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6 months ago
Admissions Advice

Help! AP classes

I need help with info about AP classes. Our school uses the pre-AP program, which is what I'm doing as a freshman. We are choosing our classes and AP classes for next year. My dream is to get into U Penn And Cornell because I want to become a veterinarian, so I know I need to take more AP classes. Here's the thing, how many should I take? I'm not naturally smart or talented, like, at all, but I can work hard. I had all A's in my 1st & 2nd quarter and middle school. I'm pretty bad at math, so I know I won't take those AP classes sophomore year. But what other classes should I take? How much math is in chemistry? Is chemistry really hard on it's own? What are the easiest AP classes? What's achievable? Any other info about AP classes you can tell me? Right now I am taking Spanish honors but that's it for special classes. No AP classes till next year.

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@mwitherman436 months ago [edited]

Hi there!

@mwitherman436 months ago [edited]

I would say you should take about 8-10 APs because UPenn and Cornell University are hard universities to get into. I would say, if you are interested in medicine, I would say take more science-related. For example, taking AP Biology, AP Environmental Science (probably will not help a lot), and / or AP Psychology. I would also say to improve your math skills because math is used a lot in society. Since lots of medicine major uses Physics, Calculus, etc., I would say sharpen your math skills.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@LUCIA6 months ago

Thank you

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4 answers

3
6 months ago

Hi there,

I am a sophomore at the moment, and I am taking AP Chemistry and AP US History. I would DEFINITELY recommend APUSH, as it is quite fun (at least at my school,) and it doesn't involve math! There is a bit of a workload, mostly taking notes from the textbook, but a pro tip is to use voice typing. It makes things go much faster! But I digress. AP Chemistry is, for someone who is weaker in math, a struggle. There is definitely quite a heavy load of math in AP Chem. In AP Chem you have to know concepts and how to do calculations, which often involve math incorporated into Algebra 2 or higher. I'm not sure what classes you are taking at the moment, but I would definitely recommend APUSH. In addition, to apply to more selective schools, you should probably aim for 8+ AP classes, at least that's what I've heard. If you have the chance to take AP Environmental Science, that may be a good choice, as I've heard from multiple sophomores from other schools that it is quite easy, some even saying it was easier than APUSH! I think for sure that 2 AP classes as a sophomore is good, you can then choose to take more as a junior and senior.

I hope that helped, and feel free to ask me any follow-up questions you may have! Good luck with everything and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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2
6 months ago

I would say you should take about 8-10 APs because UPenn and Cornell University are hard universities to get into. I would say, if you are interested in medicine, I would say take more science-related. For example, taking AP Biology, AP Environmental Science (probably will not help a lot), and / or AP Psychology. I would also say to improve your math skills because math is used a lot in society. Since lots of medicine major uses Physics, Calculus, etc., I would say sharpen your math skills. For example, in Physics, medical-related jobs use physics for looking and interpreting graphs. When your math skills are sharpened, I would say take easier math courses such as Pre-Calculus or AP Statistics. I think if you put a lot of effort and time into math, I would say that you will be good to go!

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2
6 months ago

Here's the list of acceptable AP scores for U-Penn: https://admissions.upenn.edu/admissions-and-financial-aid/preparing-for-admission/freshman-admission/external-exam-credit

Here's the same but for Cornell:

https://courses.cornell.edu/content.php?catoid=31&navoid=7931

Keep in mind that U-Penn and Cornell don't even accept certain scores, and those that are accepted need to be a 4, if not a 5. I can't verify that fully for Cornell though, the website was weird on my phone.

However, AP classes are a great way to prepare you for college level work, and is accepted at most colleges anyways. Have you considered taking AP bio? Perhaps you can brush up on your math skills and then take AP chemistry at some other point in HS. I feel like you're capable at doing well in AP bio as long as you put in hard work.

Also, it's a bit hard to assess what's too much, or too little for you. Only you can truly answer that. Hard work, and even interest and determination will play a role into that. I recommended doing research on the difficulty of the AP classes that you want to take.

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6 months ago[edited]

Ask the seniors there how many APs they have taken and use that as a benchmark to see how competitive you need to be as high schools vary in AP course number. After that, you decide how far you want to go with taking APs. Honestly, AP Calculus is important so even if you are bad at math, at least endure it. Anyways, if you take Pre-Calculus which I am just assuming your school offers it, you will do fine for like the first few lessons on asymptotes or whatever and some of the concepts apply to many concepts in AP Calculus like limits. There is a lot of math in chemistry but not advanced level math. The hardest math you will do in AP Chemistry is logarithms and natural logarithms but that is what I think. However, I should warn you that AP Chemistry gets messy with the math as not only will you need to account for significant figures but you need to keep track of what formulas to use and whether your units are correct. Don't just take the easy AP classes. Take those that actually relate to you. Like if you aren't planning to enter computer science, AP Computer Science Principles, one of the most easiest AP classes in my opinion, you shouldn't take it. You can substitute it with something more valuable to veterinarians like AP Biology or AP Psychology. You decide what is achievable. For me, I can't go past 8 APs because my school forces me to only take a max of two APs from freshman to sophomore year. In my junior and senior year, I have flexibility in choosing more APs but I am given mandatory classes that take up most of my schedule already so I can't really squeeze in more AP classes to reach like 10 APs as I would be swamped with work. AP classes give college credit so take that into consideration before you decide not to take a AP class just because it is too hard.

Anyways, most of what I said are just my opinion and I am sure someone else here has a better answer.

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