<p>I have a question for a friend. Her daughter is classified as gifted in their school system and is amazing in English, but her math skills are just okay. She is in regular, non-honors math classes, although one level accelerated (in other words, she is in Geometry as a ninth grader...regular path is to take Algebra and two level accelerated is Algebra II but most stellar freshman are in Algebra II honors on top of that) She is in honors English/History classes. State standardized testing used to show that she was "at goal" in math but "advanced" in English and writing.</p>

<p>She is thinking that the top colleges will only want kids that are top everything...highest math, highest English, etc. </p>

<p>But there have to be plenty of stellar kids that aren't so great in one subject, right?</p>

<p>College prefer the whole package: top math/science, top sports, top ecs/leadership plus top grades. And a lot of those students do exist.</p>

<p>If she can't or does not want to do the top math/science classes, she will need to Ace the regular classes she takes. </p>

<p>Lots of gifted kids are unevenly gifted, or develop differently at different times. Her math/science neurons may just not have kicked in yet. My D tests beyond the measurable scale in logic and reasoning areas - but the kid can not spell or remember the order of the months for the life of her - until age 15 and it all came together. By the way, tons of the kids at her CTY programs can't spell or remember what 8x7 equals. Growing brains are uneven. When it all kicks in she may be able to catch up with the rocket-science math crowd by grabbing a summer course or two.</p>

<p>Keep the Humanities strong, plus EC and leadership and she will be fine. There are multiple "best" colleges out there for every student.0</p>

<p>The top colleges take plenty of students who have lopsided talents. One needn't be taking APs in all subjects or to get As in all subjects to be accepted to a top college.</p>

<p>The one subject that one needs to be excellent in (This doesn't mean having an 800 SAT score, however, but a student with 800 math SAT and SAT II scores and a 550 English score probably won't get in) is English because excellent comprehension and writing skills are required in all majors at top colleges.</p>

<p>Is she taking honors level classes, even if she's not as accelearated as some other students? If she is, she's probably all right. She's still on track to take Calculus as a senior. It's not necessary to be stellar at everything, but you also have to realize there are quite a few students out there who are stellar at everything. There are plenty of great colleges that will find her attractive.</p>

<p>I agree with mathmom - she doesn't need to be "brilliant" in Math but she should not slack in her hs curriculum. What are her grades like? If she is pulling A's easily then she should take it up a notch. She should be on track to take Calculus as a senior and then she should take Calculus as a senior. Even if she wishes to major in English.</p>

<p>Over the years, I have seen many kids from our h.s. get into Ivy League schools with AB calc senior year; it is the kids who tell each other that you have to take BC to get into a top college. </p>

<p>She sounds like she will have great success in high school and in college admissions. As long as she is not trying to get into a top school with a major in math, physics, economics, she will be fine!</p>

<p>With due respect, I think that your friend is asking the wrong question. The right question is what math course is appropriate for the girl. Then, after evaluating her performance for two more years, you can ask what college might be appropriate for her.</p>

<p>In any event, one thing is clear--if this girl struggles in a more advanced math class, it will be counted strongly against her at the most selective colleges.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The right question is what math course is appropriate for the girl. Then, after evaluating her performance for two more years, you can ask what college might be appropriate for her.

[/quote]

I agree.
From what the OP wrote we don't know how she is doing in her current math classes.
I don't know what "her math skills are okay" means.</p>

<p>Some kids in hs don't "like math" and take the easiest classes they can get away with. Also, sometimes with a little effort a student can do well in a higher level if pushed.
I have no way of knowing if either of these two scenarios fit the OP's student in question.
I have seen plenty of very bright kids slack off in math and get away with it, because they either think they won't need math in college or they are protecting their GPA.</p>

<p>If the girl struggles in a more advanced math class she runs the risk of not completely developing the skills needed to move on.</p>

<p>She is in regular geometry in the ninth grade, not honors. In our school, the honors courses have a reputation of being killers...they are weighted a full point higher but the general consensus is that they are really two points more difficult. The daughter, who got an A in (regular...in 8th grade...no honors class) Algebra, opted out of honors Geometry because apparently she has poor spatial skills and didn't want to bomb it. However, she received an A in regular Geometry (which again, has the rep of being much easier than regular Geometry) and so is thinking of taking honors Algebra II next year. (Her fear had been that, if she did poorly in honors Geometry, she would not have qualified for honors Algebra II. And this did happen to some of her friends.) If she does not take honors Algebra II, then I'm not sure how well she would be prepared for honors Trig which then leads to Calc AB. (The other track is to go to non-honors Trig/Functions which leads to regular Calculus. I don't know if any kid has gone from non-honors to honors math that late in the game.)</p>

<p>That's pretty much all I know...my son is a junior in same school so I understand how tough the math classes are...he was in honors Algebra II as a Freshman, but it was so difficult (he got an A on the final but it was a miserable year!) that he moved into regular Trig/Functions as a sophomore and then to regular Calc. as a junior.</p>

<p>She should be in the math level appropriate for her. It looks like she will be on track for Calculus of some sort, regardless of what track she pursues next year. Algebra II in 10th grade, Trig of some sort in 11th and Calc in 12th. I have 2 kids who were accepted to top schools without AP Calc of any sort, having taken "regular" calculus senior year. They were both strong English/social studies kids, but not as strong in math. She should put extra effort into studying for the math part of her SAT or ACT and challenge herself, as appropriate, in her HS math classes. Everyone can't be great at everything and the colleges know that.</p>

<p>What do they remove from Calc AB to make "regular" calculus? It seems like the AP curriculum is already pretty watered down, so either they're being prepared for an AP test and should be counted as being in an AP class, or it's not really a useful class at all.</p>

<p>She should start out in Honors Alegbra next year but not be upset if she decides to drop down to regular Algebra.</p>

<p>I had a son who was (and is) fabulous in math -- 800s all the way. He took regular English and got Bs (and high 600s). He's at an Ivy. Go figure.</p>

<p>In our high school, "regular" calc is called "Applied Calculus". It is a full year course. I don't know the difference except that Applied Calc doesn't prepare you for the AP Calc AB exam. I supposed it's like any regular class versus AP (Biology, Chemistry, US History, etc.)</p>

<p>My kids' hs is also a tough prep school where honors math is challenging for kids who are excellent, hard-working, high level math students. It was not necessary to take the highest level of math, or even the middle level, to gain admission to excellent colleges. (Obviously, we're not talking about MIT or Cal Tech bound kids.) Off the top of my head, I can think of unhooked students in the lower level of math who ended up with AP Stats instead of Calc. senior year who are at Columbia , NYU, and Cornell. I have a kid who was in the regular level of math (no honors math until AP Calc. senior year) who is at a top 5 uni. </p>

<p>Honestly, there is no formula to which you have to adhere or you're doomed with respect to admissions. Unhooked kids with less challenging schedules end up getting into top colleges where kids with more challenging schedules (at the same hs) are turned down. One can only assume that the less challenging schedule kids have something else going for them that appealed to that uni more than the simple fact of taking honors chem over regular chem. Also, kids with lopsided talents, schedules, and interests do fine in admissions as long as there is very high achievement and longstanding commitment in the area of interest.</p>

<p>Mini has a point - however pointed that is. Also "gifted" does not necessarily imply that the student is good in every single area. In some cases the kids are precocious at a young age and get labeled gifted. Finally, some kids don't take "math" in college except for whatever class or two is required. Kids in high school should do the best they can in the toughest classes they can handle across the entire curriculum. After that it's clean slate in college where they will excel. It sounds like she'll be in 10th grade next year. 10th and 11th grades are generally critical years and it would be difficult this early to predict what her appropriate scope of colleges might be.</p>