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How do I take challenging coursework online like AP, IB, college courses etc.?
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Hi!

I'm a 10th grader, who just took the SAT on September 26 and is currently awaiting score. I go to a secondary school in Ghana, although I am American, and take Ghanaian-based curriculum. I also take the Science option which consists of four core subjects: Core Maths (equivalent to a mix of Algebra 1 and 2 plus trigonometry), English (Literature, Composition, Comprehension, Summary and Lexis and Structure), Integrated Science ( a mixture of very thin Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Agriculture) and Social Studies ( history, sociology, psychology and the like.) For electives, I take high-school biology, chemistry, physics and a course equivalent to Precalculus.

There are some schools in Ghana which do AP and IB, but those schools are way out of my price range. Because these subjects I take can not be equated, I'm afraid I will be dropped by most colleges should I return to the US to further my studies. So there are a conglomeration of three questions I want to ask:

● Are the course I take equal to an intensive rigor class, because some courses do an overlap of Biology (Home Economics) and Precalculus (Business) so only high-school Chem and Phy are peculiar to Science Students?

● Is there a way for me to take AP and/or IB courses, without the exorbitant fees?

● Lastly, if the response to the above two questions are negative, is there any way I could improve my chances of getting into a good school.

Thanks!

collegecourses
IB
AP

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Accepted answer

Hey @OnimouslyAnon123, great questions! @ElijahK is right and colleges will be aware of your situation. They evaluate you in the context of your school and based on the opportunities available to you. As long as you are challenging yourself as much as possible with what classes are available at your school you will be OK.

There are places online, like https://www.edx.org/learn/ap, where you can take free courses for AP credit. Some of the courses do offer verified certificates once you complete the course, however, if you want a certificate they cost $49, at least on Edx. If you're going to want to try to get college credit you'll need to sign up for the AP tests. Those cost money but you can apply for a fee reduction using this link (https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/exam-policies-guidelines/exam-fees) if you need. Just so you are aware, taking the AP classes are much more important in the application process than whatever scores you get on the AP exam. This means you should prioritize taking the classes over the exams.

If you need any clarification on things I wrote or have any follow-up questions I'm more than happy to help. Good luck with everything!

Thanks, but let me clarify: colleges might "sympathize" with me because of my limited options. taking classes for credit is a better alternative than splurging on AP exams. Lastly, which prep programs, books, PDFs, online resources, etc. do you think will be ideal for me to study for AP?
Correct, colleges WILL be understanding of your situation and you WILL NOT be at a disadvantage when you apply just because you don't have the same opportunities as others. Yes, having an AP class on your transcript is much more important for admissions than taking the AP test. Taking the test is really only if you are hoping for college credit.
In terms of resources and learning the material I think Edx.org will be good. https://www.khanacademy.org/ also has resources where you can learn and practice and https://www.appracticeexams.com/ has practice AP exams. For books it depends on what you like and the different ways information is presented. Barron's, Kaplan, and Princeton Review all have AP books but I believe they are geared more for AP tests than the class.
Oh okay! Thanks so much for your help.
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Universities will be understanding of your situation. They care that you play the best hand that you are given. If you do that, you will be fine