2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Is 6 AP Classes too much?

Im an incoming senior and I’m taking 6 AP courses. These are the classes I’m taking:

AP Physics 1

AP Calculus AB

AP Art

AP Research

AP Literature

AP Government

I really want to enjoy my senior year, but I also want to be successful and do well. Am I taking too much? I also have 2 other leadership positions outside of this.


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2 answers

2 years ago

Hi @Ccsm.x,

Thanks for your question. Taking 6 APs might be perfect because you already have taken 6 APs before and got all As and 4s and 5s on your AP tests. Or it might be getting over your skis as the expression goes.

I think it depends on what your track record is thus far. If you already have say 6-10 Aps, then, there really is no need to show 12-16s on your course rigor unless you are bored and a naturally gifted student who needs this sort of challenge. Even if you are applying to Ivys and Elites, my take is that 9-11 total APs is really the sweet spot.

I would listen to my gut on this because senior year is far more complicated than 11th grade. In general, high achieving students are doing the following senior year:

1. Grinding on their college applications which can include but are not limited to the following:

-Test prepping for 1 last attempt at the SAT or ACT. Making sure all the colleges get the right test reports and paying for them.

-Curating the very best recommendations from teachers and counselors. Often this is not a simple request but requires a resume submission or a cheat sheet to help the recommender jog their memory as to who you are and what your strengths are.

-Writing and editing the very best main essay and supplemental essays. Sometimes this requires 5-10 re-writes and major edits per essay

-Preparing for your in-person college interview and attending college info Zoom calls.

-Working on your 2-minute video introduction if the colleges want that.

-Putting together your SlideRoom optional portfolio for writing, artwork, or videos if the college allows that. This might include a graded paper as well.

-Honing your extracurricular activities so they are the best they can be. Perhaps more leadership roles, community service, or spike activities.

-Filling out your college applications whether it's the Common App, Coalition App, or proprietary app.

2. Participating in all Senior Class venues which might be Dances, Prom, Ditch Day, Awards ceremonies, etc.

3. Working on all your financial aid documents which typically include the FAFSA and the CSS Profile.

4. Trying to keep both your UWGPA and WGPA up as high as possible or at least as stable as possible.

5. Preparing for taking all the add'l AP Tests in the Spring when you least want to study on such things.

6. Applying for various scholarships which typically entail a 5-10 page application, some requiring recommendations as well. The big ones like Coca-Cola, Jack Kent Cooke, Horatio Alger, Gates, Elks, Cameron Impact, etc. are conducted in rounds so you have to keep submitting more and more stuff.

7. Last but not least, visiting the college campus for tours and information sessions, is especially more important where demonstrated interest is tracked by the college.

This is why I personally do not recommend anyone take 6 APs during senior year. When you start the senior year all of a sudden you have many tasks and responsibilities that go beyond attending class and getting good grades. Only the very best students who already have the very best prior track record can thrive in the chaotic senior year and still get all As in all 6 APs and get top AP Test Scores.

Good luck.

2 years ago

This seems like a really bad idea for me personally, but I don't know you and I don't know how much you can handle. I know someone who took 6 and did just fine. I know another person who crumbled under the weight of 3. One thing to note: if you haven't started your college applications yet... don't take 6 APs. You will be way too stressed trying to do both.

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