Advice for a *CONCERNED* rising sophomore


I’m taking these courses for next year and I’m a bit concerned about them:

    - Math - PreCalc honors
    - Science - Chemistry Honors 
    - Social Studies - AP US History
    - English - English 2 Honors (called American literature honors)
    - Foreign Language - French 2 honors 
    - Mandatory Religion Class (catholic school <o/)

I’m considering dropping from English 2 honors to regular English just based on the fact that I was advised to not take both APUSH and Amer. Lit because of the influx of writing. I’m just seriously concerned that this will look bad on applications to t20s and t50s that I chose to drop from “accelerate English” as a freshman to standard English as a sophomore.

ANY advice is greatly appreciated.

While rigor is important, GPA is important, too. Who advised you not to take APUSH and Am Lit honors? A teacher or advisor that knows you, or works at your school? If so, I would listen. APUSH is notoriously hard, I’ve heard. My son took it as a sophomore and did great. My daughter took it as a junior and struggled. Probably depends on your interests and strengths. APUSH is a lot of writing. But as my older son said, it taught him to write essays well, and that served him very well junior senior year and in college.

My high school sophomore son just today decided to drop APUSH because his school is starting out online and he knows that that is harder for him. Does your high school have their fall plans yet? How did you do with online learning in the spring (knowing that it will likely/hopefully be much different now, but if the struggles come from within as in self motivation, time management at home, etc, that could be a factor).

I mean my APUSH teacher is famous for being a SUPER good teacher and super kind, so I’m definitely sticking to it. In addition, I LOVE history so I’m going to choose to keep it. I’m just concerned that it will look bad on my application that I dropped off from “honors” English as a freshman to regular English.

oops I forgot to tag you to reply @TS0104

Right. Honestly I don’t know. My son dropped to ‘regular english’ his senior year and his college admissions all turned out exactly as we thought they would based on test scores and GPAs. I wouldn’t think that that change would be a ding on your app because obviously your rigor is strong, with advanced classes in almost every subject. I would make decisions with GPA in mind first, then rigor. If you think Am Lit cause you to get some lower grades, then drop it…over all we are only talking one class.

If you drop to regular English can you move back up to AP in junior year or are you setting yourself up to be eliminated from that track?

@momofsenior1 technically there is no explicit track, but I can go back to AP Lit as a junior if I want.

The schedule I plan on, and also am concerned with is:

Math: AP Calc AB
Science: Chem honors
English: Eng honors 2 (this is the hardest but it’s gen ed so)
History: AP World History
PE: mandatory
other: Wind Ensemble
lang: Spanish 2

and I’m also debating dual enrolling to take sociology but maybe I shouldn’t…

You should ask your counselor, teachers, and parents to evaluate how you will cope with this schedule. No one here knows your abilities.

Fwiw, my D had the same schedule, but French Honors 3 as the language, plus a dual enrollment CS class (it may have been Concerts Winds, not Wind Ensemble - I always forget which is which) and finished the year with five 100s, two 99s and a 98 (APWorld). So it certainly can be done. My older daughter probably couldn’t have managed. Those who know you best can advise how well prepared you are.

(You should also create a new thread when asking a question, rather than reviving one from 8 months ago.)

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It all depends upon your ability, motivation, and comfort with the challenging load. However, most people who are getting into top schools take honors level in most classes. If you think that you can handle it, you should take the honors English, also. The fact is, writing is a crucial skill. Most schools don’t assign anywhere near enough of it. I would advise you to take the honors English.

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I don’t know how it is at your school, but at my children’s school if you drop down out of honors English you can’t go back up. That choice would prohibit taking AP language and AP literature down the road. At least at our school, it would be a better decision to stay in the honors English and drop down to honors history because APUSH is not a predicate for any other AP history course.

I would ask for specific advice from advisers at your school.

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In general, my advice is to choose the AP classes that are taught well, by great teachers. So you’re right to keep the APUSH, and others.

Why not try doing the honors English, and if it’s too much, you can drop down to regular track? Even for the super-STEM people, being able to write well, analyse what you read, and simply being literate is just standard for well-educated people. This is why I would try as hard as you can to stay in the honors/AP track for English. If you were a new speaker of English, or severely dyslexic, okay, but you’re not. Being well-educated in English language and literature is important for ALL well-educated people in the US.

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Thank you so much everyone for your valuable insight and time! I agree that English is a very important skill and that I will take away a lot of skills from the class.