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High school: College Math or AP Math

  1. Dec 21, 2009 #1
    I am a junior in high school. This year I am in the advanced trig/pre-calc course. Next year seniors who still want to participate in an advanced math course can choose to enroll in AP Calculus AB,BC. This is the normal order math classes are taken. Now I wanted to take calculus courses at a local community college this summer so I could get ahead. The course is Calculus and Analytical Geometry I (and it goes up to III). If I scheduled everything right by the time I go to college I should be in calculus and analytical geometry III. I have asked around however and a lot of the teachers have said that it would be smarter "for colleges" to choose AP calc instead.

    My assumption however that being prepared for college is better; especially since I want to pursue a physics degre.

    What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2009 #2
    4 or 5 on BC calc gets you into cal 3 at my school, whereas they may not take the transfer credits from the community college. I think that's where your teachers are coming from. AP is standardized, so colleges know exactly what they are getting. Random math courses are a bit weirder. Do yourself a favor and look up the policies at the schools you want to go to, and call them up. See what'll transfer and what you expect to get.
  4. Dec 21, 2009 #3


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    In my experience, very few of the AP courses are actually comparable to a college class. Most of the ones I took counted for nothing once I got to college. Math may be one of the exceptions, though... I guess it depends on where you're going for college, and like story645 said, whether they'll accept transfer credits from the CC - or alternatively, whether they do placement tests in math. If you can contact the college you'd like to attend and figure that out, it might be a good idea.

    If you don't have a specific college in mind, I guess it'd make sense to listen to your teachers.
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