4 months ago
Admissions Advice

would 5 AP's junior year be too much to handle?

I am a sophomore in high school and I am currently taking AP Calc AB, AP Physics C, and AP Chem (a rough combo, I know). I was considering since I got most of the hardest classes that my school offers out of the way, that increasing the workload a little bit wouldn't be too difficult. However, my dance will increase from 5 to 6 days a week next year, with many other extracurriculars on top of that. I was considering taking: AP Calc BC, AP Bio, APes, AP psych, and AP Spanish.

I do know that Apes and AP psych are considered on the easier side of what college board offers, yet many underestimate the class. Additionally, from what I've heard at my school AP Spanish isn't too difficult or time-consuming with the teacher (I wouldn't plan on taking the exam).

I am currently struggling with my courseload right now, however, I am taking into account the difficulty level of each of the classes I am taking. If I'm struggling right now, I would fear that I will run into the same issue of over-extending myself next year, especially during the ACT, and SAT. I feel like I should gather insight from others who can give me perspective and what they think.

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Accepted Answer
4 months ago

I am a current junior in high school, and I am currently taking five APs. I am taking AP Stats, AP Physics C (Mech and E&M), AP Chem, AP Lang, and APES. I took AP Calc BC, AP Bio, and AP Econ (Macro & Micro) last year. I think that if you have been able to handle AP Physics C, AP Chem, and AP Calc AB at the same time, you can definitely take the five AP courses that you want to take next year. I personally feel that managing AP Physics C and AP Chem at the same time is really difficult, especially if you have several other AP classes that you are taking, and I do struggle to manage all of my APs with my clubs and other extracurriculars, so if you are able to do that now, you will be fine with taking relatively easier APs next year.

AP Calc BC for me was harder than AP Bio and AP Econ, because I took Precalc over the summer, so I didn't take the Precalc class that everyone else in my Calc class took, and since they already covered the first few units of Calc in their Precalc class, I was a little behind the others in terms of content.However, I still did well on tests and was able to cover the gap in a few months. I ended up getting a 5 on the exam, so I think you can do really well in BC Calc, especially since you already have knowledge on 8 out of the 10 units covered because of AB Calc. For my BC Calc class, we could do notes (from video lectures) and homework anytime at our own pace, so it wasn't very stressful, but it might not be the same format for you, so you might want to ask your school's BC Calc teacher about the class format.

AP Bio is a relatively hard class, but I personally felt that it was much easier than BC Calc, since I already had a lot of previous knowledge from USABO. If you have taken Honors Bio before, or if you have some background knowledge, and if you watch the AP Classroom videos, you should be fine for AP Bio. My teacher didn't really teach anything in class, and she gave us a lot of busy work, so it was a hard class for a lot of my peers who weren't able to understand the material by studying by themselves. I think if you have a good teacher, you can probably get by without having to watch the AP Classroom videos or doing a lot of practice problems, but I would highly recommend doing practice FRQs, because I (and a lot of other students who took the exam last year) thought that the FRQ section was the hardest part of the AP Bio exam.

APES so far has been a really easy class, even though my teacher does give some busy work. Some students in the class don't give it a lot of effort, and a few have taken it as their first AP class, which is probably why not everyone in my class gets good grades, so I think if you put in enough effort, you can do really well in that class, especially since a lot of the topics covered are background knowledge from AP Bio and other science classes.

I am planning on taking AP Spanish and AP Psych (probably self-study) next year as well, and based on what I have heard from my friends who are currently taking those classes, AP Psych is really easy and does not require much effort, like APES. I don't really know how much effort you have to put into it, but everyone I have asked has said that it is very manageable to self-study, so I think you should be fine in AP Psych.

I have heard a lot of people worrying about AP Spanish, because they don't have enough of a background in speaking and understanding conversations in Spanish for the class (most of the Spanish classes at my school focus almost entirely on reading, writing, and grammar rather than speaking or listening). However, because it is an easier class at your school, and especially since you aren't taking the exam, you should be fine in AP Spanish.

I hope this helps! Sorry for the long response:)

4 months ago

As a junior, I'm only taking 2 Ap's this year, but next year I'm going to take more. I'm sure people have told you that junior year is the most important year, and I agree. Maybe next year think about adding Ap computer science, I know some juniors that are taking that now. If you are good at biology, then I recommend Ap bio, if not then apes should be good, I'm taking a much easier science class this year but I'll take apes next year. Also, props to you for taking those classes! You're super smart, so all in all, I would say that 5 or 6 Ap's next year won't be too bad. Remember, you ultimately know what's best.

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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