AP Credit -- Classes Where the UVA Course is Preferable?

I am wondering if any UVA students (or knowledgeable others) would advise against accepting AP credits for a particular course? My new Hoo took many AP classes for which UVA will award credit, but I find myself thinking that a college course in Calculus or Economics, for example, would likely be more comprehensive (and perhaps better taught) than a commensurate high school AP class. I could also see Intro. to Psych. being simply more fun at the college level (the AP curriculum seemed rather dry compared to the college Intro. to Psych. course I took years ago). Any thoughts? Thanks!

I think it would depend on what he/she intends on studying in the long run. I, for one, don’t intend on doing anything with “hard science” in the future and did well in my high school calc classes, so I didn’t re-take calc when I got to UVA. I would advise your son/daughter to accept all the credits UVA will award through APs-they can definitely take Intro to Psych even though they have the AP Psych credit anyway, plus it’s nice to come in with a lot of credits because you need 120 credits to graduate.

I hope this helps!

If the class if part of a line of difficult classes that build upon each other, it may be better to take the class at UVa. If it is the sole class that the student will take on the subject, then definitely take the AP credit.

My daughter attended a different college for nursing, and she was wondering about using the Bio AP credits, vs. taking the bio class freshman year. Fortunately, that college had an alternative - they gave her the AP credit for a basic bio class as an elective, but then made all of the nursing students take the very challenging first semester bio class that was designed for nurses.

I would advise one to accept all their AP credits. Low-level intro classes at UVA tend to be GPA killers and a form of academic punishment/hazing for not passing the corresponding AP/IB test in high school as they operate on strict curves (only ~20%-25% of the class gets some form of A). Upper levels tend to have much better grade distributions than intros.

For example, Calculus II (Math 1320/APMA 1110), the equivalent to AP Calculus BC, is notoriously difficult and is pretty good at thinning out the prospective math and engineering majors. In fact, Calculus II was the third hardest math course I took at UVA and I was math major. Similarly, the General Chemistry series (1400s) and the Introductory Biology series (2000’s) are effective at weeding out aspiring doctors. Even Introduction to Psychology (1010) is not a gimme at UVA like it is as most schools. A lot of psych majors recommend starting with a 2000 level psychology class before tackling intro. Actually, my intro to psych professor said right before our first test, “We’re about to see how well your high school prepared you for college”.

The only case I can think of where it would be best to forgo AP credit would be Introduction to Computer Science (CS 1100). That class was fun, informative, easy and super rewarding.

Thanks, 100percentwahoo! That was a very useful response. Also, both of my sons felt kinda bad for getting through high school without taking introduction to computer science, so I’ll pass on your review to them!