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07/05/2020 at 03:12PM
Admissions Advice

AP Threshold?

Hi there! I am a rising junior who has a question about my academic course load. At my school, approximately 15 APs are offered. So far I have taken one: AP Calculus BC. I plan to take 3 junior year and 4 senior year, for a total of 8. Currently, the two schools I want to attend the most are Princeton University or Amherst College. I was wondering if schools like the Ivies and the top liberal arts colleges have an "AP threshold" where taking more APs won't necessarily improve your chances of getting in. I want to be at that threshold but I don't want to end up taking APs that I'm not interested in just for the sake of having another AP on my transcript. The reason is that I'm debating either self-studying AP Statistics next year or preparing for academic competitions such as F=ma.


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Accepted Answer
07/05/2020 at 03:43PM

Hi, I am also a rising junior here! From what I’ve gathered yes, there is a threshold which is anywhere from 8-10 AP classes. If your school offers 15 I will assume there are a few that by default you cannot take such as AP Physics 2/C (you can only take one), AP Spanish/Italian/French (whichever of those languages you don’t take in school), AP studio art or music theory (they are rather uncommon) or Art History (new course), possibly AP Research/Seminar since those are new as well… So realistically you can max out at about 9 or 10 APs. For Ivy-ranking universities, you want to be taking as many APs as possible. It doesn’t matter if they are related to your major or not; you have to academically challenge yourself in all areas possible. The cutoff means that someone who is challenging themselves by taking 10 AP classes has the same weight as someone who takes all 15 since 10 is considered the “checks the box” number. Any less puts you at a disadvantage and any more is a waste of your time. I recommend you evaluate whether taking that 9th class is possible since that will give you a greater competitive edge for Princeton.


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