I really don’t think that this is a true statement.

You should not take calculus-based physics without having taken calculus.

Not really.

While it may look bad if an engineering applicant was offered the opportunity in their normal sequence to take a more advanced math in 12th grade but chose not to, the OP’s situation is that calculus AB in 12th grade is the normal sequence offered to the OP. Hence, the OP taking calculus AB will be reaching the highest math available in the normal sequence, based on middle school math placement.

I’ll take it a step further and say not **at all** in this instance. Not taking BC when it’s the next course in sequence may be a red flag. Not taking BC when it’s **not** the next course is sequence won’t be.

Many kids take these simultaneously, Calc BC and AP physics C, is this not a good idea?

My D took AB concurrently with C. BC wasn’t offered.

That wasn’t the question being asked. OP asked if they should take calc or physics over the summer, where the options are either/or. UCB correctly answered that one should not take calc-based physics without knowing calc.

Taking calc (whether regular, honors, AB, or BC) concurrently with AP Physics C during the academic year is completely normal.

For physics taken at a university, however, it is not uncommon to have calc 1 as a prereq for mechanics and calc 2 as a prereq with MVC concurrently for E&M

Doing well in AP Physics C is probably the best way for most HS students (at most US high schools) to demonstrate readiness as an engineering or physical science major in college. However, doing poorly may have the opposite effect. I’ve known students who were advanced in math (e.g. having already completed AP Calculus BC or better and scored 5 on the AP exam) but did poorly on AP Physics C. Your teacher is probably in the best position to evaluate your readiness, unless you know someone else who is more familiar with both you and the subject.

Our oldest son took calc AB and Physics 1 his senior year. His hs did not offer physics C and taking calc AB was required for BC. He went to a T-15 school for engineering. The reality of senior year is that most colleges/universities will not see your grades only your class schedule.

Our senior this year is taking Physics C with calc AB and yes it has definitely been a struggle but is doable.

Hi. I got approved to take a waiver test to get into AP Physics. I need to get a 90% to be able to take ap physics next year.