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Testing How to sign up for Calculus BC on your own

  1. Mar 10, 2016 #1
    Hey all, this is my first post here (so please let me know if I posted this in the wrong place). In school, I won't be able to take the AP Calculus BC exam even though I am self-studying calculus right now (long story). As a result, I am planning to sign up for the exam on my own. The College Board requires people in my "category" to call before March 1st to receive the names of AP coordinators that are willing to test outside students. However, it is past March 1st. Nevertheless, I am still passionate about taking the test, and I do not want this to be a lost cause. Any advice? Thank you for your help
     
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  3. Mar 12, 2016 #2

    Student100

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    Take the course in college?
     
  4. Mar 13, 2016 #3
    The only problem is that I don't enjoy repeating courses - if I don't take the exam this year, I may be forced to sit in a BC class next school year. In addition, I will be studying more advanced math over the summer (e.g. linear algebra), so me being in that class wouldn't be the most enjoyable. Thank you for your opinion though. Is there any way I can actually take the BC exam this school year? Any advice is appreciated.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2016 #4

    Student100

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    No, you missed the deadline. You can still call an administrator and see if they will allow it, but don't be surprised if they won't.

    I think it would be better to take the course in college, as you'll probably end up learning more. You could even enroll in community college summer session if you really feel like you got it- although for most people I wouldn't recommend that.
     
  6. Mar 13, 2016 #5

    Fervent Freyja

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  7. Mar 13, 2016 #6

    Student100

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    CLEP is a scam, don't expect any university worth attending to accept the credits.
     
  8. Mar 13, 2016 #7

    Fervent Freyja

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    That is probably true most of the time. But, there are a few "worthy" ones that do accept them, and it is valuable for those cases. It's always a good idea to check first. I should have noted the risk involved.

    I'm curious as to what your definition of a worthy university is though? Must it appear on a list? Do you also assign this value to the person as well?
     
  9. Mar 14, 2016 #8

    IGU

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    Maybe. Check with the school you'll be going to. There's a decent chance that getting a good score on the AP test is not the only was to place out of introductory college calculus. And quite a number of schools won't let you place out of calculus even with an AP test score. Stop wondering and check what the reality is.
     
  10. Mar 17, 2016 #9

    pmr

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    Try calling the college board, it might be a soft deadline, who knows.

    Also, any sane school will let you skip whatever intro courses you want. Just register for whichever classes feel at your level. If you complete a major in math or physics with a good GPA and some administrator notices that you neglected to take Calc 1 then nobody in their right mind is going to deny you the diploma. It's true that departments are sometimes sticklers for major requirements. For example, if you cry "But I already know quantum mechanics!" then your school is not likely to be accommodating. However, they're not usually picky about low level intro courses in the quite the same way, so if you skip the intro courses and complete the actual meat of the major requirements then you'll probably be fine.

    If your school has some annoying bureaucratic procedure which keeps tabs on students and prevents them from skipping intro classes then go to the office of the head of the math department, pick up a piece of chalk, do a modestly complicated integral on the board, and ask if you can skip to a class at your level. Even where procedures exist to keep students from skipping intro classes they are often not enforced. In my school's physics department, for example, there is a placement exam that you are "required" to take if you want to skip the 3-semester intro physics sequence and jump into an advance 2-semester intro sequence instead. However, I've seen people sign up for the advanced 2-semester sequence without taking the placement exam, and they didn't get any resistance form the administration. They just went for it and nobody cared.

    You'll find that college is not like high school. People are not monitoring your every move and planning your schedule down to the minute. You're mostly free to do what you want with your education within some basic limits. If you get accepted to a college for which that is not the case, and which is too much like a high school, then don't go.
     
  11. Mar 17, 2016 #10
    Oh, how I wish...

    I say this as someone who took 4 years of Spanish in high school and got an A in Spanish III at my current university. And now I'm a last-semester senior who just took "Introduction to Spanish" because there was no option for me to test out of it. I'm sorry... can you taste the bitterness?
     
  12. Mar 17, 2016 #11

    micromass

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    I feel you, I really do. Whether you can skip intro courses depends very much on the department and the professor in question. I know some departments that really don't care whether students meet the prerequisites or not. They let you take whatever course, it's your responsibility. On the other hand, there are some very good schools which are very strict with their prereqs and required courses...
     
  13. Mar 18, 2016 #12
    I have good news! I was able to sign up for the BC exam through my school. I want to say thank you for all of your thoughts.

    By the way pmr, what exactly constitutes a low level course (maybe freshman, introductory level?). I was wondering since I am planning on self-studying undergraduate organic chemistry for the IChO. I don't have much experience with chemistry, but I'm sure with a good textbook, a lot of effort, and a teacher (or Physics Forums or some other forum for help), I should be able to learn the majority, if not all, of the material. However, organic seems to be notoriously difficult. Nevertheless, one can never advance without trying. I was just wondering about how a university would treat someone in this situation. Thank you all for your replies.
     
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