AP Classes + Chancing Engine.Answered
I was messing around with the chancing engine, and even when I put down 24 AP classes (without entering anything for number of classes offered), it says that my coursework is insufficient for some Top Colleges. Also, it gives me the same odds of getting in with 9AP classes as it does 18 (below 9 it drops to "Below 25%). I get that the chancing engine is good for approximating your chances, but can someone give me an idea of how much more AP classes really do affect your chances at top schools? Particularly the differences between 10, 13, and 17 AP classes, and anything in that range. Thank you!
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To add onto what @emgrace has already said, colleges look to see how many APs your school offers, how many you have taken, and how well you have done in those AP classes. Someone who has taken 4 APs and their school only offers 5 is more impressive than someone who takes 4 APs out of 20 that their school offers. Essentially, colleges like to see that you are taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to you. (They won't discriminate against those who do not have access to a lot of AP classes)
But of course, people who apply to top schools usually have taken a multitude of AP classes. The chancing calculator does not necessarily tell you the chance of YOU getting in, but merely gives you an idea of the acceptances of past students who shared the same stats as you.
Once you get past 10, the number matters less and less, it's not about the number, its about how well you do. Someone who does well in 10 APs is more impressive than someone who does okay/bad in 15. APs are good at showing that you are able to handle the rigor of a college course load, if you start failing APs because you are taking too many... that could send a bad sign to universities.
In summary: Take as many APs as you have access to and are able to do well in without overwhelming yourself. (Make sure you make room for those ECs!) I recommend taking between 7-12 stretched over 4 years (clustering them in your junior and senior year); this is a safe bet for T20 schools. Of course you could ramp it up: but be careful.
Hope this helps! :)
I know that after a certain number of AP classes (usually 7-9) the top universities do not care too much. I would say that as long as you have at least 7 you should be competitive for some great schools. Maybe spend that time building extracurriculars instead. Starting or being in a leadershipposition of a club would be a great place to start. Also I understand that sports tend to go a long way in the admissions process, even if you don't want to play in college. Basically, colleges want to see that you are a well- rounded student who can excel in many areas. They want to see commitment and rigor. This is the stuff you should aim for. Hope this helps!
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