Dropping AP Calculus from High School Senior year- Will this affect my College Admission?

I am a High School Senior year student and struggling to keep up with my AP Calculus Grades. My all other subjects are good( A’s and B+). Just AP Calc is giving me issues and affecting my mental health. My teacher and counselor are not not very supportive either.
I am thinking to drop this class to avoid affecting my overall GPA, but do not know if college admission board will take this as a negative point. Need your guidance.

What majors did you/are you applying for at the colleges that require a major declaration/program app? If business or engineering especially, dropping calc won’t help you, and could make you a less competitive applicant.

What grade are you getting in AP calc? Do you have an option to change from AP calc to regular or honors calc? If you do drop AP calc, you will have to notify all of the schools you have already applied to or been accepted to of the change.

With all of that said, your mental health is priority #1 so I encourage you to do what is right for you. Good luck.


if being in the class is adversely impacting your mental health, DROP THE CLASS.

There are few programs where it the class is truly required and a sane/stable student with a W beats an upset one with a D or F.

There are lots of colleges that will be happy to have a well adjusted student with a 3.7GPA without AP Calc on the transcript.

Do you have an option to switch to pass/fail?

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If you do drop, be sure to inform any colleges you have already applied to (where you reported it as an in-progress course), so that they are not surprised when the course is missing from your final transcript after you matriculate to one.


How did you do in the prerequisites, specifically in your algebra, trigonometry, and pre-calculus classes?

What major or majors are you considering?

Double check that you don’t need a math class senior year to graduate.
I would also recommend dropping AP calc for regular calc vs not having a math at all.

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Thank you everyone for your quick responses.
I want to for Pre-Medical Studies and I have competed all Math requirements for High School.
My current GPA is 3.82 and I am at D in AP-Calculus right now. I am not sure if I will have a Pass/Fail option this year.
Really confused on what to do. I have already got acceptance from most the colleges I have applied to. Feeling very helpless… and my teacher is not helping me either.

Can you drop to regular calc?

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What does your guidance counselor suggest- dropping down to a slower paced calc class? Dropping entirely? Your mental health is more important than any grade…

My Counselor is going to change my teacher next semester as my current teacher has a big part in the current situation and I am very hopeful that I will do good next semester with required guidance.
But what do I do not for my current semester with D Grade :frowning: ?

Find out from your counselor what your options for dropping, passed/not-passed grading, etc. are.

But you do need to inform the colleges about any change (or any grade lower than C) as soon as possible.

Also, you will likely need to take calculus in college for pre-med requirements.

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I think the answer is, it depends. One of the courses you will need to move on to the pre med prerequisites will be Calculus. It shouldn’t be an issue if you have it in HS or wait until college. It could affect your application depending on where you wish to apply. The more selective the school the greater the likelihood that other applicants will have a higher course rigor/gpa. It may affect your competitiveness in certain schools but then so will a lower GPA. Getting into medical school usually depends on your college grades and especially prerequisites, your MCAT scores and the volunteering you do. The college you attend is not as important. Others have mentioned seeing if you could move to a non AP Calculus. I think that’s a good idea. That would expose you to the concepts at a slower pace and help prepare you for when you will take it in college.

I agree, your mental health means more than anything. You can get through Pre-Med prereqs for many med schools without a year of Calc, most certainly without a year of Calc in high school! Some will accept a semester of Stat, some want a semester of Calc, and a semester of Stat, some don’t require Calc at all. But you can worry about that later.

In the meantime, if there were any way that you could get a tutor, and finish the semester with at least a C, it would be a good thing. But I doubt that your schools will rescind your admission if you were to drop AP Calc, certainly not if you can drop down to regular Calc. I suggest that you talk with your parents or guardian and ask if there is money for a tutor, if you are willing to give that a try. Also, you might be able to get free tutoring from a classmate who is generous.

But if you feel you really must drop it, contact your schools’ admissions offices and discuss it with them. Explain that you bit off more than you could chew, and that you need to drop AP Calc. Tell them that your plan is to try it again at college, and take advantage of all the tutoring support that will be available at the college (which there most definitely will be). They’ll tell you if it’s going to be a problem, but I bet you they won’t rescind your admission.

Just don’t drop it or get less than a C without having discussed it with your schools beforehand.

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One thing to keep in mind is that colleges are not looking for reasons to recind your acceptance. Assuming this is isolated to this class and the rest of your grades are in line with your previous grades you should be fine. AP Calc is a tough class, get some extra help (is peer tutoring available?) and then switch to the other teacher and try and get your overall grade up to a C. If you end up having to take Calc in college you’ll have a good base to start from


The change in teacher sounds like an option. Maybe go back and talk to your trig/pre-calc teacher from last year and have them help you figure out your gaps in learning.

If your school has honors calc or CP calc consider going to that. It is better to have a solid foundation in math going into premed. Now is the time to shore things up. You are not alone and easy to explain to colleges and covid learning developed gaps in you math prep and you proactively took steps to self-correct.

If that is a concern, perhaps this quiz can help you self-assess what you may need to review from precalculus: rurci3

Oh! No, My counselor already started my Drop off procedure and is saying that it is hard to un-do things :frowning:

@@ Surely the dropping procedure isn’t unstoppable like launching a nuclear missile.


Are you dropping calc altogether or moving to a lower level/non AP calc?

What schools have you been accepted to so far?