Senior Year Schedule, Workload


<p>Since registration is next week, I'm gearing up to choose classes for senior year. I'd love to get some outside opinions on my last few uncertainties. I've included this year's schedule and what I know I'll take next year, plus the options I'm considering.</p>

<p>Junior Year:</p>

AP Chemistry
AP English Language
AP Spanish Language
AP Calculus AB
AP US History</p>

<p>Senior Year:</p>

AP Physics B
AP English Lit
AP European History
AP Calculus BC
AP Macroeconomics/??? (AP Government, study hall, or possibly AP Micro)
??? (AP Environmental Science or a semester of college Spanish)</p>

<li><p>If I take APES, will I be able to handle the total workload? It's been a little bit rough for me this year, but I could do it again. I wouldn't be able to handle twice the work, however. I know that English will be VERY demanding next year, and most of the others are said to be pretty difficult.</p></li>
<li><p>I love Spanish, and taking a college course appeals to me a lot. Leaving campus requires two periods, though, so I could only take it the semester I'm not taking Econ. Another concern is that, by law, any college A is entered as a 96 in my transcript, and I have no way of knowing whether that would jeopardize my class rank (1). I know it shouldn't be a deal-breaker if I want to take Spanish, but I'm looking at competitive colleges.... Help?!?! </p></li>

<p>I know these are my own decisions, influenced by individual factors, but I'd love any outside input. Anybody?</p>

<p>Thanks so much.</p>

<p>I’d highly recommend continuing with Spanish - colleges like seeing four years of foreign language, and many other applicants will have four years.</p>

<p>Your schedule is plenty rigorous even if you do choose a study hall, so if you want to do that, don’t rule that out. If you’re up for taking another AP, though, Micro is probably a good idea.</p>

<p>As for the class rank issue, you’re going to be at or near the top of your class either way. I take it your class rank is calculated based on the actual percentage grade in each class?</p>

<p>I think the colleges would rather see the college-level Spanish and four years of Spanish with a very high rank than a different course with rank 1.</p>

<p>Plus, you never know whether the rest of the people at the top are going to have a tough year or are going to get a bad case of senioritis.</p>

<p>Ultimately, go with what you want to do. All of your options look good.</p>

<p>Thanks for the input, especially about Spanish. Yes, class rank is based on actual weighted grades. Is the automatic 96 something that could be explained in the information from my guidance counselor if I do end up bumped down? Again, and as you point out, I have no idea whether this is likely or not.</p>

<p>Why do you say that Micro would be a good idea?</p>

<p>If you have already maxed out on the Spanish with AP Spanish, I’d call it a day, unless you plan on being a language major in college .Take the classes that you can get the best grades in- killing yourself by taking more AP classes than you can handle your Sr year and getting less than great grades will not help you “look good” to colleges.
What you need to also know is the whole college application process- filling out college applications, writing and rewriting essays, asking teachers for LOR’s, making sure they actually sent them, etc, etc- can be VERY time consuming and is like trying to do a part time job in addition to your class load during the first semester of your Sr year. So I would take the AP classes you were interested in AND have the best chance of continuing to do well in…</p>

<p>Yeah, your counselor could explain the automatic 96. The college process itself isn’t too bad if you get a head start over the summer.</p>

<p>I think Micro would be a good idea in combination with Macro because they go together and Micro is IMO more useful than Gov unless you’re going into politics/government.</p>

<p>What are you looking at in terms of major/career?</p>

<p>Honestly, I think Spanish might be an easier option than another AP class. I would only have to go to class a few days a week, and the automatic 96 (for any A) would eliminate some pressure. But I don’t know - I’ve never taken a college-level course, and I suppose the workload could be overwhelming. Arrrrgh. If I don’t take a class opposite Macro, that would be a study hall first semester, which sounds advisable, yes? But doing that would mean choosing a yearlong AP for the empty period (and not taking Spanish).</p>

<p>The reason I’ll have taken only three years of Spanish, by the way, is that I skipped from Level 2 to AP, which usually comes after Level 3. Does that make it more acceptable not to have foreign language senior year?</p>

<p>I have no idea what I want to major in, let alone do for the rest of my life. Most days I lean toward humanities instead of math/science, but even that is nowhere near decided. I guess at this point I’m just trying to keep all my options open.</p>

<p>I would be very careful about assuming you could get an easy A in a college level class…
I think you should get the advise of your college counselor about all of this, especially taking a class outside of school. I think is is very risky to have fewer classes next year in the hopes of doing well in Spanish in a college level course. But here’s another question- why do you think you need to take 7 classes next year if you only took 6 this year? Is this recommended ? or typical of top students at your school ?[ My son took 2 AP’s his JR year and 4 his SR year and was accepted at all[ 13/ 14] but one college, including 2 Ivy’s, Chicago, Wash U and many others. He had a free period both years.]
The most important thing that colleges want is for you to take a rigorous course load AND and do well in those courses. So my advise is to stick with the same # of AP’s this year and do both macro and micro economics.I think you have MORE than enough AP’s under your belt to be competitive</p>

<p>I’m only taking six classes, but AP Chemistry lasts two periods, so I’m in class all day. I have no college counselor and my guidance counselor is less than helpful with specific questions, so I appreciate the advice, plus the different perspectives.</p>

<p>If I find out somehow (through a student or professor) that I CAN do well in the Spanish class, do you think that’s a reasonable option? Then I wouldn’t be able to take Micro (only offered first semester), but I could take AP Government second semester.</p>

<p>(The college we’re talking about, by the way, is not highly selective or demanding, as far as I know. It’s a good school, but a pretty high percentage of local seniors are admitted every year.)</p>

<p>The colleges you apply to will NOT see your DAILY schedule. They will ONLY see the list of the classes you took and are taking each semester, believe me. They wont care how your daily schedule is laid out or how many periods a particular class takes up . And any college prof will tell you that they can’t tell you how well you’ll do in their class. You get a lot less “hand holding” in class from profs- and more "see me during office hours if you’re having trouble’ . If Spanish is a “relatively” new language to you[ you don’t speak it at home frequently] and you’ve only had a few years of class, and have the AP designation already under your belt this year, then dont take that chance of trying it at at college your senior year. Take the AP micro /macro combo or what ever Government AP class that will give you the same # of AP classes next year as this year. If you end up with a study hall period both semesters next year, you will end up being very grateful to have that break in your day, trust me.
[I’m assuming[?] that AP Physics doesn’t take up 2 periods like AP Chem…]</p>

<p>I know they won’t see my daily schedule. However, I imagine colleges know AP Chem and AP Bio (but not AP Physics) are lab sciences that require two periods in a seven-period day, which is relevant because it means that I couldn’t take another AP class.</p>

<p>“I imagine colleges know AP Chem and AP Bio (but not AP Physics) are lab sciences that require two periods in a seven-period day”
NO. Colleges assume that all the AP science classes- physics, chem, bio- ALL have labs. How they are scheduled by the HS is not of interest to college admissions officers. Nor is there a place on college applications to even put the class schedule of students. My sons AP Physics class, at a top 50 private HS in the US, which sends at least half of its graduates to top 10 U’s, was taught 4 days a week- 2 labs and 2 lectures.The subject of when classes were scheduled was never brought up.Some schools stagger classes on the Block schedule. Some have every class taught every day. Believe me, you are thinking that AD mins have the time to scrutinize every part of every application- they don’t. They pay attn to your GPA, rigor of the classes taken, SAT Scores, EC’s and IF you make the first “cut”, then your essays are what take up their time. You don’t need to overstuff your schedule in an effort to impress Admins. The number of AP classes you will have taken by the time you graduate is impressive enough as is. Many directors of admissions at tip top colleges are trying to encourage students to not get into the AP “arms race”. More AP classes does not equal a more impressive application.</p>

<p>Re: physics - I’m not exactly sure what your point is. Like I said, I know colleges don’t care about my class schedule; I only mentioned that Chemistry is two periods because you brought up the number of classes I’m taking.</p>

<p>You (or anyone) would recommend taking Macro/Micro and a study hall? Even if not having four years of foreign language puts me at a disadvantage?</p>

<p>ask for a copy of your School Profile report, which is sent to colleges with your college counselors LOR. it should have lots of information such as, # of AP classes offered, explanations ,grading information[ taking an AP class = .3+ bump ] # students taking AP classes, their AP scores etc, etc.That is the information that college admissions officers will use to interpret the rigor of the school and your academic record, compared to other students</p>

<p>this is an example of a profile:
<a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt;.
As you can see there is no mention of how classes are scheduled.</p>

<p>"You (or anyone) would recommend taking Macro/Micro and a study hall? Even if not having four years of foreign language puts me at a disadvantage? "
yes, since you will have already taken the highest level of foreign language your school offers. You will be judged in the context of your school first, and judged against students from other schools next. You shouldn’t be at a disadvantage, especially if you score a 4 or 5 on your AP Spanish test[ take the non listening SAT subject test as well- but avoid the listening SAT, as it has a mean curve for those who are non- native speakers of Spanish]. That will show admissions officers that you have mastered the subject as well as those who took 4 years and scored the same as you.
However, if most Spanish language students at your school take AP Spanish their JR year, and then go to the local College for more Spanish their senior year, and this will be mentioned by your guidance counselor in his LOR for you, then you may have to rethink this. I still maintain that taking 5 AP classes is PLENTY rigorous, and will not put you at a “disadvantage”, particularily when compared to students whose schools restrict the # of AP’s students can take. </p>

<p>Have you looked at / scheduled the recommended/ required SAT subject tests that colleges ask for? you could take 4 total this year- 2 each in May and June, and be done with subject tests if you do are happy with your scores. US history, Spanish[ non listening], Math II, and English Lang. correspond to your current AP classes.</p>

<p>APES is a joke and will will not push your workload over the limit. Of all the classes you are taking, it is by far the least rigorous.</p>

<p>I’d recommend Gov over Micro. It’s more common and Gov is incredibly easy as well, particularly if you know ANYTHING at all about US government (ex. you’ve watched the news before). Exception is if you are particularly interested in economics.</p>

<p>What is APES stand for?</p>

<p>I suggest you choose the ap classes that really interest you. APES would the last thing you’d want to take ( I’m dealing with it right now) and Calculus isn’t the easiest unless you’re excellent in math. Government would be the best class to take for social studies, because you just have to know all the facts, not concepts like economics.</p>

<p>AP environmental science</p>