Is it a good idea to take chem 1 honors, AP bio, and AP phy 1 in the same year

I’m going to be a junior this fall and I want to take chemistry 1 honors class, AP biology, and AP Physics 1 at the same time. I will take pre cal honors for math but my other classes will be regular. Is that too much? Please give honest replies! Thank you!

Too much for a couple of reasons. 3 science courses likely means you are avoiding another core subject. Even if not required by your HS, chem knowledge is useful for AP Bio. Push AP Bio to senior year.

I am not qualified to give advice on AP Bio yet, but from what I’ve heard it entails heavy workload, especially memorizing concepts/words. From my experience with AP Physics 1, I would strongly discourage you from taking the two in the same year. I suggest holding off on either of them for sr year.

  1. Trust @skieurope.
  2. Labs take a lot more time than you expect
  3. Many students are surprised by a jump in work load & teacher expectations in Jr year, and at the same time your level of responsibility/engagement in your ECs typically makes a big jump (esp with leadership roles).
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I’m a junior taking AP Chem now and I took AP Bio last year(my score was a 4). My advice: It’s a TERRIBLE idea. I hope this post is detailed enough.

AP Biology is intense. The class is strongly focused on understanding complex concepts like the electron transport chain, signal transduction, cell respiration, photosynthesis, angiosperm reproduction, etc. This class goes extremely in-depth in human biology explaining college-level material. I have some note packets I can send you if you’d like to see what I’m talking about. Not only that, the vocab is extensive, and there are 43 chapters, each challenging and new. I took a double class in biology which helped my chances of passing (and my two amazing teachers). Taking biology and chemistry and physics in 1 year isn’t ambitious but it’s more self-destructive.

Next up is chemistry. I don’t know specifically what you’re going to learn as some schools do things differently, but like Bio, chem has a lot of important vocab and concepts. Stuff like electron configuration and equilibrium will take time to learn and requires a true understanding of the topic. Overall chem will be a good class to take as a junior if you have a passion for science. Try looking at some sample topics on Khan Academy and see if you like it.

I can’t speak too well on physics, but 48.4% of students nationally fail that exam. You may have an exceptional teacher but 3 science classes are sure to hurt your chances. Source

tl;dr Don’t half-heartedly try on 3 different things, put your whole effort into one thing, and really understand it. Overall you’ll learn better and can spend more time on anything else that matters to you. You have 2 more years of high school. Pick the two classes that seem the most interesting to you.

Hope this helps!

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My son took AP Bio, AP Phys 1, AP Calc AB, AP Lang, and AP USH, and an elective his junior year. He got A’s, but I felt that he didn’t have much of a life left after swim practices and hospital volunteer. He was only able to swing that because his friends are at the two major ECs so he got social outlet out of it. In addition, his friends also were in his AP classes. I just wouldn’t recommend it because it comes at a social, balanced life costs. My son handled it well, but I just don’t think that’s a normal thing to do. He did say that he would’ve had homework in the reg core classes anyway so a little bit of extra time didn’t matter, but I just wouldn’t suggest it.

Taking multiple AP courses is a different question than three specific science AP courses.

Multiple AP courses depends on the student’s capability. But even for those who can handle the rigor, three science courses at a time is a bad idea, for the reasons noted above.


Thank you for replying. I think you make a point. I’ve decided to take off AP physics now.

Thank you for replying! I’ve decided to take off AP phy.

Thank you! I’ve done some thinking and I’ve decided to take off a science class.

Thank you for replying! I’ve decided to take off AP Phy.

Wow! Your son is amazing! I don’t think I can ever do that! What college is he going to? I bet it’s a really selective one.

Thank you for such a descriptive reply! I’ve taken your advice and decided not to kill my GPA next year. Thank you!

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I totally agree with delaying physics until senior year. You’re not interested in honors/AP English and history? It’s just that it seems very unbalanced, to be considering two AP sciences plus an honors science, but no honors/AP in the humanities.