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How much does 9 AP's vs 10 AP's matter for Yale?

yaleplzzzyaleplzzz Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
I'm a current HS sophomore trying to figure out my schedule for the coming years.

Currently my schedule for junior and senior year look like this (I already took APUSH sophomore year)

Junior:
AP Lang
AP Econ
AP Gov
Pre Calc Honors
Physics Honors
French A
Free

I will then be taking 5 AP's senior year. That adds up to a total of 9 APs. I was wondering if a school like Yale would want me to forego a free junior year (which I often rely on heavily) to take another AP, such as Computer Science Principles (known as one of the easier AP's at my school, but not that easy). What is the real difference between 9 and 10 APs in Yale admissions? Is it worth it to skip the free and take the class?
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Replies to: How much does 9 AP's vs 10 AP's matter for Yale?

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,267 Senior Member
    Your application will not hinge on an extra AP. Colleges don't like academic drones. Use your free period to take a class you have always been interested in. Or, keep the free period. You won't be penalized for it, and it will help you do well in your other classes. Your schedule is rigorous.
  • yaleplzzzyaleplzzz Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thank you, I'm gonna go with your advice. I think I need the free.
  • Faulkner1897Faulkner1897 Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    Personally, I think it is good goal to take at least one AP in each of the core subjects (math, science, history, english, world language). Are you planning on AP math, science, and French next year?
  • Yalie 2011Yalie 2011 Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    An extra AP doesn't matter in big picture unless it raises your class rank or become an eye sore of 70 on your transcript.
  • Tperry1982Tperry1982 Forum Champion Yale Posts: 1,574 Forum Champion
    edited January 2017
    My child, Class of 18, had 2 AP classes. But that's because her high school was very rigorous and did not have a need for a lot of AP classes. It depends on your high school and the importance and availability of AP courses. You should take the most rigorous schedule you can. Some successful applicants come from schools that do not have AP classes. You will be considered on much more than the number of AP courses you take.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,587 Senior Member
    It depends on your high school. Suppose dozens of kids are taking 15+ AP's out of the 20 they offer, and most are acing them, so that you have no chance at getting into the top 5% class rank, or that your with only 9 your GC won't be able to check most rigorous course selection.

    The elite schools will know that your kid could have taken a harder course selection, and they might penalize him/her for it. The elite schools all say they are looking for the kids who take the hardest course level, and excel at them.

    But if the high school only offers a few AP's, the students who makes the best with what they are offered are considered.
  • MemmsmomMemmsmom Registered User Posts: 508 Member
    My daughter only took 4 AP classes. She took one in her junior year and three in her senior year. She took a college course for Latin because it was the highest level they offered at her school. She was in honors classes if she was not in AP so her gc checked off the most rigorous button. Reality is that she could not take every class as an AP because it was a regional high school and for the most part only one AP class was offered per subject. If the rest of her schedule didn't match up then she couldn't take it. In the end it was fine because she was accepted to pretty much everywhere she applied including Yale who didn't accept the credits anyhow. I would suggest that if you just take the most challenging version of whatever class you can that not only accommodates your schedule. This also allows you to be something outside of the classroom . She was 4 in a class of 300 because of her choices, but she was a whole lot more outside of the classroom and she had time to be that person because of how she handled the classes she took. I suspect that it was what she did in addition to school that got her into Yale.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,497 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    What is the real difference between X AP courses and X-1 APs in Yale admissions?

    As @skieurope suggested, ask your guidance counselor! At some high schools, the difference between X AP's and X-1 AP's might determine if your guidance counselor gives you a MOST DEMANDING rating or just a DEMANDING rating on the Secondary School Report (SSR). So ask your GC, as the answer is going to vary from high school to high school, and what might be reasonable and acceptable to do at one high school is not going to be at another high school! That's the reason Admissions judges student's in the context of what their high school offers, and what the majority of college bound students are taking at their high school. It really doesn't matter what another kid did at a different high school.
  • Tperry1982Tperry1982 Forum Champion Yale Posts: 1,574 Forum Champion
    @gibby - on point as usual. Well said.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,770 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    Admissions is "holistic" and often depends on what you are doing outside of school, or the way you are pursuing interests outside of class, than on grades, AP's and so on. Overall, stats and rigor of courses may need to meet a certain benchmark but after that it is mostly about what you can contribute to the mix in the class they are assembling.

    I think it's great that you are insisting on a balanced life for yourself, which bodes well for your future at college and in your career. I think the colleges will see that too. Very healthy attitude.
  • yaleplzzzyaleplzzz Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Hello all, thank you for the responses. FYI, at my high school many many AP's are offered - more than anyone can possibly take. However, you cannot take any Freshman year (except if you are in a highly accelerated math), and for the most part the same goes for sophomore year. Very few people take AP's sophomore year at my HS (extremely competitive public in CT - highly ranked nationally), but if they do it is only usually 1 at most. Most of people's AP's are taken junior and senior year. @gibby, I would love to discuss this with my GC, however at my high school our GC's have a terrible policy of turning down any topic of conversation having to do with college until its basically too late. If I attempted to speak with them about this topic (if they could check off the most rigorous button), they would immediately shut me down.
  • Faulkner1897Faulkner1897 Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    edited January 2017
    .As everyone has said, students are evaluated based on the context of their school. Yale will expect you to have taken the most rigorous courses based on your own personal interests and what is available, and what you take will be compared loosely to what your peers are taking. As an example, at my daughter's school, the most rigorous path for STEM kids involves taking AP Chem, AP Bio, AP Physics C, and AP Calc BC or Post AP math if that's your thing. However, my daughter is very much a humanities student, so she took Honors Physics, Honors Chem, AP Bio, AP Calc AB, and every year long English and History AP humanities class she could take, as well as AP Music Theory and both AP Spanish Lang and AP Spanish Lit. So she took fewer STEM AP classes but lots of humanities, which was true to who she was and what she was interested in. But she still took one AP math and one AP science.

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,467 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    Look, even if a hs offers 20, you're not expected to take X% of them. What makes an adcom see the "right" rigor is the classes, themselves, not the count.

    In general, you want the cores. If you want stem, pursue math and science rigor, plus cores.

    @yaleplzzz can we assume you're not thinking stem? That's how your schedule reads, right now.
  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 Registered User Posts: 3,422 Senior Member
    OP, do you think Yale is fixated on whether a single high school sophomore who probably has not taken standardized testing or passed an AP exam yet schedules 9 or 10 AP classes?

    Enjoy high school.

    Get involved.

    Learn a lot.

    Many colleges will want you.

    Don't fixate on a single school.

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