Is it better to have A in AP Stats or C in Calculus BC?

Hi, i’m a senior currently enrolled in ap calc bc and i’m really struggling in the class (especially due to distance learning) and i highly doubt i would be able to get an A or B in the class this semester. I’m thinking about dropping the class, and taking ap stats (its an easy A at my school) but I’m also afraid of what the colleges would think as a potential architecture major. Please help!

AP Stats is known to be an easy A just about anywhere and the colleges know this. But for many its an interesting /fun class. Get help with the bc. Talk to your parents about a tutor if needed

Use this…

If BC isn’t necessary for the architecture, I’d drop it in a heartbeat. Unless you’re going into engineering, I don’t think colleges would care.

Architecture majors at my dream school only have to take 2 semesters of calc, and my ab score does count as one of those semesters. If I don’t take BC now, i would have to finish one semester in college, which in the long run I can’t really tell if it would be better to risk getting a C (and maybe lower chance of getting into colleges, but shows i took rigorous classes) or take the class later after getting into college. this is also especially hard now because colleges aren’t necessarily taking SAT/ACT into consideration and there is a huge weight on grades and essays.

We don’t know enough about you, your stats or target colleges. Or how you did in AB. But generally, if you’ve taken AB, you have this behind you and I’d think you can drop BC.

Lots of kids not going for highest competition stem futures will take AP stats after a higher math.

You need your GC. And a reasonable list of affordable colleges for your record. Architecture can be a grad program, too.

For undergrad Engineering (which I know about) the differential equations and multiple integral topics from second-year Calculus matter. For undergrad Architecture (which I’m guessing about), probably not. [I’m talking actual coursework utility, vs the college admissions angle]. I tried teaching myself Calculus as a HS sophomore and got nowhere. A year later, taking a CC class, it was hard but went ok. So even though high schools have been ramming two years of college Calc down students’ throats to no real point (most practicing engineers don’t use a lot of Calculus), you might find with another year of academic maturity things will go smoother. As for Statistics, I took a rigorous version (vs … “for social sciences”) in college, and it served me well over the years whether in my engineering career or beyond. Not so much being able to do specific calculations as having a firm understanding of the concepts – knowing when a “statistic” being proffered made sense, or was nonsense.

Actually, the material from the end of precalculus to the completion of calculus BC is equivalent to one year of college calculus. High schools that take two years to cover this material (often AB first year, rest of BC second year) are doing it at a slower pace than college calculus does it.

BArch programs seem to vary in the amount of calculus required, probably related to what physics courses they require and what those physics courses’ math prerequisites are.

What you are doing now isn’t working. You need to change how you study.
Dropping it now may not be the best idea…now you are taking Calc BC over a year…in college you have to do it in one semester.

So what to change? Here are some ideas. Basically…stop trying to do this on your own and get help. Practice more.

Believe it or not this will be a good time to deal with a class that is hard for you...this will probably happen in college too.


  2. Go to Teacher’s office hours early in the semester and Ask this question: “I know this is a really difficult class-- what are some of the common mistakes students make and how can I avoid them?”

  3. If you have problems with the homework, go to Teacher’s office hours. If they have any “help sessions” or “study sessions” or any thing extra, go to them.

  4. Form a study group with other kids in your class.

  5. Don’t do the minimum…for STEM classes do extra problems. You can buy books that just have problems for calculus or physics or chemistry whatever. Watch online videos (e.g., Khan Academy) about the topic you are studying.

  6. If things still are not going well, get a tutor. Your National Honor Society will have some. Or ask a teacher for a referral.

  7. Read this book: How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport. It helps you with things like time management and how to figure out what to write about for a paper, etc.

  8. For tests that you didn’t do well on, can you evaluate what went wrong? Did you never read that topic? Did you not do the homework for it? Do you kind of remember it but forgot what to do? Then next time change the way you study…there may be a study skill center at your guidance office.

  9. How much time outside of class do you spend studying/doing homework? Is it enough?

  10. If you run into any social/health/family troubles (you are sick, your parents are sick, someone died, broke up with boy/girlfriend, suddenly depressed/anxiety etcetc) then immediately go to the guidance counselor and talk to them.

  11. At the beginning of the semester, read the syllabus for each class. It tells you what you will be doing and when tests/HW/papers are due. Put all of that in your calendar. The teacher may remind you of things, but it is all there for you to see so take initiative and look at it.

  12. Make sure you understand how to use your online class system…Login to it, read what there is for your classes, know how to upload assignments (if that is what the teacher wants).

  13. If you get an assignment…make sure to read the instructions and do all the tasks on the assignment. Look at the rubric and make sure you have covered everything.

  14. If you are not sure what to do, go EARLY to the teacher’s office hours…not the day before the assignment is due.

  15. Take advantage of any “re-do” tests you may be able to take…your teacher wants you to learn the material. Future material depends on it so you need to have the foundation. By explaining what went wrong you really understand it. Take advantage of this.