At my school, AP Computer Science A has a prerequisite class. I'm a Junior planning my classes for next year and am wondering if it would be worthwhile to take that prerequisite class my senior year, even if it means I will graduate before getting to do AP CS. Because the prerequisite class is not an honors or AP, taking it will also lower my GPA and class rank.
Outside of school, I have already been learning CS on my own for a few years now. I'm proficient in HTML/CSS. I have a certificate for it and have made a few websites. I also have several ECs related to CS (I am VP of a CS club at my school, will be President next year) and am self-studying Python.
Would it improve my chances of getting into college as a CS major if I had one CS class on my transcript, even if it lowers my GPA and class rank?
I think that your CS-related ECs and independent learning will make up for having no CS classes on your transcript. College admissions is holistic, so you can demonstrate your intellectual passions through multiple parts of your application. Writing essays about your interest in CS could help your application as well.
With all that in mind, I would say that improving your GPA and class rank will benefit you more than a CS class. You will be able to explain why you did not take a CS class in the additional information section of any application system, which will also help you. I wish you the best of luck!
If you already have so much CS under your belt, you could talk to your school counselor or the CS teacher and think about just skipping to AP Computer Science A. I'm not sure if this applies to your school but many people in mine skip straight to AP due to already having background in CS and have not taken the prerequisites.
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