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Using AP credits to pass out of intro courses

HandimanHandiman Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
edited June 2010 in Rice University
I was wondering how many past freshmen at rice choose to use their AP credits to pass out of those introductory courses. Ideally I'm looking into a Biochem major (pre-med) and was wondering if it would worthwhile to use my AP credits in calculus (AB and BC) and chemistry.

I'm specifically asking this because I have already taken Organic Chemistry (I and II) and Calculus III through my state university during my senior year, so I will probably just retake those courses at Rice (advancing three years just seems outrageously difficult and unnecessary). So do many freshmen (most?) choose to uses those AP credits to pass out of those intro courses, which I am looking to do, or simply find it more worthwhile to retake those intro courses with a reinforced knowledge of the subject (especially the pre-meds)?

Also, on a more unrelated note is Honors Calc III a lot harder to earn a good grade in (I've heard all the tests are take-home), than regular multivaraible Calc at Rice?
Post edited by Handiman on

Replies to: Using AP credits to pass out of intro courses

  • college316college316 Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    I can only speak to the Chem issue. Here's my personal (as a premed coming in with AP credit in Chem) opinion:

    I would say about 70% of the freshmen I knew coming in retook General Chemistry. The way it's taught at Rice is INCREDIBLY different than the way AP Chem was taught at my high school, and I've heard this sentiment repeated from nearly every other GenChem student. Check out the GenChem course evaluations on ESTHER if you want more perspective on this. I do know some students who skipped right to Organic Chem and were fine, but these were mainly students majoring in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering--not premeds. Often, premeds want to make sure they have a solid Chemistry background, for the MCAT and also for the upper-level Biochem courses you will need to take later on at Rice.

    one final thought--please don't infer anything from "take home test." They can be easier or harder than in-class exams and you really can't draw any conclusions about the actual content of the exam based purely on whether it's take-home or not.
  • slik nikslik nik Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    @Handiman: Since you have already taken Organic Chemistry at the university level (hopefully with lab), you have already fulfilled the pre-med requirement as long as you received a letter grade in the college course and as long as it transfers over to Rice. I mean, you can go ahead and retake it, but why would you want to take Orgo twice? I suggest you take General Chemistry again if you have already fulfilled the Organic Chemistry requirement. General Chemistry at Rice is harder than AP Chemistry (I never took AP Chem though) from what I heard. The chemistry professor, Dr. John Hutchinson, is easily one of the best chemistry professors in the country, so I recommend taking CHEM 121 + lab during fall semester and CHEM 123 + lab during spring semester. It should be easier for you as well (you will still have to work though) since you have the AP and Orgo background. I had a mediocre advanced chemistry class back in 10th grade, and I still was happy with my course grade. If you put the work in, you should do fine in chemistry.

    Can't help you with math... although it is probably best not to start from MATH 101 and 102 (equivalent to AP Calc BC) since the professors aren't that good. You should be fine APing out of math, especially since you will be taking an upper level.
  • computergeek173computergeek173 Registered User Posts: 457 Member
    @slik nik: Isn't 123 the lab FOR 121? Because that's what I'm doing (and I thought we only had to take one semester of chem+lab). Anyways, I have heard similar things about (and looked through the ESTHER course evaluations for) chemistry, which has me convinced that these general chemistry courses are likely to be better than a lot of the education friends at other universities are getting.
  • slik nikslik nik Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    @computergeek173: I got the lab and course numbers confused... my bad.
  • schee410schee410 Registered User Posts: 500 Member
    I'd say definitely use the calc credit. As far as chemistry, it seems you're fairly advanced so there really isn't a need to retake gen chem. The only thing I would check is to see if med schools require you to take it (I believe CA med schools do).

    I'll actually be taking Honors Calc III next year too. My suitemate took it this past year, and he got As for both semesters. It's a lot of work, I can't stress that enough. The tests are all untimed take-homes, and I know he spent at least 20 hours on a couple of the them. The class was graded both on how well you scored and how well you improved, although I'm not sure if that will be the case next year since a different teacher is teaching it.
  • HandimanHandiman Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Hey thanks for all the advice guys. I'm probably gonna take multivariable calc. Honors really seems engaging but I've never really had a passion for/borderline loathed math in particular so I don't think it would be ideal for me personally considering all the work and stress Honors seems to demand. In terms of chem, I'm still debating passing out or not, I might just take Ochem freshmen year and take gen chem later as an upperclassmen if need be (I know some ppl who said that it works out pretty well)
  • yangyang2000yangyang2000 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    My suggestion for using using AP credits for Calculus is - don't. I scored a 5 on the BC test but had to retake honors Calc 2 at Georgia Tech since Calc 2 included linear algebra at the end of the semester. Nevertheless, the rigorous treatment of Calc 2 made the course quite a challenge. I believe we used the Spivak textbook. I would suggest taking a look at the problems in Spivak, see if you can easily solve them. If not, retake Calc 2, it will be helpful.
  • computergeek173computergeek173 Registered User Posts: 457 Member
    I disagree Yang, although maybe that's just personal experience. I think a lot of people can very easily get 5s on BC calc, so perhaps they'll want to, but a lot of people get HIGH 5s on BC calc, because it tends to draw that sort of person. I know a number of people quite personally who would be bored to tears in a Calc 2 class simply because they really do know the stuff. It really just depends on your background more than anything.
  • schee410schee410 Registered User Posts: 500 Member
    Plus Calc II at Rice is just some integration techniques and series. I guess it depends on how rigorous your AP Calc class is, but if you got a 5 on the test I'm assuming you've got a pretty good grasp of the concepts. Just skip to diffe and multi.
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