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Online AP Courses -- Thoughts on CTY, CTD, UCScout and others?

thethirdnarwhalthethirdnarwhal 18 replies2 threads Junior Member
edited August 16 in AP Tests Preparation
Hi! I'm a rising senior trying desperately to find a way to take the AP classes I had planned on. Right now, it seems like my HS is just going to facetime me into those courses at my school, which I think is completely unacceptable (I've tried this in the past on days I was absent and the camera never focuses, I can never ask questions, etc.).

I'm looking to take some really tough AP courses (Physics C: E&M being the toughest and hardest to find I think) and am looking at UCScout, Johns Hopkins CTY and Northwestern CTD. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews. Could anyone please offer their experiences with these online AP courses? I would be really interested in knowing (1) how content is delivered (i.e. live lectures, recorded lectures, links to websites/Youtube videos, textbook readings, etc.), (2) how self-paced vs structured the courses are, and (3) how available/helpful the instructors are.

Note: I am very comfortable with online learning as I have taken and passed several online courses before, but I certainly do better when the courses have either live or recorded lectures as a component. I also fully understand the difficulty of taking several hard AP courses at once, and I am ready to do so (last year I took 7 AP courses including calc BC, chem, and physics c: mechanics).

Thanks for any advice or personal experiences!
edited August 16
5 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: Online AP Courses -- Thoughts on CTY, CTD, UCScout and others?

  • iamconfused0iamconfused0 4 replies2 threads New Member
    Hi I am also a rising senior and I am planning on taking AP Physics C: E& M and Mechanics on UC Scout. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think UC Scout uses recorded lectures so you can get work done in your own time.
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  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am 683 replies25 threads Member
    CTD's GLL (which you would be doing) is asynchronous learning. Not particularly stimulating but entirely possibly if you are motivated. Instructors are not always quick to grade or respond to questions. I am hopeful they will be improving their offerings.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 2342 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Would be hard to answer this question as someone who took it via CTY, likely did not also take it via UC Scott. The best way to assess is to look at how people liked these individual courses and see what would suit you best. For CTY, for example, one can take a scheduled course or self paced. Very different.
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  • thethirdnarwhalthethirdnarwhal 18 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @iamconfused0 thanks for your response! I actually purchased the $30 basic version of UC Scout's Physics E&M course yesterday to see what the content is like and I was.... underwhelmed. Their recorded lectures sound like they are read by a robot rather than a person and move at a glacial speed. They also generally give off the vibe of something made in the 80s or 90s. Beyond that, I haven't yet had the chance to determine how useful they actually are for learning, but they definitely aren't the quality of lectures you might see on a website like Edx (whose courses aren't accredited).

    The bigger thing that concerned me is that UC Scout seems to use labs as 20-25% of the final grade, but requires me to buy the *quite expensive* lab materials myself. I can't see all of the labs right now because you have to turn one in to see the later ones, but lab #1 (out of 8-12 total labs) requires almost $250 worth of equipment (they provide links of where to buy it and that's how much it costs-- it doesn't get any cheaper looking at other sellers and it's not stuff that most people would have.... we're talking electrical equipment here). I am working with my school to see if they can lend me the equipment for the labs, but I'm concerned that UC Scout didn't even tell me about this potential cost up front. Maybe they assume that every student will have a school to work with that has all of these materials, but really that isn't necessarily true.

    Does anyone have more information about labs through UC Scout or perhaps know if this situation is different in the On-Demand version of the Physics course?
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  • thethirdnarwhalthethirdnarwhal 18 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Sam-I-Am Thanks for the info about Northwestern GLL. It mostly agrees with some of the other reviews I've been reading of the program so it seems like what you've said is probably as close to the general consensus on GLL as I'll be able to get.

    Do you have any personal experience with Northwestern's GLL program? If so, which courses and would you mind providing any additional detail on how their learning platform is set up? You mentioned that it's asynchronous learning, so no live lectures or meetings, but how exactly is information delivered (i.e. do they use recorded lectures, textbook readings, outside youtube videos, etc.?
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