What should I do about my current situation?

Hello I’m a junior in highschool and I’m taking AP Lang and AP bio. I’m also doing a dance and hope to be involved in internships + extracurriculars (currently a Vice President of a club as well as involved in other clubs.) I took AP world last year, but my school offers 16 Aps. I feel like the small amount of Aps I have looks terrible. I want to go to UCLA but I feel as though my chances are very low. I am thinking about changing my marine bio class to AP environmental science. This will higher my gpa and I’m interested in it, but it has also been 4 weeks since school started and my counselor has advised against it due to me having to catch up. I feel like I could do it, but I’m scared of the large change + having to leave some friends I made in my current marine bio class. I could also potentially have less time for everything…Should I just take AP enviro online where it doesn’t count for my gpa or should I switch it with my marine bio? My future career choices range from vet to plastic surgeon. (I also wish to take 3 more Aps senior year.)

I’m also just a high school junior, so don’t give my opinion much weight.

Don’t you think that the level of inconvenience you’re willing to go through for just one AP course is a bit much? Leaving behind some new friends, switching courses, etc.,

If I was an admissions officer, I’d probably view it as a confused student being fickle. If your counselor advises you not to, I don’t think you should. I’m taking AP Environmental Science. It’s a really nice course, but if you want to be a vet or surgeon, I don’t think it will make much of a difference. Just stick to what you’re already doing.


Take a deep breath. You will still be able to achieve your goals, and most likely preserve your mental health, if you continue your current path. Your application will not only be about your course load and grades. 4 weeks in is late to switch classes - especially for an AP class that likely had summer work.


I wouldn’t worry about switching at this point. Most colleges consider APES to be one of the least challenging and impressive AP classes. Instead, make sure you will be taking the typical science trifecta of Bio/Chem/Physics and one of those as an AP (which you are already doing) would be much better, especially if you plan on targeting T20 schools.


What’s your current schedule ?

For admissions, marine bio isn’t all that different from APES since APES is one of the easiest APs.
However if you don’t take bio, chem, and physics (honors if available)+ 1 science AP it’s more of a problem.
I’ll assume you took bio in 9th grade, chem in 10th, AP Bio now, and arr planning on either AP Physics 1 or Honors physics senior year. With those science classes, you’re good to go :wink::+1:


There is no AP quota for schools like UCLA which is a Reach school for all applicants regardless so you should not just focus on one school since there are so many schools where a student can succeed.

Most universities would prefer you take the AP courses offered at your school which appears many. No one can tell you if you should switch your Marine Bio to AP Environmental but since a school like UCLA considers HS course rigor Very Important, it might be worth the switch and especially if you a have an interest in the subject. I am a huge advocate of taking courses of interest vs. just for college admissions. AP Environmental Science however is not considered a difficult AP class in comparison to other AP classes.

What does your Senior class schedule look like? You will want at least a course in Chemistry, Biology and Physics by end of Senior year and not all have to AP courses.

This is a difficult decision and only you can determine what will be best of your situation.

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I want to thank you all for your input, it’s been really helpful! I’ve never looked at it in that perspective, it makes things more clear.

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Relax. Take the class that makes the most sense for you. Do not worry about university admissions. Most likely this means sticking with the classes that you are already taking. Marine biology sounds like an interesting class to take.

One daughter is in veterinary school right now (a DVM program). When she was an undergraduate student many of her courses were also premed classes, which meant that she met and became friendly with many premed students.

Medical school and veterinary school admissions will not depend much at all on which “top 200” university you attend in the US. They will depend upon your undergraduate grades and upon relevant experience (whether in medical or veterinary situations).

You do not need to take any AP classes to get into a very good university. A handful of AP classes will be fine. You also do not need to get into UCLA to get into a very good MD or DVM program. It is not even clear whether attending UCLA rather than a slightly lower ranked university will help you at all to get into a very good MD or DVM program.

Doing well in the classes that you do take will help you. Also, staying sane and not stressing out too much will help you. It does not seem to me that switching into an AP class four weeks into the semester is a good way to stay sane.


My current schedule is

AP Biology
AP English language
H Us History
Marine biology
Pre Calc

I’m thinking of taking AP Chem and honors physics in senior year.

Do you live in CA?

If possible, take Foreign Language level 3 or 4 instead of drawing or dance.

Are you in precalculus regular because your school doesn’t offer precalculus honors or because your previous math class didn’t qualify you for honors precalculus ?

A good senior schedule could be
Ap chem
Physics honors
English Honors
Ap gov/econ
FL 4
Ap calc AB or honors calc
Fun class

Think more broadly. Free advice. If you want to go to medical school, do not enter with the intention of being any kind of specific specialty doctor. You have no idea whether that will be realistic for you or not. If you can’t picture yourself doing primary care, think twice about medical school. @WayOutWestMom

Are you instate for CA? If so, there are tons of excellent CA public universities. Apply broadly! As noted UCLA is a reach for just about everyone.