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2 years ago
Admissions Advice
[edited]

Scheduling Question - what do colleges like more?
Answered

Hello. I am in a predicament over what classes I should take next year. Everyone has told me to take AP classes every time I am given the opportunity to because colleges like ap classes. However, I want to take these specialized advanced courses that are more related to my career and college goals. However, these classes are Honors level at my school even though at other schools in my district they're dual credit (meaning that they're taken through the community college and are a GPA booster. In the past, students have complained to the administration about this, and they said that a teacher with a graduate degree in education has to teach a dual credit class, which the current teachers do not have, meaning that they can only list the classes as honors. Anyways, here are my two schedule ideas:

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Schedule #1- AP Classes

AP English Literature

AP Statistics

Dual Credit Precalculus

AP Biology

AP Psychology

Health Science Practicum

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Schedule #2- Specialized Classes

AP English Literature

Pathophysiology (college level at the other high schools in my district, but honors at mine)

Dual Credit Precalculus

Anatomy & Physiology (college level at the other high schools in my district, but honors at mine)

Organic Chemistry (college level at the other high schools in my district, but honors at mine)

Health Science Practicum

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Do colleges want to see more AP classes, or do they want to see me take more specialized classes in my field (Medicine & STEM) even though at my school they're not listed as college level (even though they are)? I want to take the specialized classes, but I also want colleges to see that I'm taking advanced classes. I want to get into a competitive college (Northwestern or UT Austin), so I want to make sure that taking the specialized classes won't negatively affect my chances at getting accepted.

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3 answers

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago

For one, I do not think that the fact that these classes are considered “honors” at your college when they are taught similar to dual enrollment classes should be too much of a consideration. Colleges have a way of knowing these things, and you can always add an explanation in your app. Because you are interested in medicine, however, I would take Schedule One for a variety of reasons. First of all, Collegeboard has established a clear standard as to what different scores on APs mean, so colleges are familiar with it and are confident with what your score demonstrates about you. Your more specialized classes do not have this advantage, so if you do take those, I would keep syllabi saved to maximize your chances of getting college credit for those classes (again, easier with APs). Secondly, as someone interested in medicine, you will probably have to take the MCAT. Coincidentally, the MCAT tests you on Bio and Psych more generally rather than Anatomy or Pathophysiology (which you can always take in a much better lab setting in college). Taking Bio and Psych as APs and getting a good score on your AP test would allow you to take higher level courses, especially in Bio, in college, and prepare for the MCAT earlier.

As a side note, if your school has a HOSA, consider joining it, or going to their page and looking at the various events and their recommended textbooks. Pathophysiology and Anatomy happen to some of the events, so you can learn the material, compete, and get recognition for it, or you can just learn the material for fun over the summer!

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2 years ago

Hi @lrgdaman!

I would take Schedule #1 because AP Biology, AP Psychology, and AP Statistics will be more valuable for college admission. You could take Organic Chemistry later if you have the opportunity, or you could self-study AP-Chemistry if you are capable.

To the best of my knowledge, colleges prioritize high rigor classes over lower rigor specialized classes. Because College will not expect every high school student to know their major. That is how you can choose not to declare a major for college admission.

To be competitive in the top 50 universities, you must have at least 4+ credits in each Science, English, and Math by graduation, regardless of your field of study. Based on that foundation, you can plan your other AP/honors courses.

Furthermore, taking AP would be advantageous because most colleges offer credits for AP Exam scores and placement into advanced courses. This saves you time and money. Both Northwestern and UT Austin do accept AP Eng, Bio, and Statistic for what I aforementioned.

You can check AP Credit Policy Search for all Universities here: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/getting-credit-placement/search-policies

I hope the information helps your decision!

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0
2 years ago

I would do the second schedule, however, I would try to fit A.P. Bio. Into it as it is very important in the medical field.

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