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I really need help with my course selection for next year!

  1. Jan 21, 2016 #1
    Hi guys,

    I really need help with deciding my courses for next year. Currently, i'm a sophomore in high school rising to a junior next year, and today, we began doing course selections for next year. Now, before I continue, I didn't just start thinking about my courses for next year today. I've actually been planning on my courses for 11th and 12th grade for the last few months so that I don't end up with a course that I don't want. This year, I got stuck with a course I hate for a number of reasons (a lack of planning, me moving to a new school, many of the courses already being taken, etc.), so this year, I really, really don't want to make the same mistake. After thinking over it for the last few months, these are the courses i've been thinking of taking.

    11th Grade:
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Biology
    • AP European History
    • AP English III
    • Honors Civics and Economics
    • Honors Pre-Calculus
    • Honors Spanish IV
    • Honors Physics
    12th Grade:
    • AP US History
    • AP Earth and Environmental Science
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Spanish V
    • AP Statistics
    • AP Psychology
    • Honors English IV
    • Honors Human Anatomy & Physiology
    Before I keep going, my school has classes set up on a 4x4 block system and an A/B day system. This means that, if I were to take an honors or a regular class (like Honors Civics and Economics), I would take it every day for a whole semester and then be done. The only exception is Honors Pre-Calculus, where I have the option to take it every day for a full semester or every other day for a full year. Some classes, like AP classes, art classes, drama classes, and PE classes, run on an A/B day system, where you take the class every other day all year long. When choosing my courses, I must take AP courses in pairs with each other so that everything will work (with the few exceptions I am about to talk about).

    Today, when we got introduced to course selections for next year, I noticed a very big problem with my AP science courses that would conflict with other classes. Apparently, AP Biology and AP Chemistry are going to be courses that I take every day, all year long (NOT A/B day classes). While I would love to do chemistry and biology every day all year, each course takes up TWO periods instead of one. Because of this, I cannot fit everything that I was planning on doing before, and I have to cut out courses if i'm going to take AP Chemistry and AP Biology. On top of this, I noticed that there is also the option to take AP Physics 1 (which is also every day, all year long). My school does not currently offer this course, so it seems like they're going to be adding it next year. Now that AP Physics 1 is an option for me, i'm also very tempted to choose AP Physics 1, as that's a course I would really love to take; however, it has the same problem as AP Chemistry and AP Biology: it takes up two periods instead of one.

    I've been trying to move things around and find a course configuration that will work, but i've been having difficulties with that. Right now, these are the best configurations I have thought of (though i'm still very, very open to change and i'm still not entirely sure of it).

    11th Grade:
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Earth and Environmental Science
    • AP European History/Psychology (one of those two)
    • AP English IV
    • Honors Pre-Calculus (A/B day version)
    • Honors Civics and Economics
    • Honors Spanish IV
    12th Grade:
    • AP Biology
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Statistics
    • AP Spanish V
    • AP US History
    • Honors English 12 (AP Literature would be a nightmare)
    • Honors Physics
    I've been thinking of adding AP Physics 1, but I don't know how to make it work, as it would take up too much space if it takes up two periods. Also, I feel like my school might add AP Physics 2 by the time I reach 12th grade, so if I were to take AP Physics 1, I feel like next year would be the best time.

    Do you guys have any suggestions for what I should do? I really just cannot decide on what I should do now that I found out about how the AP science courses are structured, and I just don't know what to do. I've already scheduled a meeting with my counselor, but I would really appreciate any outside input.

    Also, I noticed that another option I could take in 12th grade is AP Calculus AB and BC (all wrapped up as one course) every day, all year long. I don't think I will actually do this, but what do people think about this option? How is AP Calculus AB and BC? What are the differences between the two courses? By the way, if anybody has any information about any of the AP courses I want to take, I would love to hear it! :)

    After high school, i'm planning on studying to become a cardiologist, so I would like to focus more on math and science. However, I do also want to be well-rounded overall.

    Other Background Information:
    • I need one Earth and Environmental Science credit, so AP Earth is a requirement.
    • I need to take Honors Civics and Economics in 11th grade, as that is a graduation requirement and a prerequisite to AP US History.
    • I need to take AP US History in order to graduate. Otherwise, I would have to do American History I and II, which i'd not like to do. I must take it in 12th grade since I have to do Civics in 11th grade.
    • I would like to continue Spanish all the way up to 12th grade.
    Classes I Took Last Year & Classes I'm Taking This Year:

    9th Grade:
    • Physical Education 9
    • World Geography (no honors version available)
    • Chemistry and Physics Fundamentals
    • English 9 (no honors version available)
    • Geometry (no honors version available)
    • Graphic Design (semester long)
    • Animation & Game-Making (semester long)
    • Spanish II (no honors version available)
    10th Grade:
    • Honors Biology
    • Honors Chemistry
    • Honors PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design
    • Honors Spanish III
    • Honors Math III (basically, Honors Algebra II)
    • Honors English II
    • Novice Cardio & Core Conditioning (I hate this course)
    • AP World History
    Thanks in advance and please help me! :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2016 #2

    Student100

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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Isn't honors physics or AP physics calculus based at your school? Would you even meet the prerequisites if you tried to do it in the 11th grade?
     
  4. Jan 22, 2016 #3
    Honors Physics and AP Physics 1 are algebra-based at my school. The prerequisite for Honors Physics is to have completed geometry, and the CollegeBoard says that AP Physics 1 is a beginner's level physics course that is algebra-based and only requires you to have done up to Algebra II. I should be fine if I tried to do them in 11th grade.
     
  5. Jan 22, 2016 #4
    You need to be challenged without being overwhelmed, with a mix of material you like with material you need down the road.

    This requires consideration of your strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. Be honest about these and sit down with a trusted advisor closer to your situation, most likely a teacher, parent, or academic advisor who has all your records.
     
  6. Jan 22, 2016 #5

    Student100

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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Then either of your mock selections should be fine, you hit all the basics and should be prepared for college. I've noticed you have AP English 4 in 11th grade, but have three in the other, I'm assuming this is a mistake/oversight.

    Since you want to do premedical, you're going to obviously want to do the biology and chemistry courses. I would change AP calculus AB to BC, it will move quicker and cover more material and give you a better footing for university. Do AP physics or honor physics as well whenever you can fit it in. Just ensure you're going to meet all the checked boxes for graduation and don't end up stuck there for another year because you forgot something!
     
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