a month ago
Admissions Advice

AP Calc AB Situation

Hi everyone!

I have a question about Calculus, specifically regarding the Wharton School at UPenn.

This year, I am taking AB calculus after getting a B in precalc. However, a majority of other ivy-league applicants at my school are currently taking BC calculus and will move on to multivariable calculus. Is this an issue for ivy league admissions? (I meet the academic threshold for all of them, 3.9 UW + 1520 SAT)

The Wharton School, on the website, also describes an importance of a good understanding of calculus. Will this hurt my chances of getting in?

Dream schools- Penn, Dartmouth, Cornell, UVA (29%, 32%, 34%, 59%)

Thanks for your help!


Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

2 answers

Accepted Answer
a month ago

The B will probably be more detrimental to your chances at Wharton than taking AB instead of BC, although neither will be preclude your admission. Do remember that Wharton is particularly selective and that students accepted there have even higher average GPAs and SAT scores than students accepted to Penn overall.

BC would look more impressive, and if you think you can get an A in that class, I’d recommend you go for it. That said, taking AB and doing well won’t stop you from getting in.

a month ago

I fully agree with @EliasMiller.

I will offer another opinion.

If your ultimate goal is to be a successful business person and work for a prestigious investment bank like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, or Morgan Stanley or to work for Bain & Co. or McKinsey as a consultant, I would say that your undergraduate degree matters less than your graduate degree if you want to move up the corporate ladder faster.

Finishing this thought, I would say that getting an MBA from Harvard, Wharton, NYU, Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth, Columbia, MIT will be worth a lot more in securing a great job than an undergraduate degree even from the same colleges. Secondly, I would research each of the companies you ultimately want to work for. It's not obvious to many to do this early on but it's clear that these types of firms have been recruiting from the same 5-8 schools for a very long time and some schools will surprise you like Rutgers, Baruch College, Georgetown, UMich.

My advice would be to get into the best college possible that is the best fit for you. Some students feel that they should just dive into business school and prepare themselves immediately for a derivatives sales and trading career and get into a hedge fund as soon as possible. That's the short game. Like golf, you have to be good at the short game, middle game, and long game to win. So I would focus on applying to schools where you can thrive and leave your mark. If you are not good at Calculus, you can take Calc II and Calc III in college or even advanced math topics. If you are interested in a trading job, ultimately the more math and physics and stats you know the better prepared you will be to work alongside these PhDs and Rocket Scientists who keep evolving the financial markets.

Good Luck.


Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works