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08/12/2020 at 05:15AM[edited]

AP Classes

My high school offers 19 AP Classes and an IB Diploma Program. By the end of my high school, I am only on track to take 10 of these classes. Would that be a rigorous enough curriculum or would I be looked down upon for not completing the IB Diploma? I am aiming for Ivy League colleges and I think there are many candidates who have taken more APs than me.

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3 answers

08/14/2020 at 02:21PM

Colleges are able to tell a lot about your school because they are sent a "school profile" which details the grades at the school, class ranks, AP/IBs available, etc. When you apply schools compare what is available as options for you to what you actually take. This is why you wouldn't be penalized in admissions if your school doesn't offer AP classes or if they only offer a handful. As long as you are pushing yourself and taking the most challenging classes available to you you'll be fine.

I'm not sure how your class schedule works but you'll be absolutely fine with taking 10/19 APs. For schools that offer a lot of APs like yours, it is basically impossible for someone to take all of them and colleges know this. I'm not sure how your school works but I'm familiar with high schools having 4 classes a semester for a total of 8 classes a year, 32 classes for all of high school so I'll be using that in my example. Once you remove core classes that need to be taken and consider the fact many schools don't even offer APs to freshman/sophomores because of prerequisites needed there really isn't a lot of flexibility in a schedule. The fact you have taken 10 APs, and I'm assuming you also have some honors classes thrown in there, means you should be OK. I don't think taking more will hurt you but only If you can fit it in your schedule while still maintaining good grades/mental health.

Accepted Answer
[🎤 AUTHOR]@IvyLeagueGirl08/14/2020 at 06:02PM

What about if the most rigorous curriculum at my high school is an IB Diploma, and a lot of the top kids pursue this?

Then would I look bad for not pursuing the IB Diploma

08/14/2020 at 06:20PM

When schools offer both AP and IB classes there's virtually no difference to colleges in which one you take. There are pros and cons to each type of class but they're both challenging which is what colleges want to see. IB classes typically cover a more broad range of subjects but with 10+ AP classes I'd imagine you've covered a variety of subjects too. You're challenging yourself with your classes and in the end that's all that matters.

08/13/2020 at 12:42AM

What I believe is true is that colleges take into account what your school offers, as well as what other students at your school do. 10 classes is definitely good if your school offers 19, as that is more than half. The only time where that might look bad is if everyone else at your school takes like 18, which is highly unlikely.

For example, my school only offers 6 APs, and not a single one is STEM related. As someone who wants to major in biochemistry, this isn’t ideal, but only because I won’t have learned as much as some people. I will end up having taken every AP my school offers. And even though that’s only 6, it will still look good because I am taking the most challenging courses my school offers. Additionally, most kids at my school don’t take any APs, or only one or two. So it’s really based on your situation. Hope this helps!

08/12/2020 at 04:14PM

So it depends on whether you are able to take as many as is feasible. At my school about 25 APs are offered but 85% are only offered in 11th and 12th and with prerequisites I’ll only be able to take 13 AP classes and that is very good. At Harvard it’s categorized as strong and at Rice if I remember correctly it’s excellent according to collegevine.

So if your school offers AP music and your a stem major you will likely not take it so just becuase it is offered doesn’t mean you have to take it.

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!