Freshman Schedule

I’m trying to get into a top 20 college, and I know there are other factors that play in, but for my high school freshman year, I’m planning on taking the following:
Honors Geometry
Honors Algebra 2
Honors English 9
Honors Chemistry 1
World History and Civilization
Ap Computer Science Principles
Latin 2
I’m currently top of my class, president of many clubs, I’ve founded my own medical research chapter, and I’m doing many time-consuming extracurriculars. I want to know if I would be setting myself up for failure or would I be doing good.

A “normal” schedule = 6 classes, although 7 if your school allows it is common among the highest achieving freshmen.
In my opinion, you should keep AP CS Principles sophomore year. You’re already doubling up in math, no need to take BOTH chem and CS. You must take English, Foreign Language, History, and (I assume) Theology. You must take 1 math and 1 science class. That leaves 1 class for you to choose: either Algebra 2 or AP CS Principles.

I don’t recommend you take AP Computer Science Principles. To put it plainly, it’s a “free AP class”. You would be better off self studying it and freeing your schedule for more rigorous courses. If you are interested in CS, you might want to take AP CS A. Take my advice with a grain of salt, I personally am not a CS person but most people at my school are and I’ve heard a lot.

My school goes by block schedules, so one day I’ll have 4 classes and the next day I’ll have the other 4. And In my school, it’s highly encouraged to take Honors Algebra 2 and Honors Geometry freshmen year, so I can be on track to take multivariable calculus my senior year. Thank you for answering! Now that I’ve heard everyone feedback I’m going through with this schedule :slight_smile:

I want to take AP CS Principles because I want to experience an AP before my sophomore year where I will 2 AP’s, then my Junior year where I will take 4 AP’s, and then my senior year where I will take 5 AP’s. I’ve made my own research and I’ve found that AP CS Principles is the easiest of all the AP’s and it also aligns with my interest in biomedical engineering. Honestly I’d rather take AP CS principles than PE/gym (PE is exhausting). I’m going through with this schedule, thank you for the advise!

You forgot the hidden class senior year - college apps and essays. Everyone underestimates the time this will take. Come back when you’re a junior to receive feedback on the validity of 5 APs as a senior.


Well, I’ve been through a college-like application process to Stanfords biomedical engineering course already and got accepted. I wrote and edited all 6 of my essays in a day. I’m also enrolled in a College Essay Bootcamp this summer. And in my junior and senior summers, I’m planning on enrolling in the Stanford Cardiothoracic Surgery internship. So by then, essays will for sure not be a problem. I’ve talked with my counselor and we’ve already planned my 4-year high school plan. I definitely know what you mean by saying this is a lot of pressure. But, at this moment I’d rather focus on planning and working on this year. Plus there are many students I know who have taken 15+ APs.

Actually, even if overachieving high school students really want to believe it, colleges don’t want “self studying”, they want to see students in class, participating, collaborating… In addition, CS Principles is designed after an intro class at UC Berkeley, it introduces the variety of fields in computing, from programming to app/website design to math. Finally, there’s no such thing as a “free AP class”. It’s one of the easiest classes, yes, along with AP Human Geography, and it’s designed as a gateway class, but it’s still an AP: what that class covers is typically covered in 2 years at the regular level… (so, sure, 1 semester in college :stuck_out_tongue: but that’s because college courses are way faster).

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Of course, biomedical engineering is pretty cool! On a side note, PE isn’t a requirement at your school? I’d do anything to not have to take PE, but it’s a requirement for both freshmen and sophomores.


You’re not setting yourself up for failure with your schedule. Your setting yourself up for failure by saying you want to go to a T20. Geez can’t kids be kids.


Just remember that after 8 APs, 10 or 12 or 15, it doesn’t really matter for college admissions. You could do all that, the Stanford courses, etc, and STILL not get into Stanford, the Ivy league, NESCACs… And a good application is better than lots and lots of AP classes.

If your school has 4+4 periods, then your schedule is okay. But keeping one period free isn’t the worst thing in the world. If it feels too easy, you can take 4+4 classes sophomore year.

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It’s a requirement for freshmen at my school, but I talked with my counselor, and we decided it would be better to take it over the summer.

I hate when people say this. I clearly don’t care about childish things anymore, I’m a high achieving teenager who knows what they can offer. I’ve been planning my freshmen year through college since I was in 4th grade. I deeply feel like it’s my calling to get the best education in the world.

I know colleges don’t care about how many APs you take, but they care if I challenged myself. I’m taking all those AP’s because it would prepare myself for the crazy hard classes in college.

Literally everything about this response tells me that you need a reality check. And who says ivy’s or T20 schools will give you the “best education in the world”? How do you measure what school is the “best”?

College classes aren’t necessarily crazy hard, although they’re always faster-paced than HS classes and require more autonomy (ability to work independently, manage your time, etc, but if you take 4*4 classes as indicated, you should be good before you get to college).
Make sure to include

  • time to sleep, 9 hours a night. I know you probably think sleep is a balancing variable, which is why I place it first. 9 hours 8th-10th grade, 8hours 11-12th grade so that you can keep your brain in tip-top shape for college.
  • time to develop activities. You don’t need fifteen million, just a few that you get really good at and make an impact with. Looks like this aspect is under control but…
  • try to have 1 activity that’s just for fun, not for college, no reward but the fun you have when doign it. It could be a cooking club or building a tree fort or learning the backstroke, anything that’s non competitive, just “fun”. This way you show balance, that you’re not a “robot”
    Although it’s mainly for balance, it may even come back in college interviews… one way to make your interviewer frown: not being able to name one TV or youtube program, podcast, or channel that you like, not having a favorite book/musician/videogame/film… nothing, blank stare… you may not have a favorite book, for instance, but no entertainment favorite of any kind?
  • family and friends ( probably obvious)
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I learn Japanese for fun after school, but would this sound like just another academic pursuit? Also, thank you for the very kind feedback, I do often feel like a robot with no emotions :smile:

I don’t quite know what you mean by “you need a reality check” if I’m simply saying that with the path that I’m going through a T20 school would be a greater fit for me it does not imply that I’m bragging or anything of that sort.
Honestly, no one knows if I would be considered or not. I haven’t even entered high school for darn sake. What do you expect me to be doing? Wasting my life on silly things? Doing nothing waiting for high school to finish by itself?
I want to go to a top school because I’m low-income and prestigious schools offer full-ride scholarships for people like me.

@Alfredo8a, don’t worry.
Sometimes adults on this site forget they’re talking to a 13 year old.
(If you were 17, you can see how your posts may lead to a different reaction, though, right?)
Work hard but don’t forget to have fun, find a balance, explore new things, especially between now and 11th grade. This is key. There’s no “super duper rigorous” check mark for instance. Stanford, the Ivy League, NESCACs, they really just want to make sure you can do the work, and 8 AP’s with A’s tell them that. After that, the students selected are those who did something different, something unusual, made an impact, were creative, etc., ie., found a way to show who they are when they’re giving themselves to the fullest.
So, 10, 12, 15 AP’s isn’t what they’re looking for, but rather 8+EC impact. Obviously if you were interested in more than 8, have 10 or 12 with A’s, that’s fine, but it won’t make a difference for the colleges you’re targeting. It may make a difference for you personally if you really want to learn, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of everything else.
It’s a delicate balance and it’s really hard to do.

Remember, college isn’t the goal, it’s the bridge to the rest of your life. It’s a means to an end even if, for now, it’s a far away destination. :slight_smile: (Well, not so “far away” due to the Stanford internship).

When time comes, look into Questbridge.

A course that was one of the models of AP CS principles:
It is intended for those with no previous CS experience.