7
2 years ago
Admissions Advice
[edited]

Is only having 5-6 APs Okay?
Answered

Or even 3 APs but I plan on dual enrolling / taking a college credit equivalent for those class anyways.

Would colleges look down on this ? I decided taking online college classes might be better than AP but idk yet

DualCredit
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dualenrollment
apclasses
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5 answers

3
Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Context is everything @amy45339 so I disagree with the submitted answer from the other poster.

If your goal is to get accepted into an Ivy/Elite/1st Tier Liberal Arts College, then 5-6 APs is on the low side. Most successful admits have 8-12 APs, probably 9-10 is the average and norm.

If you are consider 2nd tier research universities like UVA, UMich, USC, UCLA, or Notre Dame or 2nd tier LACs like Colby, Colgate, Hamilton, then I would say that 7-8 is more the average and norm.

The type of colleges where 5-6 APs would be good for are 3rd tier research universities like UPitt, Villanova, UCDavis, UCIrvine, UMiami, UMassAmherst, UWashington, Wake Forest or 3rd tier LACS like Occidental, Pitzer, Scripps, Union College, Trinity College, Skidmore.

3-4 APs would be more like 4th tier research universities or liberal arts colleges.

So the number of APs you should consider taking are commensurate with the kind of college/university you are applying to.

Colleges do make exceptions for students whose HSs do not offer very many APs do to lack of resources or the caliber of students in that zip code school district. So if you live in less resourced school district where your HS only offers 5 or 6 APs, try to take as many as possible and augment your course rigor and intellectual vitality other ways by taking online classes, or learning things on your own outside of the classroom setting.

Good luck.

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1
2 years ago

To synthesize the other answers here, you should take as many APs as possible based on your circumstances. If you school only offers 6 APs and you take all 6, then colleges will see that you maximized your course rigor and you will be a competitive applicant. To get even more of a boost, you can take a few DE classes to show that you are willing to go above and beyond to enhance your learning. Note that colleges value AP classes more than DE, since DE classes are not standardized on a national level. Hope this helps!

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1
2 years ago

At the end of the day what I think really matters is your class rigor compared to what's available to you. If this is as much as you can do due to your school or state, then its perfectly fine. Im heading into senior year with only 5 and taking 3 next year but my school has greatly reduced the number of AP classes available to us in the past few years. I think a college class is honestly just as good and probably has a higher chance of being transferred over anyway lol.

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0
2 years ago

Hey!

I don't think you should worry too much about how many AP classes you're taking. Yeah, it looks nice on your college resume and is good for your GPA but, it's all about the learning experience. As someone who's taken 9 AP classes (including 5 last year), I can tell you that it is not all it's cracked up to be. Not necessarily that the classes are difficult but, they are a lot of work and attention, and I found that I barely had time for much else. Next year (senior year for me) I'm only going to be taking 2 AP classes and 2 dual credit. Dual credit is good because it is literally a college course and will be counted, whereas not all AP classes are accepted even if you get a 5 (Yale hopeful here- only 2 of my credits will be accepted.) Either way, it just depends on how you feel and what you aim to learn. Colleges are not necessarily looking for APs so much as some rigorous class work and proof of a life outside of school. I found it hard to participate in my extracurriculars and community service last year, but it's up to you. You may want to look at the stats of some of the schools you want to get in if you still feel unsure.

I'm sure you'll do great, good luck!

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2 years ago

It greatly depends on what schools you're applying to and how competitive they are. The average student takes around 8 APs, but taking fewer than 8 won't necessarily be looked down on, especially if the rest of your application makes up for it.

Students applying to less selective schools or state schools are recommended to take 1-5 APs, so if that is your bracket then you shouldn't need to worry too much. For honour programs, scholarships, or more selective schools, you might need to ensure your application stands out in other areas like sports. Having taken college courses may be more impressive than APs to a university, so you could still be a decent applicant in this bracket depending on the grades and the university. On the other hand, for highly selective schools like Ivies, you may need a seriously outstanding extracurricular profile.

I have heard that taking at least 5 APs is practically a requirement at highly selective schools, but I am not sure how true this is. Either way, if you are planning to apply to a highly selective school, you might need to look into taking even more college classes or adding a few APs if you still have time.

Hope your applications go well!

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