What type of classes should I choose, all AP or focus on specifics I’m more interested in?Answered
My school only offers 5 APs and out of those, only 1 or 2 are of interest to my desired career path. I’m interested in being a business major so should I only focus on Econ/math classes for electives? Or should I try to take a slightly wide range including more science (requirement is 2 credits) and political classes?
I also wanted to know if doing online courses and self studying AP classes would be helpful. I want to go to an Ivy but I doubt that the classes offered at my school would be enough. What else can I do to show commitment to my academics and prove that I’m willing to put in the work required?
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First off, to answer the second part of your question, do not worry if your school does not offer a lot of AP classes. Colleges receive information from your school's college counselor about the opportunities that were offered to you, so they will know that you were put at a disadvantage. While they may not judge how many opportunities you were given, they WILL judge how many of those opportunities you took.
This leads on to the first part of your question. If your school only offers 5 AP classes, I would take them all (if you think you can handle the course rigor). Taking all the AP classes available really shows colleges that you pushed yourself to the limit. This is what they love to see! Having 1 or 2 relating to your desired career path is a bonus in my eyes. It would help to know what subjects you enjoy (not just econ/math) and what AP classes are offered before I can really give you a recommendation. While taking all 5 AP classes would look fantastic on an application, I would not want you to take an AP class you just hate - that would not be worth it. If you want to show even MORE commitments to academics, I think self-studying for an AP class or two would be great. BUT! You definitely do not have to. Just keep in mind that, generally, Ivy Leagues look for around 7-12 AP classes on average. Of course, what they expect for you is different as you were not offered many AP classes, but it is still good to be aware of the desired threshold.
For electives, I think you can do either - they both work great. However, definitely make sure you get the required science credits you need to graduate. However, do not worry about electives too much. Do what feels right.
- If you can handle the rigor, I would take all 5 AP classes throughout your high school career, even if they do not fit your desired career path.
- If 5 AP classes does not seem like enough and you want more of a challenge, self study for one or two! It would look fantastic on an application!
- Do what feels right for you in electives. Just make sure you get the credits (and four years of language, which I feel is often overlooked). Colleges do not care about electives too much.
I hope this answer helped. Please don't be afraid to ask any follow up questions and good luck!! :)
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