Junior year and AP classes

I am a junior in high school and I am taking one ap and all honors classes. I am planning to take 4 or 5 my senior year. I am hoping to go to a top 20 college. Does it matter what year I take AP classes and does it look good taking these classes senior year. Does it ruin my chances by only taking one my junior year?

When you take the classes doesn’t matter, but you’ll be unable to submit the scores for junior year, so that would have been a consideration if you want to show strength in a particular subject area (take the SAT Subject Test in that subject if possible IMO.) Keep in mind that 4+ AP classes in a year is a difficult schedule, especially if they’re classes like AP Calculus, Biology/Physics/Chem, US History etc. that have a reputation for being time-intensive, and it’ll definitely be hard to adjust from taking 1-2 AP courses. My recommendation is to take AP classes in the subjects you’re interested in, don’t feel like you HAVE to take AP classes in every subject: colleges understand that not everyone likes AP English or AP Science.

Getting into a T20 university, or any selective university, is a different story, as most conduct a holistic review applicants: it’s not just your test scores and GPA that matters, but your essays, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation as well. Regarding AP classes, it’s difficult to provide advice as these universities consider applicants IN CONTEXT: at a school that only offers 3 AP courses, it’s fine to be taking 2-3 of those, but colleges expect students at a school with more AP courses to take more of them-----the latter had the OPPORTUNITY to do so, while the former didn’t. Your guidance counselor, especially if your school has a history of sending students to T20s, will be best positioned to advise you on the course rigor exhibited by prior admits from your school.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

Admissions officers do consider course rigor as a very important factor, in addition to academic performance/grades. One Junior year and four Senior year will be looked at as more rigorous than one each year, so yes, it’s worth taking them. It’s equally true that four as a Junior and four as a Senior will be looked at as more rigorous (assuming similar course difficulty, similar # of courses offered by the high school, etc.). That’s just how it is.

If your school offers a full slate of AP courses (15-20 or more), taking one Junior year probably will be below average for “T20” schools. That doesn’t “ruin “ your chances - admissions is a complex process considering many, many factors for every applicant. Focus on what you can control - grades, test scores, essays, recommendations, extracurriculars, etc - that go into any decision.

Thanks for the advice!! My school offers around 10 -12 ap classes so I’m worried 6 or 7 isn’t enough. My school isn’t known for sending kids to Ivy’s, just not our thing I guess. But your saying that colleges will weigh in senior ap classes as much as senior? I was also wondering if honors classes are good too.

You aren’t evaluated on the ratio of AP classes you took to what your high school actually offers. Colleges will look at your actual transcript for evidence you took a challenging and rigorous course load. Your high school will send a school profile along with your transcript that will help admissions evaluate you in the correct context.

Also, on your guidance counselor’s letter of recommendation there’s a box asking if you took the most rigorous course load available at your high school. You would have to ask him/her what that means for you. It is a little late to change your track, but top colleges expect to see that box checked. Of course it is not the only factor in the decision, but it would give you some more data in terms of where you stand.

What APs are you thinking of taking? What classes are you taking right now?

You have another discussion posted asking the same questions and you have been given some really good advice.

This is my opinion about your schedule.

Going from 1 AP to 6-7 AP’s Senior year would not be advisable since there is the one hidden Senior class students forget about which are college applications. Applications can be very time consuming.

Also in Senior year it is very important to maintain good grades since your acceptances will be provisional and if your grades falter, you could get your acceptances rescinded.

The huge increase in rigor could help your chances, but you will only have 1st semester Senior grades to show colleges how you are doing with all these AP classes.

I would have planned out the schedule with more of a balance and taken 2-3 AP’s this year and the rest Senior year.

Is there a limitation for Juniors on the # of AP’s your school allows? Why only 1 AP?

He whom takes the most AP’s very seldom wins the admission race, so I would do your best in your classes this year and reevaluate your schedule for a better balance next.

Best of luck.

I’d agree with the posters above. At many schools, including mine, there is a limit on the number of APs you can take in a single year (usually 4/5).

I am taking al language and comp right now and I am thinking of taking calc ab, physics, chem, human geo, and ap English my senior year and maybe more over the summer