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BS Class of 2020 Thread

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Replies to: BS Class of 2020 Thread

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,136 Super Moderator
    If the kid DOES take an additional year of language is it absolutely unwise to skip a year and take it in 12th grade??
    I would strongly not do this.
    So next question: maybe the biology isn't so important after all?? Could the kid get away with just the term-contained course in Cellular Biology? Or no Biology at all?
    Here's the thing: The college's suggestions are meant to apply to most, but not all, applicants. For most boarding schools, it's physically impossible to take a year in each core subject plus do the HS's requirements for PE/music/art/religion.

    FWIW, I took 4 years of science, but no biology. No intro bio, no AP Bio, no bio taken in middle school. Nothing. While many colleges "request" it, if you have a compelling story, any "suggestion" can be overridden. Mu compelling story - I saw no reason to take bio. :) And, while my advisor came around, he did not originally concur.

    But really, I'd wait to see what the advisor says.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,698 Senior Member
    My kids' high school required biology. Physics, Bio, Chem were all required courses.

    I have always had the impression that colleges want 3-4 years of foreign language study regardless of the level of proficiency. It's not like someone coming in being bilingual or even trilingual gets off the hook for taking language classes. Maybe I'm wrong...
  • payn4wardpayn4ward Registered User Posts: 3,155 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    DS2 had the same idea and questions as a sophomore last year.
    The language teacher strongly advised against skipping a year as the third level is much harder and it is difficult to get back to it. He is taking the 3rd year language as a junior (reluctantly) and is not planning to take level 4.
    At his school, Biology is required :)) so no way of opting it out.
    He was not very much into it and considered taking Biology in senior year. Unfortunately he was not allowed into AP Physics C this year as he is taking Calculus this year. So he is taking Biology now and calc based Physics senior year.
    He said, to my surprise, he may take AP Biology senior year as well.
    His preferences are changing so maybe AppleKid will change too!
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,136 Super Moderator
    My kids' high school required biology.
    Mine did not. Obviously if the HS requires it, not taking is not an option.
    I have always had the impression that colleges want 3-4 years of foreign language study regardless of the level of proficiency.
    It's really level achieved. Foreign languages is the only area that makes this distinction. For all other subjects, years in HS means years in HS.

    Unless AppleKid's advisor disagrees, I don't think that not taking another year is going to be a make or break for admissions. My concern for AK is that having done level 4 in HS will make it easier to place out of the FL requirement in college. So I would advocate at least on more year of FL study. But I'll defer to the advisor. :)
  • payn4wardpayn4ward Registered User Posts: 3,155 Senior Member
    I highly recommend @skieurope to take biology while in college. - biophysics, molecular biology, computational biology or something :)
    I get by with high school biology. I never took biology in college.
    So when I ended up working with biologists and molecular biologists for a project, I was constantly looking up the amino acids (or DNA or other acronyms) and their structures on my laptop/phone.
    I went to a biophysics conference where the publishers had book titles,
    "Differential equations for biologists," "computer programming for biologists," "NMR/spectroscopy for biology," etc etc.
    I knew all those except for biology. I needed "Biology for other kind of scientists."
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,698 Senior Member
    You definitely need to check the high school's policy and ask more specifics regarding target colleges' policies.

    At SPS, all students starting as 9th graders are required to take 3 years of the same foreign language. No exceptions seem to be stated, regardless of how many languages are spoken.

    I do think talking to both the advisor and college counseling would be wise. Perhaps the academic dean and/or department heads as well.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 5,054 Senior Member
    I agree that the advisor will have the best insight. But I will offer two thoughts...

    Manage the load appropriately junior year. And by this, I don't mean simply the school's level of rigor, but how difficult it is for your kid given both natural talent and interest. If FL is going to consume a fair amount of energy, don't pursue the highest level of rigor in other classes that aren't in your kid's wheelhouse. It sounds like math and physics excite him and will be fine, but be wary of anything else that is going to require above and beyond effort/time. The risk is that the student ends up doing ho hum in everything because of the investment in the class that is challenging. No time left and even what's easy doesn't get time. DS made that mistake.

    If you skip any discipline completely in high school, you have probably effectively skipped it for life. Would you take bio in college with no high school bio at all? Perhaps, but not likely. That may be fine with you but I would consider that.
  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    Also, putting the pieces together, I'm assuming the proposed schedule for next year is:

    • English
    • USH
    • Math 5XX
    • Physics 5XX
    • Bio

    I'll tell you right now that this will be a crapload of work.

    Not sure this is going to be much better:

    English
    USH
    Math 5XX
    Physics 5XX
    Language 4XX

    But I think I might be able to sell the idea that doing well (enough) in the language now might mean none in college, especially if that gets packaged together with the no bio plan.

    @doschicos I’ve gone over the graduation requirements more often than I care to admit and as odd as they seem, the requirements do specify language up to 300-level and only 2 years of lab science. Also unique is that you can satisfy the language requirement with 2 different languages.

    And, while my advisor came around, he did not originally concur.

    This helps @skieurope! Although I can’t reference your experience, it does give me confidence to support the kid in the no-bio concept. Thanks!

    And I also like the idea of checking with college counseling @doschicos !

  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    @gardenstategal I think you posted while I was composing my last post. Those are two good points too. I sure wish that there were a way to lessen the load for next year but I think the best I can do is possibly get some help for the FL over the summer. I also think that taking the Bio off the plate for 12th grade will help alleviate some pressure, and hopefully if Bio is needed in college there will be some good teachers/advisors that will give the kid the right encouragement--talk about passing the buck!

    ETA:
    For most boarding schools, it's physically impossible to take a year in each core subject plus do the HS's requirements for PE/music/art/religion.

    No doubt! Before the kid applied to BS I had done course plans for the 2 local schools that the kid could have attended. The extra period each year makes a difference. But on the other hand, the kid wouldn't have been able to have taken these more advanced courses.
  • SculptorDadSculptorDad Registered User Posts: 2,328 Senior Member
    I am a big supporter of taking one less course each year for a break/study hall period.

    It's good for both grade and soul.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,136 Super Moderator
    edited October 2017
    I highly recommend @skieurope to take biology while in college. - biophysics, molecular biology, computational biology or something
    As luck would have it, my college changed the gen ed requirements last year. Before I would have has to take a biological science plus a physical science gen ed course to graduate. Now I can take 2 physical science classes, which is not an issue. So no bio for me. :)

    However, if I ever encounter a schedule conflict, we do have a "Physics of Living Systems" class I might sub in.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,136 Super Moderator
    Not sure this is going to be much better:

    English
    USH
    Math 5XX
    Physics 5XX
    Language 4XX
    Yeah, it's not that much different. But back in the day, most of the advanced bio classes, but few of the foreign language classes had the dreaded "Warning: This class may require more than the standard number of hours of homework." I'm just assuming the math and physics courses already have this disclaimer.
  • carpoolingmacarpoolingma Registered User Posts: 643 Member
    These conversations are so helpful. Thank you @AppleNotFar for raising the questions!
    As far as CPkid goes with the timing of SAT2 tests...
    Any thoughts on if they would have covered enough material in AP Bio and PreCalc by the SAT date in the beginning of May?
    The precalc question is specific to your school. My guess is probably.

    AP Bio (or AP Chem or AP Physics) will not prepare for the Subject Tests. The Subject Tests cover HS material, while AP (aside from being college material) is more in depth and less broad than the Subject Test covers. If he has not already got a prep book, he should get one to figure out where the holes may be.

    As usual, @skieurope is spot on. It turns out that the math material is covered by spring break so the May date will work. The AP Bio professor specifically said not to take the May test or he will be studying breadth in preparation for the subject test when he should be studying the depth needed for the AP test. The class will review/introduce the wider subject matter needed for the subject test in the last few weeks of school. SO, since the June test doesn't work for our schedule, he will have to do the August test. That will make two subject tests so hopefully that portion of testing will then be done!
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,136 Super Moderator
    edited October 2017
    @carpoolingma Glad to help.

    While it sucks to have that Sword of Damocles hanging over his head over the summer, he should take small comfort in knowing back when I was a HS junior all those 4 years ago ( :) ) there were no August tests. So if you did not take the June test, you had to wait until October. Best of luck to your son.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • payn4wardpayn4ward Registered User Posts: 3,155 Senior Member
    I agree August test is a blessing. (except for us, Hurricane Harvey messed with our plan.)
    ACT has a new test date in July, in for the testing arms race.
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