How many APs do I need to take to get into an Ivy League or a good school? In the chancing simulator I said I would probably take 7 and it says that is WEAK. Really? 7 AP classes is weak coursework? I do not understand how people are able to handle more than that. I thought 7 was a lot and showed rigor.
Earn karma by helping others:
Context is everything and sometimes the chancing engine takes into account your demographic, your school and how many APs are offered, and how you compare to other students that may have come from the same school district before. There are many factors that influence whether you have competitive course rigor.
I can only adequately speak from my experience. I took 9 APs, 2 actual online college classes from a T50 university, 6 dual-enrollment college classes from my community college, and 7 honors classes. And scored an average of 4 on my APs. My UWGPA was 3.97 including all the college classes as well. I feel I was lucky to get into Columbia the last cycle and I had a solid 99th Percentile test score to submit. My HS is rated #4 in my state and we have 330 seniors. No one got into Harvard, Brown, or Princeton. 5 unique different people got into Yale, Dartmouth, UPenn (off a waiting list), Cornell, Columbia. So that's 5/330 of 1.5%. Typically we have 10-12 a year that get accepted into Ivys. I think that is typical for excellent public HSs in the US.
Maybe in the 2018-2019, or 2019-2020 cycles, 7 APs seem adequate for Ivys but these days Ivys are getting 35% more applications resulting in 35% lower to admit rates. An I anticipate in the future, that more people, not fewer people will be applying to Ivys with better stats, grades, and ECs, and essays because everyone knows that they are not building more dorms and the seats are fixed as a small amount. It becomes like a Super Bowl auction. The venue is more popular than ever and the seats are limited so people are doing more and more to get a chance at being accepted and attending.
Besides taking more APs, I highly recommend looking into online College Courses like those offered by Outlier.org. They give you college credit which is transferrable, the teachers are great and the overall cost is very affordable to attend a summer program at a top college (1/10th the cost). Plus they show evidence of course rigor which most summer programs can not since some of them barely give you 1 college credit for $5000.
Also, something you already know perhaps, but getting As in your APs is alway more impressive than taking 10 APs and getting 1/2 Bs or scoring lower on the tests themselves. If you only took 5 APS and got 5 As and 5 (5s) on the actual APS, that would look impressive.
So for Ivy Leagues it really depends on your certain school but in my experience and my knowledge, 7 is a minimum number because in Texas the average number of AP Courses taken by students is 11 which is a lot and close to the maximum which is 12 courses. But don't worry because all that matters, in the end, is how you did because anyone can take 12 courses but what matters is if you passed each class you did. But also what grade are you in currently? as if you are a senior, I don't know if you can change your courses, but if you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior, you can still fix this. Hope this helps Good Luck!!! Let me know if you have any questions.
Honestly 7 might not be enough because I know people who are taking 7 or more a year. That might not be available depending where you go to school though. It also depends on what grade you are in, because underclassmen take less APs generally. Best of luck to you though!
To keep this community safe and supportive:
- Be kind and respectful!
- Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
- Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!