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What if you take the harder AP/Honors classes in your senior year instead of junior?

  1. May 27, 2007 #1
    Here's the deal: I'm currently a sophomore in high school and I need to choose my classes for junior year. I've made a thread like this, but I'm addressing a newer issue here. I'm taking AP Physics B this year and that is the only AP/Honors class I have taken so far.

    Here's what I've signed up for next year (junior year):

    AP Calc AB
    AP Bio
    Honors English 11
    Honors Chemistry (Highest Chemistry class at our school)
    Spanish 2

    However, the Honors Chemistry course is pretty hard from what I've heard. Most people get C's, good students (even a ranked 1 person) got a 90%. Only 3 people have A's out of 70 students. Many FAIL. I've heard this from a variety of students taking it this year: The teacher doesn't teach at all, he gives labs often and these take up a lot of time to do (they are a big part of your grade), he gives hard pop quizzes and extremely hard tests. About the hard pop quizzes and extremely hard tests, no one knows what to study for because he doesn't give you any study guide or tell you what to study for, the questions are mostly conceptual based and many questions aren't even in the book (?), it's like: if you do this to ____ what happens? why are ____ stinky?... That's what I've heard from other people.

    I'm dreading this teacher but I do want to take the class for knowledge. Does it really matter if I take it in my junior or senior year? Do engineering/medical colleges generally want to see you take a chemistry class before you apply? I REALLY don't know what to do here and I'm spending a lot of time deciding. Will I have more time senior year to spend more time in harder classes? I might take a SAT early in my senior year. It's just that with all these AP classes (my hardest course load yet), SATs(planning to prep a lot before) and SAT IIs(taking in october), and even AP exams, I don't know if I will have enough time to get a good grade in chemistry.If I take Chemistry in my junior year, I most likely will get B's in both semesters, mabye even C's (depending on how I cope with next years classes). Will getting C's drastically affect my chances at top schools?

    I'm planning to apply to UCB, UCLA, Stanford as a engineering, medical major. Please help me to decide on this problem. To colleges know actually how hard your school courses are? I've heard something about counselors sending information about class rigor from your school to colleges. Is this true for every school? Should I find out? (lol) I just don't want colleges to see that I'm "whipping out" by taking the hardest science class in my senior year. Does it really matter? Gah, I hate the admissions process=[ I'm really worried. Thanks.
    Last edited: May 27, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2007 #2
    So do you think it is better to take a class like AP chem junior year or senior year?? Also, colleges do care about your grades senior year right? Generally, do people have harder courses scheduled for junior year or senior year? Also, if I take Chemistry Honors I would really have to worry about taking the AP exam, this is a pro over AP comp sci. where colleges would prefer you taking an exam right?

    My senior year is probably going to be:

    AP English 12
    AP Econ
    AP Amer. Govt.
    AP Comp. Sci <-- switch this with chemistry honors? (look below)
    AP Stats/AP Music Theory (mabye neither)
    Spanish 3
    Astronomy & Earth Science

    And no, not taking chemistry in my junior year will not deprive me of any options for my senior year.

    Here are my three options that I could choose in place of Chem H:

    AP Computer Science <-- I'm interested. Same teacher as Chem H though, and if he doesn't teach I'm probably going to get a 3. A little easier than Chem H , however and the tests/quizzes are suppposedly curved sometimes.

    AP Stats <-- seems boring but the teacher is EXCELLENT, I mean she actually teaches and gives you tons of work at the same time (Almost everyone passes the AP exams). This class could also prep me for SATs?? I'm not sure if enough people are signing up for it however.

    Astronomy and other regular science classes.
  4. May 27, 2007 #3
    Colleges *definitely* care about your grades in your senior year. The classic example of this was Mark Edmonson, a student who applied to UNC with perfect SAT scores and was accepted, only to have his offer of admission recinded when he got bad grades in his senior year. (He sued the university, which is why you can google and find this story all over the web.)

    Anyway, the real answer to the original question is... take whatever interests you the most. I promise you, there is no university in the known universe that cares which year you took what AP course, as long as you're working hard and doing well.
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