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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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What AP classes should I take to impress colleges?

Feeling a bit stressed here - does anyone have advice on which AP classes are the most beneficial when applying to top colleges? I'm currently planning my schedule for senior year and want to make sure I'm making the right choices. Do certain APs carry more weight than others?

7 months ago

The 'best' AP classes are generally those that align with your academic strengths and interests—if you're applying as a history major, for example, showing your preparation for college-level coursework through classes like AP World History and AP US History is a good idea, whereas if you're applying as a Spanish major, those classes may not be as relevant.

However, some APs, such as Calculus BC, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, are known for being especially rigorous, so they will likely impress regardless of what your major is. To be honest, at top colleges, the more the better—even if an AP isn't directly related to your intended area of study, colleges want to accept students who are intellectually curious about all kinds of subjects, especially since you may end up changing your academic direction at some point in college.

Also keep in mind that colleges value students who challenge themselves within the context of what's available at their school. So, if your school offers a wide range of AP courses, taking a selection across different disciplines while maintaining strong grades can reflect well on you.

But it's also imperative not to overload yourself - colleges won't be impressed by a transcript with top-level courses if you received mediocre grades in those courses. So, play to your strengths to put together a course load that will challenge you, but in a way that won't totally overwhelm you. If you're unsure whether a particular AP course would be right for you, reach out to the teacher to get more inform about the time commitment, topics covered, and so on, to get a sense of whether it would be something you'd be able to handle.

Good luck with figuring out your schedule!

7 months ago

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