a month ago
Admissions Advice

Is taking 4 AP classes + enriched pre-calc junior year too much?

Hi! So i’m currently doing course selection for junior year, and planning to have AP language&composition, APUSH, AP physics 1, and AP chem, also with enriched pre-calc (During sophomore year im already in enriched algebra2). Other things that im doing during junior year is winter and spring sports.

In college im pretty much focused on STEM related stuff.

For AP chem i already have prior knowledge to it so i think it wouldnt be a big trouble. Then i have a strong interest in physics therefore i believe that AP wouldnt be a big problem too….. So im wondering whether having apush would be too much or not. Or is there other recommendations..

Thank you!

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2 answers

a month ago

Hi!! I'm currently a junior and my schedule looks similar to your course selection (precalc, AP lang, AP Gov + AP Micro, AP Bio, and AP Research) and I'm also focused on STEM stuff for college. Any of the advice I include below will be from my college counselor and my friends' experience. :)

I'm not really sure what your APUSH will look like at your school, but based on my college counselor and friends who chose to take it this year it's extremely reading intensive and the AP exam has a pretty low pass rate (47.5% for 2023 nationwide). So if you choose to take it I'd be aware of the amount of time it'll take up outside of school. My classmate mentioned that it was the reason she didn't get a 4.0 this semester. My other friend who is a major history buff barely got an A in the class, even though he loves history. Instead of APUSH, I would recommend AP Gov. For me, I liked it because I could identify what I learned when reading the news or understanding a government process. I was supposed to take APUSH but I decided to drop out of it due to scheduling issues, but I'm really glad that I ended up taking Gov. For someone that doesn't really plan on focusing in the humanties in college, I believe this was a great decision since it allowed me to focus on other classes while still maintaining an A in the class.

My AP Biology teacher says that AP Chemistry rigor is similar to the ones in her class, so I'll answer with my experience. I have prior knowledge (freshman biology, thank you) but I found that it went into really deep detail. However, if you're genuinely interested in chem, I'd sign up for it.

AP Physics sounds great especially since you already have a strong interest. My partner is currently in that class (he had a strong interest from middle school) and he loves it. Although, he does caution that it is a lot of work to constantly review, AP physics constantly builds on itself which makes it a double edged sword. Personally, I'd sign up for it, especially since you can ask your physics teacher for a letter of recommendation.

Overall, taking (similar) classes as the ones that you listed for your course request, I don't think this year was so bad, even with my precalculus class.

To summarize:

- AP Physics - yes!! absolutely!

- AP Chem - maybe, if you feel that you enjoy the subject enough

- APUSH - maybe not, but AP gov is a great alternative for your AP credit

Please let me know if you have any questions :) I'll be happy to answer them.

a month ago

Hello! I have heard before that APUSH isn't too hard, but that it involves a lot of time to be successful. It might be difficult with all of those AP's, as AP Chem is considered one of the, if not THE, hardest AP class. AP Lang might also be difficult to balance with APUSH, as AP Lang (at least at my school) is notorious for being the least favorite and maybe the hardest AP my school offers. Physics should be fine if you are interested in it though.

As for other recommendations, I would maybe say AP Psychology as it is considered one of the easiest AP's. Maybe you could do AP Human? That one is also easier. And, of course, there is always the option to not take AP History, but that should only come as a last resort. Good luck!

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