21 days ago
Admissions Advice

Regarding AP exams

I am senior planning to apply for BA/BS Biology program. I am an international student(from India). I had plans of taking both AP Chemistry and AP Biology. But now I feel that AP Chemistry will not be that relevant to my chemistry courses in college. I would like to get some inputs regarding the usefulness of AP Biology and AP Chemistry for my course? Will both of them help me out in college?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
19 days ago

Hi there @dharrnhi.purushothaman,

I agree with @CameronBameron's response here. More than the courses themselves, you should aim for a well-rounded, rigorous schedule that demonstrates academic merit in the hardest courses at your school.

That being said, since your prospective major is Biology, I recommend you adjust your schedule to account for that by doing the following:

- Take multiple sciences a year if possible, including Chemistry and Physics, and demonstrate mastery of these subjects via your grades and AP scores.

- If your school has elective science classes like Human Anatomy, I recommend you take these if you have room in your schedule.

Even if you don't end up majoring in Chemistry, the foundational knowledge you learn will most likely help you when pursing college major requirements as you will be taking a variety of courses, many of which will be closely aligned with the life sciences.

At the high school level, Biology and Chemistry are foundational to any student going into STEM, especially the pre-med or life sciences route.

Hope this helps!

21 days ago

I will answer your question as honestly as possible.

90% of college applicants take APs in high school not because they have anything to do with their intended major but because it shows evidence of course rigor on their academic transcript. What this means is that high school students who load up on APs, IBs, or college courses show the college admissions office, they are up to the challenge and are ready and prepared for college-level courses.

While 10% might actually take APs to reduce the number of college courses they need to graduate to earn their degrees, most take APs just to prop up their academic narrative.

I'm not a typical HS student but I feel that many of my peers that got into Ivy League and Elite colleges had a similar narrative. I took 9 APs, and earned 30 college credits before I applied to college. I was never concerned with whether the APs I took had any relevance with my intended major. I just wanted the best chance of getting into the school of my choice.

I'm not sure that is the answer you are looking for but since college admissions is not a logical meritocracy you have to pay more attention to what you think you need to do to get in than whether your coursework has anything to do with what they are teaching.

Good luck.


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