Worth retaking AP exam relevant to degree at expense of less relevant exams?

Hi, again. I posted on here a couple days ago about math, and I’m back already haha. I’m an American junior planning on applying to Oxford and a couple other UK schools for PPE next year, and I’m more than a little concerned about my AP exams. As of now, I have the following scores:

  • Human Geography (5)
  • US Government (4)
  • Latin (4)

It seems that, out of the three, only Government would really be relevant to PPE (maybe Human Geography?), and I took a 4 on it. I took it last year, and although I’m not sure I can actually blame the pandemic for my score, I’m hoping the tutors would at least give me the benefit of the doubt given the circumstances. Regardless, it’s not a great look. Would it be worth it to retake it this year?

The other issue is that this year, I’m taking Physics, Music Theory, Calc AB and BC (my school makes us take both courses), Lang, APUSH, Micro, and Macro for my APs. That’s seven exams if I were to take all of them (combining AB and BC), and I’d really rather avoid taking all of them. I really don’t think I’ll do well on Physics, and both that and APMT are so irrelevant to anything I’d study here or abroad, I think I’m leaning towards skipping both of those exams, especially if I were to also add Government. Is there any benefit to just taking all of them anywas? Is there something I’m forgetting to consider?


Even if you re-do USGov you have to show them the 4: better to take CompGov, which is relevant to PPE and actually useful for the 1st year politics module. It is also a very self-studiable course: if you can’t learn it over spring break you might want to re-consider how ready for the PPE workload you are.

Some questions to consider: do you have the time to excel in all those classes? I’m assuming you are taking Physics 1 or 2, not C, yes? If MT is not relevant to you or what you plan to do next why are you taking it? Are you also applying to US schools? if so, what are your EC commitments?

I’m planning on taking CompGov and Euro as my social studies for next year. Is it that much better to take it this year? I’m sort of running out of classes I actually want to take (that my school offers) for next year. Then again, I could just take the class and have the exam done if I decide I’m really set on being in the class. I’ll definitely start looking into doing the exam this year.

So far I’m doing pretty well with the courseload. My school split our schedule so we only have 4 classes per term this year, but I’m taking Micro and Macro through a state-wide virtual platform, so I just have one of each per term. It ends up being something like 4.5 classes per term (including non-APs), which has been pretty doable so far. It is Physics 1, and I really just took MT because it seemed pretty interesting, and my school discourages us from doubling core classes until senior year, so my options were limited. Plus, to the EC point, some of the main things I’m doing this year (i.e. that haven’t been cancelled) are music-related, so I figured I might as well build on that a little more.

I am applying to US schools too, but pretty much just in-state ones. My top choices are William and Mary and UVA. Almost all the ECs I do have fallen victim to the shutdowns, but I do debate, forensics, crew, orchestra, work with an organization putting together free virtual music programs, and I interned with a non-profit mapping food insecurity indicators over the summer. Out of those, I’m only actively doing orchestra and the music organization, so I definitely have the time to focus more on APs.

i meant to reply, not comment on my own post

Based on all of the above, I wouldn’t re-take US Gov. Do you read The Economist and/or the Financial Times? if not, start doing so regularly.