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Schools Can AP exams substitute a year of university?

  1. May 8, 2008 #1
    Hello. Well, it looks like I'm going to have to go back for another year of high school due to low marks. However, it is very boring and I regret not doing better because I know everything and far beyond all of the math, science, and english curricula. There were also some complications relating to my health that hindered my success.

    So, I'm wondering if I can go to high school and also take AP exams in various subjects to earn my credits for the first year of university. So, I know there are at least 2 calculus AP exams, can I take those and substitute it for my first 2 calculus credits and then do the same for all of the other courses I would have taken in first year university? Then can I start in second year university when I get accepted there?

    Are there other ways to earn university credits before graduating from high school? I am in Canada, if there is a difference, and will definitely be going to university in Canada (one day ...).

    Thanks for reading and any input/information is appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2008 #2
  4. May 8, 2008 #3


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    See if you high school will let you schedule classes at a community college.
  5. May 8, 2008 #4
    Thank you undrcvrbro, I don't know how I ever missed that topic when scanning the first page. So I guess AP is not a proper substitute for university courses, but at least I could prepare myself on a higher level and just get the credits with AP.

    @Vid, do community college courses count for credits in university? Do you know approximately how many university credits I could realistically get in one year via community college? They would probably cost too much, but it's worth looking into, thank you for the reply.
  6. May 8, 2008 #5


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    Usually the high school has to pay for the tuition since you need to take classes they can't offer you. At least that's how it seems to be in the US, not sure about Canada.

    Look at the website for the community college. Most will have lists of university that accept transfer credit from there.
  7. May 8, 2008 #6
    Thanks, I'll look into it and ask my school.
  8. May 8, 2008 #7


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    what makes you think you know so much if you cant even get high grades in high school?
  9. May 8, 2008 #8
    I worded my post incorrectly, I don't know anything beyond high school. But I do know the high school curriculum fully, I had poor success due to poor attendance. I want to learn first year university with everyone else instead of being held back.

    Sorry for the confusion, I didn't mean that I already know first year university.
  10. May 8, 2008 #9


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    the same question still applies. what makes you think you know even high school math if you cant convince your teachers?

    \\the purpose of the question is to help you make an objective assessment of your future.
  11. May 8, 2008 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    That's a very good question.

    The expressions, "I know the material but just can't get good grades", "I understand the material but just can't work the problems" and "But I understand everything when you say it" usually translate to "I don't really understand the material".
  12. May 8, 2008 #11
    I know what both of you mean, and you are right, but that is not my case. My problem is I was convincing them, I was getting pretty good marks. I just missed many weeks due to minor illness + procrastination and decided to leave the classes instead of returning to finish with mediocre results. It was an extremely poor choice (and I realize I should have gone to the doctor), but I can only try to make up for it.
  13. May 8, 2008 #12
    Just to clarify, you don't need to take both AP calculus exams. The harder one (BC) will usually give you better options in terms of credit or placing out, etc. I haven't looked into the details, so I can't give you any specifics.
  14. May 8, 2008 #13
    Thank you for clarifying. I haven't investigated it yet so I didn't know that.
  15. May 8, 2008 #14
    mathwonk is right........

    regarding post #11

    after all those weeks you missed + the procrascination, somehow you know what was taught in those weeks? I don't think you're being very realistic, and your marks is proof of this.

    I think what your trying to say is that you are very capable of the material, it's just that you missed some lessons which is hindering your learning now.

    I would: take the extra time and learn everything chronologically. School is a step by step program, which is very hard and sometimes frustrating, when you don't have pre-requisite skills to certain classes.
  16. May 8, 2008 #15


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    look at my thread who waNTS TO BE a mathematician?

    and check out page 5 post 62? and try to read it. can you?
  17. May 8, 2008 #16

    so you should know all that after first year right? not coming out of highschool right?
  18. May 9, 2008 #17
    to the OP, i think i know pretty well what you may be going through. i had a very similar circumstance except instead of it taking place in high school, it took place during my 2nd semester of first year engineering. thus, i had to wait until the same time next year to repeat it. i really wanted to do the semester 4 months earlier because our co-op stream starts in first year but they wouldn't let me. so i was off-stream from my buddies. however, i don't regret it. didn't quite fix my habits fully but am a lot better now.

    anyhow, i don't wanna sound like a tape recorder or anything but take the advice/questions that mathwonk gave some serious thought (not that you haven't but continue to). it may suck but really try to fix the root of the problem. if you're smart and you know it then great you've got the confidence. however, if your work ethic and consistency isn't where you know it should be, then do what you need to do to fix it... even if that means doing a victory lap in high school.

    the thing with high school is it's easy. however, the key to success is working hard. your knowledge of material may or may not transfer over to university courses. however, your experience being able to work hard despite being tempted otherwise because it seems easy, transfer over in any case... whether the material is hard or not!

    btw, what schools/programs did you apply to?
  19. May 9, 2008 #18
    mathwonk, I read the first half of that pretty well but I couldn't finish it (I only had about 20 minutes). I think I would need to draw a diagram and break it down piece-by-piece. Is this bad, should I be able to read that easily if I know high school math?

    @Larphraulen : Thank you, that was some great advice. I do know I have to fix my work ethic and commitment (and especially attendance). I guess repeating will teach me a lesson and allow me to fix bad habits. And I did not apply to any universities, there was no point.

    @viet_jon:Thank you for the reply. I think I am going to go to the library and read all of the grade 12 math books, and see if there is anything I don't know in them. I think that is a fair way to assess if I know the high school curriculum or not.
  20. May 9, 2008 #19


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    my point that those notes are not easy for anyone coming out of high school, and yet they are my freshman honors course notes. so my advice is to someone bright coming out of high school, take such an honors course, do not skip to a non honors second year course.

    one of the honors students in that class said it was the most challenging math class he had ever had in his life, and one of the most challenging in any field. now i cannot guarantee that every freshman honors instructor will give such a challenging course, so you have to check, but it is very common for freshmen to want to skip college courses and find out they will not do well if they do so.

    the idea is to get good courses, courses designed for honors students, and that does not usually mean skipping from non honors calc 1 into non honors calc 2, it often means instead retaking calc 1 at an honors level.

    but again, this is not true in every section, as some teachers have dumbed down their section even in honors, to below the level of incoming AP students.
  21. May 9, 2008 #20


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    I took "Honors" multivariate last semester. We still used Stewart, and it was actually less intense than a few of the regular sections. The only difference was the teacher proved as much as he could in class, but we still only had computational homework (it was online....) that I just pretty much refused to do as most of the problems were unnecessary exercises in tedium. I got A's on all the tests and the final, but ended up with a B after my online homework grade was averaged in. :/
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