I’m going into my sophomore year and I’m still deciding my classes for next year. For my science class next year I have a choice of taking physics in class or AP Bio online in Illinois Virtual School and I’m leaning towards taking AP Bio against the recommendation of my school counselor as well as my father. I know I’m definitely more interested in biology over physics, I completed honors biology freshman year with a high A and found the class enjoyable despite having an inept teacher. It seems to me AP biology is the way to go because it is a much more rigorous course than regular physics (there is no honors physics at my school) and it is much more interesting to me. Additionally it would probably be beneficial to have experience taking an AP test before my Junior year as I plan to take several AP classes that year. However, the counselor said that it is better to complete a diverse amount of science classes before going into AP meaning I would wait until senior year to take AP bio. This makes NO sense to me. Why do I need to know other sciences before taking AP biology if its only pre-requisite is regular or honors biology? My dad says that physics looks good to colleges because not very many people take it in high school which also makes no sense to me. It seems to me that it would be better to take a more rigorous course that I am actually somewhat interested in than a less rigorous course that I have little interest in but with people telling me it would be better to take physics, I’m still undecided. Could someone please help me weigh out the pros and cons and help me with my decision?
Top colleges like to see physics. And how do you even know you aren’t interested if you haven’t taken it? My D thought she was going to be a bio major until she took physics, and now she is a physicist. Your dad and counselor are right, take the physics class now.
I don’t understand why colleges would want to see physics. I know my major will not be anything related to science so why do I need physics? I know I’m not interested in physics because 1) I took physical science in 8th grade and did not like it and 2) I don’t really like math that much and am already signed up for two math classes next year and would rather not have a third if possible. Also your opinion here seems to be pretty biased. I’m sticking with my original decision which is to take AP Bio for now until convinced otherwise.
Whoa, why are u so hostile to intparent? You asked a question, they answered it. As someone going into my sophomore year, AP Bio would be too difficult for a sophomore (I also got an A in Honors Bio). It’s a junior-senior class anyway. Have you taken chem yet? That’s one of the big 3 that most sophomores take. Anyway, you should take physics because it’s more important to colleges that you have physics than AP Bio, and you’ll have the opportunity later on anyway.
If OP took physics, he would be back to CC complaining that he got the worst grade. Take AP bio
I’m really not trying to be hostile. They answered, I replied. AP bio isn’t listed as a junior-senior course at my school, my counselor said it’s open to sophomores so I doubt it would be too difficult. I haven’t taken chem because my school is working on setting up honors chemistry so they moved everyone in honors bio last year to physics. What is the reasoning behind colleges supposedly wanting applicants to have physics? I still don’t understand how regular physics would be more important to colleges than AP Bio since one of the main selling points for AP classes is college credit and experience with college level work. I will also have the opportunity to take physics later too so I don’t really take your point there.
OP? CC? I don’t know what those mean.
OP: original poster (yourself )
CC: College Confidential
Well that’s not true at all, but thanks I guess.
Colleges want one each of the three major sciences: biology, chemistry, physics. Then one more at least.
Since you don’t like math much, physics regular would actually be a godsend compared to AP physics.
BTW, biology majors do need two physics classes (equivalent to AP physics 1+2).
Why are you taking two math classes ?
Could you take just one math class and both AP Bio and regular physics?
Do colleges really want all three sciences even if none of them will have anything to do with my major? Yeah, I know someone in AP physics and I’ve seen some of his homework so I understand regular physics is not bad at all compared to AP. Would it perhaps be better to take physics senior year since by then I would be better at math and I probably wouldn’t be taking two other math classes? I don’t plan on majoring in biology, I just want to take AP bio for the academic rigor and because to me it is the most interesting science class available. I’m taking two math classes because I was in regular math freshman year which is just Algebra 1 so I’m taking two math classes to catch up. I haven’t actually considered taking just one math class and two science classes, but I would really like to get out of regular math as soon as possible. Thanks for the idea, though.
Colleges want to see academic rigor. Physics is one of the more difficult HS subjects, and it shows colleges that you have the chops for college level work. If you aren’t shooting for top schools, skip it. But many colleges require some physics even for bio majors, and you’d hate to have your first exposure in college classes where others did take it in high school. Colleges do prefer bio, chem, and physics at a minimum.
Alright, it just seems like AP classes demonstrate more academic rigor than regular ones and would demonstrate readiness for college level work better since they essentially are college level work, but I suppose I wouldn’t know. I guess I’ll make sure I take physics senior year since I am shooting for top schools but I like the idea of taking an AP class next year to get a feel for them when I take several my junior year. Thanks for the advice.
You don’t really know if you like physics or not based on an 8th grade physical sciences class.
Where do you stand on chem?
There are two types of rigor: overall curriculum rigor and class rigor.
Curriculum rigor is defined as such: 4 years of English (preferably honors and AP)+4 years of social science (including us history, one more history such as Global, World, or European, then it’s up to you for the other 2)+ each of bio, chem, physics plus one more science+foreign language through level 4, or AP+ math through precalculus honors or calculus.
Class rigor means a total of 4-8 APs over all of high school, including about 4 (or more) in core subjects (listed above).
AP Bio requires biology and chemistry so if you’ve not taken chemistry honors you’ll need to take that first. Can you take a chemistry summer class?
Good ‘gateway’ AP courses for sophomores include AP human geography, AP CS principles, AP Psychology. Does your school offer that?
If you want to double up in math it’s true that algebra2+geometry is the best combination.
What’s your schedule like so far?
What’s your GPA?
Fair enough. I know chem is very math based and I’ve heard it is incredibly difficult, but I’m still going to take it honors junior year.
Chem isn’t math based. Physics is though - it requires some algebra. (Honors physics and especially AP physics 1 requires algebra2, and AP physics C requires calculus!)
Chemistry and biology (typically taken in 8th and 9th, or 9th and 10th) are both foundations for AP biology. A high grade in Honors chemistry is necessary for AP chem which is one of the hardest APs.
Ask the AP biology teacher whether you can do well with just regular biology and not honors bio, and no chemistry class.
We’re you paced in algebra2 H and Geometry regular?
Ap bio does not require honors chemistry at my school, it’s not even recommended. I would love to take those gateway courses, but my schedule simply doesn’t allow it. My schedule is the following: P.e., Band, Spanish 2 (no honors or AP options for that at my school) Geometry honors, Algebra 2 (Can’t take honors because of a schedule conflict and they won’t let me do anything over the summer or take the IVS course), probably AP bio, English 2 honors. As far as I can tell, this is as rigorous as I can make it unless I cut band or Spanish which I’m not even considering. I’m self-studying geometry this summer because they didn’t let me take the actual class this summer for some bs reason. Hopefully I’ll be able to test out, but I don’t know my school’s policy on that. And even if I did, enrollment in any AP courses end August 16th since they are all online but I remember last year we didn’t take diagnostic tests until week 2 which would be far too late. I know a lot of people take anatomy instead of physics at my school which is why I thought it might be okay to skip and none of the colleges I currently am considering applying to seem to require or even recommend it over other science courses as long as I don’t go into STEM which I’m sure I won’t.
This is in reply to your second post. my post before was replying to someone else
I see that you are not taking history. Your schedule is lopsided towards stem classes, although you have no interest. AP biology without any understanding of chem seems problematic.
I was originally placed in Geometry honors and Algebra 2 honors, but they’re both during the same period, so I have to take Regular Algebra 2. Also I took honors bio, not regular