2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Should I take AP English and History?

Hello, I am a current freshman and have until March 1st to finalize my sophomore schedule. I'm thinking of taking AP Stats, Physics 1, Calc AB, and World. Later on, I initially thought I would take AP Lang and Lit and AP World, APUSH, and Gov. Now I'm thinking of not taking these courses in high school. I have seen many posts and have read a very comprehensive guide on how to get into T10 school that says that taking too many courses that don't align with my major (Physics) might make me well rounded, which I've heard is a bad thing. I think that using the extra time from not doing these courses would be very beneficial, but idk. This is one of the reasons I'm thinking of not taking AP English and History. But I'm scared that not taking these will mean I'll miss out on earning college credit for college and might show admissions that I can't handle rigor (I'm hoping for Harvard). I do also fear that not taking these courses will negatively impact my GPA. However, I do strongly dislike ELA, as it's my weakest subject, and I'm neutral about History. I'm conflicted as to what I should do. Should I take these classes?

@Jael_S2382 months ago

Have you looked at dual enrollment courses as another option? You will have more choices if you take online classes with your community college. I am doing that rn.

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2 answers

2 months ago

I'm concurrently majoring in physics at a state college as a high school sophomore

My advice (If you wanted to take AP's) would be to take AP: Chem, Calc, Lit, and World. Many colleges require 2 years of history, 4 years of English, 3 years of math, 3 years of foreign language, and 3 years of science. Chemistry is your best option for sophomore year, as long as you can handle extremely intense coursework. (Chem is REALLY difficult without normal/honors first)

My advice in general would be to take those classes for sophomore year, then take concurrent enrollment courses junior year and senior year. You would take US History, Calc 2+3, English 1, Calc-Based Physics 1, and a foreign language through a community/state college junior year. Talk to your counselor about this; they will have info on what programs your school and district offer.

Take well-rounded classes, because that shows colleges you can pass their gen-ed classes. I would also advise aiming for MIT, Caltech, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and CU Boulder for post-secondary instead of Harvard, as they have much more specialized programs for physics. Concurrent enrollment does allow you to take shorter classes, as 1-year AP classes are 1-semester college classes. This allows you to take many more classes than normal, and even take core electives (Like Astrophysics of Quantum Mechanics 1) as a senior.

Take AB if you just took Algebra 2, BC if you just took Precalc.

2 months ago

In short, you're considering whether to take AP English and History courses in high school. You're concerned that taking too many courses not related to your major might make you "well-rounded," which you've heard is not ideal for top schools like Harvard. You're also worried about missing out on college credits and the potential impact on your GPA. You dislike English and are neutral about History. Ultimately, you're conflicted about whether to take these classes.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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