Should I Choose AP Calc AB or AP Stats

Hi Everyone!

Currently I am a sophomore (c/o 2023) and I am picking my junior year schedule this Friday. This is a very important year in my life and I want to make sure I don’t regret making a decision. Ultimately, my career goal is to become a physician so I want to make my year as resourceful as possible, though I do not want to overload it. Currently I am set on taking AP Biology and AP Lang, the problem is, I cannot choose if I want to take AP Stats or AP Calc AB (Our school doesn’t offer BC). The AP Biology teacher at my school is not the greatest and I have heard that we have to self-study more than any other AP classes that are offered at our school. I am worried I won’t have time for AP Calc because of this and also I am the president of two clubs at the moment. Whatever I decide, I will still be taking both during High School, I just need help deciding which to take first.

I consider myself pretty knowledgable in math, though. I am currently in Pre-Calculus and I am doing pretty good in the class.

Another Note: I have never taken an AP Class in my life and my school does not have an honor class system. Also, I am trying to go to some good colleges, anywhere from Stanford to UC Irvine.

AP Stats:
Pro - Easier workload
Pro - Won’t be busy
Pro - Less Stressful
Pro - Can spend more time in AP Bio
Pro - Looks sort of interesting
Pro - Going to have time to settle in since I haven’t taken an AP before
Pro - I have tons of friends taking it too, so they can be a support system
Con - The teacher sucks
Con - Will have to take AP Calc senior year, do not know how hectic that would be
Con - Wondering if I will be wasting my time if I don’t jump straight to AP Calc from Pre-Calc

AP Calc:
Pro - Great teacher (One of the best at our school)
Pro - I have someone who would teach me AP Calc
Pro - I can just get it out of the way
Pro - More impressive on transcript (taking both ap bio and ap calc at the same time)
Pro - Looks sort of interesting
Pro - Won’t be wasting time and I may remember stuff from Pre-Calc
Con - Workload is crazy especially if I’m going to do it with AP Bio
Con - Jumping too fast? (Going from 0 AP to 2 of the hardest APs offered at our school + AP Lang)
Con - Will have barely any time to focus on biology
Con - If I fall behind, it is going to be rough for me
Con - Barely know anyone going into AP Calc next fall

Thank you all for reading and I hope you guys can really help me out!

The pros for taking calc outweigh all cons.

Do you think I will have enough time though considering we go back to school? Because I am also president of 2 clubs and I may have to spend 5 hours on AP Bio and AP Calc combined, since AP Bio the teacher for our school basically doesn’t teach and has a very intense workload and for AP Calc the workload is also very intense, though not as bad as bio.

Applicants to Stanford commonly taken 3 or more AP course as a junior. While the workload depends on the teacher, 5 hours of HW per night for 2 classes as rare.

Have you taken Chem and physics? If not, I would get those out of the way before tacking AP Bio

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Thank you for putting your time into this, and I am currently taking regular chemistry (would have taken honors if our school offered honor classes, crazy how they don’t) and I plan to take physics this summer via college classes. I don’t plan to take AP Chem or AP Physics in my high school career though because I want to put more time in my extracurriculars.

Stanford is a super reach school to me, I do not believe I have the work ethic nor the intelligence to get into Stanford and I do not expect to make the cut. It is just merely an unrealistic/fantasy goal for me that would motivate me to do more in my high school career. My realistic college goals would be UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and even maybe USC and UCLA.

Prioritize AP Calculus over AP Bio. As a result, I’d suggest you take AP Calculus AB junior year and find a dual enrollment Calculus 2 class at a local community college for senior year.
Take AP Bio senior year (it won’t look “impressive” to college adcoms that you took AP Calc and AP Bio together, since they have no way to know anything about your Bio teacher.)

What classes are you planning to take in 11th and 12th grade in each of these subjects:
English: … ,…
Math: Calc AB, …
Science: …, AP Bio
Social Science: …, …
Foreign Language: …, …
Personal picks: … ,…

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I decided I am going to be taking AP Bio and AP Calc together this year. My schedule looks like this for the next two years (left is junior, right is senior):

English: AP Lang , Film Lit
Math: Calc AB, AP Stats
Science: AP Bio, AP Physics 1 and AP Psychology
Social Science: US History, AP Gov
Foreign Language: Spanish 3, None for senior year
Electives: Ceramics, Accounting (Both required by school)

I don’t really have that much freedom to take more classes because we only have six periods, but I think this will do.

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Looks good, but ask till you can switch things around.