Junior year scheduling - I'm stuck between two AP science classes

I’m new to College Confidential so I’m sorry if this is posted in the wrong forum! I also apologize in advance for rambling…
This is the time of year where we start to decide our classes for next year and I’m undecided between AP Environmental Science and AP Biology. I took bio in 8th grade, chem as a freshman, and I’m currently in AP chem as a sophomore.
I pretty much had my heart set on APES because I am somewhat interested in pursuing a career related to climate change (I do some volunteer work with a local climate organization), it’s still an AP but not one that’s super demanding (which will be good since I’m planning on having a very full schedule next year), and I’ve heard bad things from pretty much every person who takes AP bio in my school. My school is small enough that there’s only one teacher who teaches the class, and pretty much every single upperclassman I’ve talked to tells me to take APES.
My parents believe that I’ll be completely fine since in bio I’m apparently soo much academically superior to every single other person in my school :roll_eyes:I am a straight-A student but I’m no Einstein. The one thing they could be right about though; being the more rigorous class, colleges might prefer AP Bio.
I guess it boils down to how bad AP Environmental Science will look on my transcript. If I express my interest surrounding climate change, and I also have AP Chem and AP Physics on my transcript (I plan on taking AP Physics I as a Senior), will it be enough? Thanks so much!

Listen to the upperclassmen. They are the only ones who really know, having been through it. Yes, AP Bio is a more useful, more important class than AP Env Sci. AP Bio gives you the basis for understanding life science, which includes health science - and we all will have health issues at some point in our lives. But you can take AP Bio as a senior. Colleges seem to consider the “rigor” of what one is taking senior year, even when applying early action.

Right now, for next year, you should take challenging classes that you’re interested in, in which you can do well. So if you feel that AP Env Sci fits that description for you more than AP Bio does, and especially if the students ahead of you are advising Env Sci, go with that.


Take the AP ES. It is in line with your developing interests, which is equally important to the college application process. Best wishes to you!

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Does your school not offer Physics? Advanced students generally are expected to take each of the big 3 sciences - Bio, Chem, Physics - then AP for one of them Senior year. (They can be taken out of order, but all three should be hit).

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I didn’t really consider taking two sciences as a senior but I’ll keep that in mind now, thank you!

I guess my school is weird. For AP Physics 1 you only need to have completed or be concurrently enrolled in pre-calc, which I’m taking next year. You do need physics for AP Physics C but I’m not going to put myself through Physics C haha

What would your schedule be?
You could potentially take APES jr year, Ap physics 1 senior year, and completion APES with Ap bio(showing interest in both + since APES is easier it’s easier to add bio then) OR add it senior year (harder to do but shows progression in academic challenges in the sciences).
However limit yourself to 4 APs each year, don’t forget English, and make sure you get to Calculus if you can.

I would include AP Physics 1 in the “one year of each science” bucket, with AP Physics C in the “AP science” bucket. To me, 1/2 are basically the equivalent of an honors first year science course, and I believe most colleges would see it that way (similar in rigor to ES).

So if you haven’t taken it, I would recommend AP Physics 1 and then one of AP Chem/Bio/Physics C. You can take them in either order, but the AP class usually comes Senior year.