I literally can't take more than 1 AP class next year :')

Alright, just a heads up, I’m currently in 9th grade. I wasn’t able to take any AP classes this year at all. On top of that, next year I’ll be only able to take 1 (AP World) which is just, so fantastic, I’ll have room to take another, but only if I drop orchestra, but I’m honestly doing pretty good in Orchestra (level 5 NYSSMA, one of the 15 remotely okay violinists in my grade, yadda yadda), so, uh, would it be worth dropping orch to take another AP? Or does that give me less of a ~personality~ or whatever?

Side note: I absolutely despise my school. No Honors or IB or anything, just advanced classes which are regular classes, just… faster? They don’t give you your GPA until the end of 11th, and guidance counselors refuse to part with more than the bare minimum of information, which just makes the whole course selection process even more confusing :’)

Hi! I’m a senior at a school almost exactly like this. No APs or DEs in anything until Junior year, and only 3 honors classes in 8th-10th (Alg 1, Geometry, Alg 2). Trust me, I know how frustrating this can be. Because of your limited opportunities, it is even more important to take advantage of each one; however, don’t give up something you love and are good at for an AP. If you love orchestra and you’re good at it, I would consider sticking with that class. Although it is easy to try to pick classes based on what colleges want, choose classes that interest you, and you are passionate about. This will result in better grades and a better high school experience. Colleges will accept you with or without an extra AP. Good luck :slight_smile:
P.S. Don’t worry about schools judging you based on your lack of AP courses. They will look at your application in the context of your school! If you only had 1 AP offered, they will understand that.

APs are not a magic bullet. There are plenty of schools that don’t offer any AP, and lots that don’t let 9th (or even 10th) graders take them.

Every school provides the colleges you apply to with the options available to students, including the number & type of advanced classes and averages of participants and outcomes. Your application will be evaluated in the context of what was available to you. Your GC will check a box on your app to indicate how ‘rigorous’ your courses were- which does not mean that you took every AP available, but that in the context of your school you took a most / very / highly / average / below average / not rigorous class schedule. If you are looking at competitive colleges, take the hardest levels available to you - and get top grades in them.

You also don’t need an ‘official’ GPA before the end of 11th: you know what your grades are in your core academic classes (English / Math / Lab Science / Social Science / Foreign Language- you should be taking 1 of each of those each year). Your UW GPA in those classes is the most useful GPA # (an A=4, B=3, C=2- add it up & divide by the # of classes).

Whatever your goals are for college (and I would expect them to change or modify a bit over the next 2.5 years), this is the best advice going:

My D’s HS was the same. 0 AP courses allowed freshman year, 1 sophomore year, and 3 each junior and senior year.

Colleges assess your transcript in context of your school. They won’t penalize you for what isn’t offered.

And yes, stick with orchestra!

Exactly. One daughter attended a high school that does not offer any AP classes at all. She was accepted to every university she applied to, and got merit aid at most of them.

If you like orchestra, then I too would stick with orchestra.

Do you get grades all along? If you get to see your grades, I do not see what is gained by having the schools compute your GPA. You can see how you are doing in your classes.

Universities do not expect you to fix your high school. They expect you to do well at whatever high school you attend.

Yes- nice point, @DadTwoGirls

When given the choice between continuing an activity like orchestra in which a student is already heavily invested, which they enjoy, versus adding one more AP class, the answer is almost always to continue with the activity.

So, in my opinion, @builtdifferent, you should not drop orchestra. The benefits of orchestra for you, in all facets of your life, including college admissions, are far higher than the benefits of taking one more AP.

In any case, you are in 9th grade, and college is somewhere in the future, so keep your focus on being your best you in high school. Your plan for high school should be that, when you graduate high school in three and a half years, you will be proud of what you accomplished, regardless of the college which you attend.

Take care and good luck!

PS. My kid took no APs in either freshman or sophomore years and is attending a really good college.

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You can calculate your GPA yourself any time you want.