4 years ago
Admissions Advice

When should I take AP Chemistry and Honors Physics, and is dual-credit good?

Hi!!! My dream school is Stanford and right now my school is having us choose our classes for Junior year. I have take Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry as they were the highest science classes available for my level, but I’m not sure if I should take AP Chemistry my junior year to make sure colleges see, or take Honors Physics junior year and AP Chem Senior year. I want to be a psychology major so I know I have to take all 3 of the sciences, I just want to make sure that Stanford sees that I took AP Chem. Also, my school has dual credit for two AP classes I want to take senior year, would it look good for me to take the dual credit courses? (I’m a sophomore btw).

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
4 years ago

Regarding AP Chem, I would suggest taking it junior year so colleges can see your grades for the class and your exam score. A's each term and a 5 on the exam would work very well in your favor, being that AP Chem is known to be one of the harder AP science classes and exams. Could you take Honors Physics senior year? This could also help because it may be a lighter workload for you to focus on your college applications during senior year instead of doing AP Chem at the same time.

For the dual credit, do you mean there are two classes that are the dual-enrollment versions of the AP classes? If so, I would suggest taking the AP classes as they tend to be more impressive since the standard for the classes is regulated and known by many while dual enrollment classes and their difficulty may not be easily assessed by admissions officers. Plus, taking the AP classes and the exams may help you get farther in university as you would likely save money by submitting a score of 5 (maybe 4 depending on the exam and class). I would check Stanford's AP Credit site to see what they award credit for and see if taking the AP version will be worth it. If this does not answer your question, please elaborate for the dual credit part so I can adjust my answer. Best of luck!

4 years ago

Some of what the previous poster wrote I agree with like taking AP Chem jr year and leaving Honors Physics senior but the assumptions about colleges preferring APs over dual enrollment are not founded in any truth written about the subjects.

First of dual-enrollment for most high schools means that the student can enroll at a City/Community/State college and earn college credits while attending the same course at their HS. Sometimes it means that the class is online with the HS and other times it means the class is online with the college. What dual enrollment gifts is the opportunity to earn college credits while taking the same class in HS so if you take DE classes you can still take AP whatever and also get college credits and still take the AP exam if you want. I took 24 units of DE classes in French and got all As in my college so I have a transcript from my community college with 24 credits on it with a 4.0 average. IMO, I think that is a perk and a plus. I still took the AP French test anyway because some colleges will not allow my 24 credits to transfer to their college.

The other thing I would mention is that you can also take online college classes to provide evidence of your intellectual vitality in addition to the course rigor your HS offers in APs, Honors and IBs and DE classes. I took 2 college level classes - 1 in Calculus and 1 in Psychology through U.Pitts Outlier.org program. They were $400 each but I earned 6 UPitt college credits and they are a Top 50 research university so that has more weight than my DE coursework. I'm also taking AP Physics through EDX.org via Davidson College's Davidson NEXT program. Again this is an alternative to taking AP Physics through HS but another avenue to earn credit/certificate and be prepared for the AP Physics exam in the Spring.

Schools like Stanford assess your "intellectual vitality" on their score card. This is a similar term to Harvard's "intellectual curiosity" rating. So in my case, I wanted to show schools like Stanford that I love learning for the sake of learning and willing to go beyond my zip code HS to find and absorb knowledge and appreciation for subjects I'm interested in.

My recommendation is take as many hard classes as you can do well in and look for other alternatives online to get your academics noticed.

You have 2 years of HS left. Make the most of it. Since you are online anyway, taking online college classes is easy.

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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