to the AP physics test for purposes of admssion?

TIA for your continued help/insights
Soco wonder
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Replies to: Having completed CC physics, should my daughter also take the AP physics test?

  • skieuropeskieurope 38917 replies6877 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited August 18
    You are conflating many different questions.

    AP scores matter little to nothing in the admissions process, so the cc physics course is comparable to the AP physics class (but not AP score) for admissions. Where the AP score comes into play is for possible college credit. If she plans on attending an in-state public, the cc course will likely transfer. If she plans to attend an OOS public or any private, the cc course will likely not transfer. If she does not care about the credit, then there is no reason to take the AP test.
    edited August 18
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  • thumper1thumper1 74357 replies3254 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And if that physics course is required for her major, she my find herself taking it again.

    My kid took Anatomy and Physiology for Cc credit. Her school was very willing to take it as a college credit. But they were very unwilling to apply it to her major. So...she took it...again.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38917 replies6877 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    thumper1 wrote: »
    And if that physics course is required for her major, she my find herself taking it again.

    My kid took Anatomy and Physiology for Cc credit. Her school was very willing to take it as a college credit. But they were very unwilling to apply it to her major. So...she took it...again.

    This is not uncommon, even for AP tests. Every college sets its own policies,and even if the college accepts a score for credit, at times the credit cannot be applied to gen ed requirements or to the major. Which may not be a bad thing. I had to retake physics in college for that reason, and the college class was light years beyond what was taught in AP.
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  • socowondersocowonder 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi Skieurope
    I don't *think* I'm conflating different questions, though who knows :) :) I guess though I was unaware of something you've clarified: namely that AP scores don't matter in the admissions process (in the US ). I didn't know that.
    My concern is with college admissions, not college credit so from what you and thumper1 say, I guess she is done with Physics -- for now at least!

    thanks for your help both now and last spring!

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  • thumper1thumper1 74357 replies3254 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @socowonder

    The AP tests scores for a student’s senior year aren’t even available when the student applies for admission...heck...they aren’t available until early summer before the student goes to college. So definitely those scores would have no impact on admissions.

    The thing that does help is the strength of your kid’s HS course of study, and taking AP or CC courses would show some strength...in the chosen courses. That’s what would be considered in admissions.
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  • socowondersocowonder 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    @socowonder
    The thing that does help is the strength of your kid’s HS course of study, and taking AP or CC courses would show some strength...in the chosen courses. That’s what would be considered in admissions.

    I guess one of my concerns is that, because she is in a school with limited AP/Hons courses, instead of AP Physics her Junior year she is now taking AP Enviro, which I know is seen as a "lesser" AP. Her peers, none of whom took the CC physics course are sucking it up with the sub par teacher and taking AP Physics. However, Enviro is the only alternative AP that fits in her schedule, and I hope that won't be seen to detract from the "strength" of her Junior year course load when compared with her peers.

    Her Junior load looks like this: AP Lang, APUSH, AP Enviro, Hons precalc, French 3 (no honors available) and Art Honors. Her peers are similar, but with AP Physics as their science instead of Enviro.

    So I'm not sure if her load would be viewed as less rigorous, given the easier science AP - but then she did take it in the summer.

    As you can see, I'm a bit confused.



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  • thumper1thumper1 74357 replies3254 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Where do you anticipate she will be applying to colleges? For the very vast majority of colleges, it’s my opinion that her courseload looks just fine.

    But that’s my opinion.
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  • wis75wis75 14031 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 18
    OP- don't worry at all. Course rigor is something the guidance office will determine. It is based on taking advantage of the most rigorous classes available at the HS (or going beyond to CC et al). It is a much better education to include some non honors/AP classes in the mix. And who cares if one AP course is considered more difficult than another? Sounds like your D is getting a good education (btw- for some colleges a 4th HS foreign language class can meet school graduation requirements- plan on French senior year). Your D is doing all honors/AP, plus did the CC physics- wow! Think about it- the GC likely will check off the "most rigorous" box for your D instead of a choice like "some rigor" or "average". There are not any choices about how a different student did more AP's et al. There is no ranking of students for rigor- just a high/med/low level sort of thing- and based on a combination of all years, not individual semesters. Oh, and don't worry if your D started less strong and has ramped up her rigor.

    Son took AP calc and physics in HS but then took college honors version sequences in both (later decided his major among those). Got AP credits as well as college ones- the courses were different. AP classes are valuable for giving more rigorous courses than the regular HS versions and offering more to top students. But, they are comparable to classes at average, not top tier, colleges.

    OP- sounds like your D is planning her schedule well and making best use of the options her HS offers. Relax about college admissions, her future.
    edited August 18
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  • socowondersocowonder 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    THanks so much, Thumper1 and wis75 for your feedback. She is not thinking Ivies but wants probably a very good liberal arts college like Hamilton or Vassar. Possibly NYU. Or if she decides to stay closer to home, maybe Berkeley. We haven't explored too much yet. Good to know that "rigor" is not so finely calibrated and is more a high/med/low thing. I will try and stop worrying. She works her butt off and I just want to make sure I'm advising her right :neutral: Your feedback is so useful. Thank you both.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74357 replies3254 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Important to keep her grades up...and to do well on the SAT or ACT. Her courses are fine.
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  • wis75wis75 14031 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do consider strong public U's- especially if you live in CA. Depending on the desired field some flagships offer more opportunities at the undergrad level than many top tier private colleges. Honors program at a top (10 or 20...) in-its -field public U may give grad level classes/research opportunities.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74357 replies3254 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you are a CA resident, you have a number of excellent public universities from which to choose. Don’t just look at Berkeley...or UCLA...Admissions there have become quite unpredictable!
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  • socowondersocowonder 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks both-- she has straight As in all her courses (inc. the only two honors/Ap courses she was able to take as a sophomore -- hons chem and AP World hist) so hopefully that will continue. We are at the very beginning of the college search so haven't closed anything off yet. She will probably apply to the top CA public Us but it does seem that they have become extremely competitive so will broaden her scope. We have a week before her courses for this year are "set in stone" so to speak, hence the attempt to make sure we've done what we can :smile:
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  • treschicostreschicos 227 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I wouldn't take the AP test, the CC grade should show up for admissions as she will have to report it if it isn't already part of her high school record as dual enrollment. The CC course and grade should be sufficient to show rigor. Credit transfer as noted above will be dependent on the university and major, but that's the same issue with an AP score so I wouldn't add the stress and risk potentially of an AP exam.
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  • socowondersocowonder 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks treschicos. I think that is what we have decided -- not to do the AP test. And, for the benefit of anyone else that might be in the same position, I note that my daughter wrote yesterday to the admissions department at Vassar and Rice. Both told her not to bother with the AP test -- though as others noted above in the thread, Rice said she would not get credit for the CC course. However, they said "we do not expect you to take the Physics AP exam." Vassar congratulated her on taking the summer course and said it counts for a "full" and "complete" course for their purposes and she should go on now to take either enviro AP or APbio this year. Rice was a bit more equivocal, in that she said she should explain *why* she took the course at the CC on her app and then, all would be well.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2378 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I wouldn't take the all would be well for granted, you have to explain without mentioning the sub-par teacher why she took the class at a c/c.
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  • socowondersocowonder 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I wouldn't take the all would be well for granted, you have to explain without mentioning the sub-par teacher why she took the class at a c/c.

    Agreed. She wrote in her email that the CC prof had an excellent reputation and lots of experience (both of which were true), plus there was not 100% certainty that AP phys would be offered at her HS (also true). They liked this explanation and said to be sure and put in it the application, so we will. She didn't mention that the HS teacher sucked (and is currently making her friends who are taking the class miserable).

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