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What should I do?

  1. Dec 13, 2004 #1
    I'm 15 and in 10th grade and I'm taking 4 AP classes :AP Physics B, AP Calculus AB, AP Government, AP Statistics. My other 3 classes are Pre-IB chemistry, Pre-IB English 2, and Health. I have already finished my high school requirements but I'm not allowed to graduate. I'm way ahead of the average 10th grader. But do colleges really look at Ap classes. Which would a college more likely accept:

    1. a person with a ton of AP classes, a 3.6 GPA and not in the top 10% of his/her class
    2. a person with a 3.4, no AP classes and is in the top 10%
    3. a person with a 3.9, no AP classes and in the top 10%
    4. a person with a 3.9, no Ap classes and is not in the top 10%

    I just don't know what to do :frown: . Am I helping or hurting myself by taking all of these AP classes? I go to a special school for people like my (people that are way ahead of the average person) so there is no way I will even be in the top 20%. To be in the top 20% you have to have a 6.0 HPA (every A in an AP class is worth 6 points. my school goes by HPA not GPA for rank. It's a long story on why). Right now my GPA and HPA is not so good because I have a C in AP physics :cry: , a C in Ap Calculus AB :cry: , and a C in PIB-English :cry: . This is the first time in my life I have ever made a C :cry: . I rarely ever get Bs in math and science(i have never been good in English and I usually get Bs but a C has just killed me :cry: ). I don't know what to do. Would it be good to leave my school. If I went to any other high school I would probably be in the top 3%. If I leave I will graduate with Calculus 3. if I don't go then I will graduate with Matrix theory (i would have taken calc 3, differential equations, and matrix theory. If I go I will be behind 2 years in math behind (nit behind the average person). Is it good to take the AP classes and get a C or is it better to take a honors class and get an A or B? What do colleges want?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2004 #2
    Obviously, the ideal would be to take a tough schedule and do well. That said, It's probably better to have a high class rank than a high GPA. It looks better when you do well compared your peers then when you do better on a universal "raw" scale. If at all possible, take the AP tests and do well in the subjects you got Cs in to show that the grade did not reflect how much you really learned in that class.
  4. Dec 13, 2004 #3
    So should I leave my school so I can have a higher rank?
  5. Dec 13, 2004 #4
    It would be awfully tough to leave school in 10th grade to start over socially. You'll find (or at least I found) that a good social experience in HS is better than doing everything trying to get into a "good" college. Maybe try to bring up your grades at your current school, unless there is are some other circumstances that aren't provided above. You should talk to your parents, teachers and school counselors if you are seriously considering leaving.
  6. Dec 13, 2004 #5
    im a sophomore too... a guy from amherst came to our school and someone asked him the same question.. he said that he'd prefer seeing a student taking "the most demanding course ur school offers" which in my case, are AP courses and getting a 2-3 on those rather than taking regular course and getting excellant grades...

  7. Dec 13, 2004 #6
    There is no way I can bring up my grades. In calc every quarter we only have about 4 grades and they all are quizzes that are worth 8 points each. Each quiz only has one question. If you get it wrong you get a 0. On one of the quizzes she tricked us and me and everyone else got a zero. That has just killed my grade since we have so few grades. In english we never get anything back so I don't even know why I have a c!!!! Everytime I ask he says he will pass back stuff later. He hates me!!! We have not had a test or anything in that class (we have only had papers). And Physics is just hard! I don't know what to do. It's just driving me crazy. I understand the material but it is just how they grade. Since we go to a special school they think they have to grade a special way. And what makes me really mad is that the teacher you get determines your grade. Like people that have the other calc teacher are all getting As because her work is so easy and she gives you an A if she likes you (you can fail every test and still get an A with her). When a college looks at my grades they don't see that your teacher was really hard and the other person had an easy teacher. :cry: :cry:

    I have been thinking about leaving a lot. :frown: Everytime I think about my grades i get depressed or start to cry. I just don't know what to do. Everyone has been telling me my whole life that i should go to this high school because it is one of the best high schools in the US. Now i don't know if it was a good thing that i was accepted. :cry: I just don't know what to do. :frown:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2004
  8. Dec 13, 2004 #7
    look. just stay in your current school. you have your health right? why do you care so much about numbers? It doesn't matter that you do not get into an Ivy League School. Just try your best, and thats all that matters. College is not the end of your life, as you can make many contributions later.

    Hope this helps
  9. Dec 13, 2004 #8
    I don't know why I care so much about grades. I barely have my health. I'm going to end up killing myself over this stuff. I know trying my best is all that matters.
  10. Dec 13, 2004 #9
    Do you have to go to an Ivy League School to be a scientist, doctor. . .?
  11. Dec 13, 2004 #10
    of course not. in the long run it does not matter. the only thing that matters is your passion for whatever you want to study (dedication) and whether you tried your best. There are many great professors of many other colleges. Don't just go by the name. The Ivy League schools is just one division of schools. Although professors may be a little better (how do you define better?) Do you think when you are old and dying someone will come up to you and say "I hate you because you didn't go to and Ivy League School?" Of Course not. In the context of your life, a few C's won't matter in the long run. Don't be simple minded and allows a simple letter determine your fate.

    Hope this helps
  12. Dec 13, 2004 #11


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    You certainly do not need to go to an Ivy league school to become a scientist or doctor. Take a deep breath. All you can do is your best.

    There will be many options for you. You are so young. You could go to an average undergrad school, do great, and go to one of the upper echelon grad schools...

    Talk to your school counselors and your parents about what to do. Tell them about your worries...

    Take it easy... Just do your best, and let the chips fall where they may. That's all you can do in life.
  13. Dec 14, 2004 #12
    I have talked tp people about it. I almost left. I had the papers and everything. I have tried so hard and it has all gone to waste. If i go i will have better grades and a better rank. The other thing that I'm wondering about is if it is worth it to take all the AP classes because I heard many colleges don't accept them. Do they? Have any of you taken an AP class that a college has accepted? Do they like it when kids take Ap classes?
  14. Dec 14, 2004 #13
    Alot of colleges accept AP Calc, especially if you take BC. Your AP Stat class probably won't mean much if you go into science/engineering though because its not calculus based. Not quite sure about the others though I imagine alot of colleges also accept AP Chem, Physics and Bio.

    You seem to be taking a pretty heavy course load and seemed to be a bit stresed out. That seems like quite a bit of a load for a 15-year old. I also went to a magnet school. The first course I took was AP Comp Sci as a sophomore, like alot of people did. I honestly can't remember if I I got an A or a B. I took AP Calc my junior year, and tried to take AP Physics as well HS but my mind wasn't mature enough to handle the physics so I switched to regular. I did well in it in college though. I got a 5 in the only two AP exams I took, comp sci and calc. I also took AP government but for some reason decided not to take the exam. My school also offered multivariable calculus and linear algebra (they even added differential equations and complex variables) and I did OK in those courses. In college, I was able to obtain placement but not credit for them by passing an exam.

    About colleges and careers, the most important thing is that you have a passion for what you are doing. Yes Princeton, MIT, Harvard, etc. are good schools but its not the end of the world if you don't get in. Nobel prize winners come from state schools too, you know.
  15. Dec 14, 2004 #14
    Remember, there is no set formula to get into a great school. With a dozen APs, top notch standardized test scores, members of many extracurricular clubs, services, job experiences, and all that... I still ended up with a very disappointing college process. What I did learn, was that upon entering university, I was already way ahead of others, and I was set for a significantly easier time and I was able to pursue further studies faster...

    Point is, the fractional differences in your GPA will not matter much in the long run. What you really learn is important. Your grades matter, but not as much as you think. You will discover that soon enough, I am sure.

    Colleges will look at so many different things. I am more than willing to discuss my experiences in detail if you wish.

  16. Dec 14, 2004 #15
    Hmmm which school are you in???

    also Im looking to move to a school which offers very challenging courses ( such as urs. ) ...is ur school classified as a magnet school?

  17. Dec 14, 2004 #16
    The university that I attend (Carnegie Mellon University - www.cmu.edu) has accepted all my AP scores to one level or another (because I received all 4s and 5s).

    I think I can tell you for a fact that AP courses are generally well received. A high school which offers challenging courses may be in the long run beneficial, but you also face a lot more competition from your schoolmates in getting into the same top notch schools. Remember, some colleges are not inclined to take too many kids from the same school...
  18. Dec 14, 2004 #17
    I know that's what I'm worried about. That's why my rank sucks. If I left then I would have a better rank. Am I taking all of this stuff for nothing. Are these Ap classes hurting me?
  19. Dec 14, 2004 #18
    Doubtful. I didn't have a very high rank in my high school. Everyone else was taking a tonne of APs and all that. You'll learn more from AP classes anyway. And trust me, colleges know the qualities of high schools...
  20. Dec 14, 2004 #19
    If I really had to make a suggestion - stay where you are, and take the challenging courses. No matter where you end up, it will be beneficial in the long run. And honestly, AP and IB programs are still not too difficult by comparison anyway, and anyone level headed, IMO, should be able to handle them with flying colours.
  21. Dec 14, 2004 #20
    If I could take the AP classes at another school then should I go? I want to go to get better grades but there are some people i will really miss if i go :cry: .
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