I have been taking the most challenging course load offered at my high school since I have been here, and I am now doing senior course selections. I am interested in taking AP environment science next year, however, some have sparked fear in my that colleges will see it as an easy course, as if I am not challenging myself.
Should I choose Ap chem or bio instead? I am really not interested, but obvi i want to have the most challenging course load.
I should add that i am not interested in majoring in sciences in college. Im just worried that colleges will perceive AP envi. science as not challenging myself.
my next year course load for context:
APs: calculus, comparative gov & politics, english lit, Spanish, studio art, environmental science (?: or chem/bio)
This year i am in: APUSH, Ap Physics, and I am taking the test ( self-studying) for AP Us gov.
Thanks to anyone who answers!!
It is probably one of the easier AP classes, but at our school and in our state an earth science class is needed for graduation requirements. All of my kids have taken the AP version instead of the regular or honor’s version.
Environmental Science counts as an Earth Science?
I do not think APES is super easy. Some people look down on it because it’s not viewed as one of the core science disciplines. At our high school, it was tough to get an A in the class. It also has a very low percentage of high scorers on the test. In fact, the percentage of students getting a 5 on the APES exam is lower than those getting a 5 in chem, below 10%.
Apart from that, trying to take classes that you think might impress a handful of super selective schools is not an ideal way to go through high school. Too many students try to tailor their schedules to what they think Harvard wants to see. If you are interested, take it. The chances of getting in are so slim, and I guarantee there are plenty of students at Harvard who have taken APES and not necessarily AP Bio, Chem or Physics.
Im a current junior, I’ve taken chem bio and now ap physics, 3 years of science are req at my school.
@qwxmntklp My question was directed at the student who said that her High School requires an earth science and the Apes counts. Apes is much more of a biological science than an earth science.
@qwxmntklp I am taking it next year, as a junior, and I have faced the same issue. I actually posted a thread as well, and the general concensus is that it is okay as long as you are taking other AP/challenging courses. You are taking MORE than enough. You are taking six APs, so do not push yourself to the point of breaking. You are also going from 2 APs to 6 APs, which is a huge jump. Overall, I think you’re fine.
@VickiSoCal Yup, it counts. They have to have Bio, Chemistry and one 'Earth Science", of which there options are standard earth science, honors or APES.
That’s a terrible requirement. A kid with bio, chem and physics is going to have a much stronger foundation than someone with bio, chem and Earth science.
But I believe our state just requires two years of lab science with one being life and one physical. I cannot imagine what it would take to get every kid in our state through chemistry. Especially given the struggle just to get every kid through Algebra.
@VickiSoCal It’s a K-12 Charter school and the course offerings are not as plentiful. But, my senior has managed to take all of them plus AP Physics and AP Chem. I can imagine for a non STEM kid that getting through the 3 required ones are rough. The local high schools have some more diverse class offerings that could replace some of them, but we are stuck with different guidelines.
You do realize that most high schoolers don’t think of themselves as stem kids or not stem kids. We’re in the high school where 60% of the kids are low-income, many come from non-english-speaking families and just getting through four years of English and Algebra 1 is a major, major struggle. I cannot imagine a state requiring them to take chemistry to graduate high school.
On Cornell’s website it says that they prefer that candidates take AP physics, bio or chem over APES and AP Calc over AP stats. I don’t know how prevalent are this type of very specific recos.
Colleges esp. highly selective ones want to see students take the most vigorous classes they can handle. The key is “they can handle”. If you take AP chem or AP bio that you said you are not interested in, will you do well? Some kids do well in the subjects that they are not even interested in, most don’t.
If you wouldn’t do well, your GPA would be affected resulting in more stress to you. You also said you are not a science-inclined student. So, I assume your interest is in liberal. The APs you plan to take in a senior is very impressive for a liberal art student. Don’t overdo it.
As for Cornell, those recommendations are probably for STEM kids. My kid was accepted to Cornell/CAS with only 4 APs and the rest were all honor classes. She is a liberal art student there.
@VickiSoCal The state requirement is 3 credits of science. However, as I stated before, my kids go to a K-12 Charter school and the offerings are vastly different from a typical high school. And, the requirements are very specific about the 3 courses that are required due to this.
@rphmom8 out of the sciences, environmental science is what i am most interested in. My interest is in the humanities.
yeah, the challenges I see in my APs next year are calc and spanish.
Im now deciding on AP envi science because i feel bio/chem would make my course load perhaps too much
Thank you both for answering!
@qwxmntklp APES has one of the worst pass rates of all of AP- so while some people consider it an easy course- they certainly don’t do well as a whole on exits. It seems like you have covered your bases as far as science goes, so take a course you enjoy.
@VickiSoCal North Carolina requires 3 years of science- Physical science, Bio and an Earth/Environmental. Many kids don’t take Physics- especially our IB kids. Biology, Chemistry and APES are a common route for kids heading to college. A lot of our IB kids take Biology/Chemistry/Environmental Science and don’t touch Physics, unless they plan on going into STEM.
We have one accepted into Cornell- no physics, IB Biology HL.