4 months ago
Admissions Advice

What classes should I take next year?

Hello! I am a current sophomore hoping to attend an ivy league or University of California, majoring in english lit, poly sci, or psychology.

I am currently working on my course selection form for junior year, and here's what I have so far:

-French 3 Honors

-AP Environmental Science

-AP United States History

-Integrated 3 Enhanced (combo of algebra 2 and pre-calculus: weighted as an honors class)

-AP Lang

I still need to choose my elective. I am in between AP Art History, and a community college class ( I'm thinking criminal law, art history, sign language, ethnic studies, or psychology). I know for sure I am going to take some community college classes in the summer anyway, so which one(s) might best fit my intended major?

On the one hand, adding one more AP class (that would bring me to 10 total) did increase my chances in the chancing calculator. On the other hand, I don't want to be overwhelmed (I have some time-consuming extracurriculars), and I would get the same college credit from a community college.

My school also offers a lot of AP classes (24) which I think is why the chancing calculator thought 10 vs 9 AP's would make a difference. I want to show colleges that I take advantage of my opportunities, but I'm kind of stuck here!


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
4 months ago

Hi! You have a lot of choices in front of you, so I'm glad you're thinking about this early on.

The bottom line here is that you should take whichever of the classes listed that you're most interested in.

1. They all conceivably fall under one of the headings of your potential majors (e.g. criminal law and ethnic studies are both poli sci-like courses), so they will be of equal use to you in terms of demonstrating passion for your future studies. The only mild outlier here is art history, which doesn't technically fall neatly into literature, political science, or psychology, but it is close enough to English that it works (e.g. learning about art history gives you context for literary references and can familiarize you with other art being created at the same time a book was written, which gives you a unique perspective on the environment/perspectives that generated the book). Plus, if you're actively considering two art history classes, is it something you're a little more interested in?

2. They are of pretty equal standing in terms of academic impressiveness. I know that the calculator indicated a shift in your chances with the addition of another AP class, but the marginal utility of adding a 10th AP course is fairly small if your alternative is to take a community college course instead. On the flip side, taking a community college course is a great way to enhance your application, but if you're already taking four other community college classes, the need to take a fifth is reduced. The direct comparison between AP art history and community college art history might lean in the AP's favor because your school is offering it to you for a reason, but if you have another motivation for taking the community college version (e.g. different content, different class structure) that's totally valid and would even show a level of self-awareness -- you know what and how you like to learn and will color outside the lines to get that education.

3. You're already taking a rigorous, diverse schedule. You're clearly capable of handling an intense courseload, so there's no reason to overwhelm yourself with yet more impressive classes. It will be more important to do things you're passionate about and do them well than anything else at this point!

In sum, as I said before, take whichever course you think will interest you most without overloading yourself. None will put you at a particular advantage or disadvantage to the others except for the one you really gain something from. Best of luck in making the decision, and enjoy wherever you end up!

4 months ago[edited]

Hello! Your class list looks excellent already!! I'm currently taking APES and APUSH, and I don't feel overwhelmed, so I think you'll be fine even with the addition of AP Lang. I wouldn't suggest doing more than 3 APs simultaneously though; remember you still have your senior year to do APs. I would recommend taking the college class instead. If you do two or three AP classes senior year, you'll have done 12-13 AP classes out of 24, which is really good!! Also, the fact that you are taking community college classes right now and extracurriculars is awesome and will look great on your application! I don't think you have anything to worry about in that department. :)


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