AP classes for top tier
I have seen every one saying how important is course rigor and good to have around
7 to 10 AP classes for top schools (and do well in AP). Is that counting junior year or including senior year? I know when applying for admissions in fall, schools won’t get to see grades for senior year yet if applying for early admissions in Nov/Dec.
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My recommendation is to try to take as many APs or IBs as you can prior to 12th grade and to get at least 4s on the AP tests. (this gives you a chance to get some college credit for your hard work and possibly some award like AP Scholar w/Honors or Distinction)
So for some people that might be 5 or 7 depending on how early they can take APs in HS. Some students can't register for an AP until junior year. I think the right number for Ivys/Elites is now bumped up a little from say 7-10 to 8-12 because of test-optional policies which increase the applicant pool, resulting in super low admit rates.
So if you are applying ED or EA or SCREA, you want to have the best possible application you can muster up to that time because in that pool are legacies, recruited athletes, sons/daughters of employees, development candidates, VIPs, and other special cases. Plus if you are shooting for very top schools like Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Yale, Stanford, some of the early pool has extremely qualified candidates who just want to go to their 1st choice school and be done because having to apply to 20 other schools RD is brutal these days.
If you can take them in 10th, I'd start with 1 or 2, then 4-5 in Junior year, and then maybe 3-5 in senior year, because you have a lot of stress, fall 12th grade with college applications/essays, maybe some final standardized testing and applying to scholarships unless you are wealthy.
There are always a few of you that seem unfazed by taking 15 APS so this recommendation is not for you. You do you.
Hi, thank you for asking your questions! I agree with all of the informative responses below. Your total AP classes will include all that you plan to take in high school including junior and senior year. This is because when you submit your transcript to the universities that you are applying to, you will include your current classes as well as the classes that you plan on taking senior year.
If you are aiming for selective schools, try to aim to have at least 7 APs. This benchmark is what we see the average competitive applicant to schools > Top 40 apply with. That being said what may be more important is having an upwards trend in your grades, meaning that across the four years of high school, you are increasing your grades steadily over time and well as the number of rigorous courses.
Hope this helps!
It does indeed include junior year. Also, don't slack off your senior year. Although colleges won't see your grades if you apply that early, they will see what courses you are taking. Also, they can take away your acceptance if they see a decrease in grades. Also, you never know what's going to happen. Even though I applied to 9 colleges in November, I have applied to completely new colleges just now because I got rejected or wasn't offered enough financial aid. And it's May so they see basically all my grades.
Also remember that course rigor isn't just about AP courses, it is also about taking high level math and science, all 4 years of a language, taking courses in areas you are not necessarily great at, etc.
I hope this helps!
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