AP Classes in High School: Your Thoughts

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by gan6660, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. gan6660 macrumors 65816

    gan6660

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    #1
    Hi, Ill be a senior in high school this coming fall and my mom wanted me to sign up for AP US History and I did but now we got the summer work and its alot plus it describes the course throughout the next year and it only gets worse, so I dont really want to take it. I will also be taking Physics, Pre-calc and english 12 classes plus other electives such as forensic science. I want to replace the ap class with a normal history. Do you think AP classes weigh heavily for colleges in the decision or will all my other classes be fine?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
    I view it as easing the transition to college plus, if you do well on the AP test, you can get out of some core curriculum

    If you take a light load, and yours seems relativly light I might add, you will be in for a shock once you start university where professors don't hold your hand like they do in hs
     
  3. danielcox macrumors member

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    #3
    I'm in the UK so it's a little different but uni isn't easy work all the time. Do it and it'll ease you in for when it really counts.
     
  4. iOrlando macrumors 68000

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    #4
    took 8 APs during my high school years. they were fun.

    I would recommend doing them. They really aren't too much of a preparation for college courses because the hardest part about college courses is the new social environment you are placed in. Seriously, college is easy and the classes are easy, its just the social things that cause stress, panic, and anxiety. (roommates, friends, etc)

    and yes, AP courses do begin right off the block really fast and hard (to kick out the slow moving kids). Once October comes around you are going full pace. After christmas vacation, its becomes easier and more manageable and very often you are done with your year by May 15 or whenever the test is.
     
  5. gan6660 thread starter macrumors 65816

    gan6660

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    #5
    Thanks for your thoughts. I have taken honors classes the past 3 years if that makes a difference. Im more concerned with the effect AP classes have on getting into college rather than being prepared for it.
     
  6. toxictrix macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Do it for sure. I made the mistake of not taking as many AP tests as possible. Do it so you won't have to take these classes in college and then have them affect your GPA.
     
  7. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    I am interested to hear what your major is and what year you are if still in
    Why does it become easier after Christmas vacation? You start a whole new semester.

    Edit: Realized not all high schools utilize the block schedule
    Admissions are a factor of a variety of things. I know most/all schools would rather see a student who pushed himself and got slightly worse grades than acing all the easy classes.

    Also, as I mentioned, you can get out of a decent amt of core curriculum classes if you do well enough on the AP tests which would save you time and money
     
  9. iOrlando macrumors 68000

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    #9
    AP courses in high schools don't have "semesters" like in college. You have same teacher and class from August to May. Its easier because you are already in the routine. My senior year i had 5 AP classes. I knew every night i would have HW from 7 pm to midnight. no way around it. by time January came around, I was use to it and it became easy (plus you figure out habits like when quizzes would be etc).
     
  10. Xavier macrumors 68020

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    #10
    I didn't take any AP classes in high school and I don't think it really has hindered my learning ability.

    My sister is taking some AP classes in high school. I believe some classes depending on the college can transfer or count as credit. That might be what she is trying to do.
     
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #11
    Depends on the hs apparently. Mine had 90 min classes every day for one semester at which point the class would be over. I liked that as you could double up on a subject if you wanted in one academic year
     
  12. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #12
    I took a bunch of AP classes (15) in HS, but that was about a thousand years ago, so I doubt my lame data point applies today. I don't regret taking some of them, but many were pretty much worthless. YMMV.
     
  13. wakka092 macrumors 6502

    wakka092

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    #13
    I just graduated in May from HS, and I took the only AP course our HS offered - Calculus. It was a great experience, but a challenging one. Your mind will be stretched and you WILL work hard, but if you get credit, it's way better than taking the three-day-a-week, 1-1/2 hour college class.

    However, at the same time, don't overload on AP courses. Many colleges offer CLEP tests that allow you to test out of courses, which I would recommend instead of over-extending yourself your senior year. This is especially good if you are good at independent study or learned a lot from the corresponding, non-AP college class. Check it out here: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/about.html

    (I hear these tests aren't too difficult, but they do require a firm grasp of the subject.)
     
  14. CRAZYBUBBA macrumors 65816

    CRAZYBUBBA

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    #14
    I think that colleges generally want to see that you've taken a challenging curriculum (or as challenging as possible given the options at your school). The only reason not to do so would be if you feel like calc, etc + AP history would overwhelm you and result in lower academic performance. It looks to me like that's probably the case, so don't take it.

    Dukebound85 is right, your aps can be useful and count towards college courses IF you do well.
     
  15. iOrlando macrumors 68000

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    #15
    but i don't think AP courses in your HS were like that. The test is in May for everybody, so not sure how you took one AP course from Sept to Dec and that was it.


    many high schools give different weights to grades depending on the course level. (i.e. a C in AP is equivalent to an A in regular courses) for calculation of GPA and class rank purposes. there has been a growing movement to do away with this but whatever
     
  16. gan6660 thread starter macrumors 65816

    gan6660

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    #16

    Seems like that would be something that would suit me better since I took honors US 1&2 so I feel like AP US history would be alot of work but very redundant since I am very good at history. Its also the same teacher that I have had and I like her but I dont feel I would learn much more than I already have.

    That is how I feel somewhat. I feel that with all my other classes the AP class would just be one step too far for not that much gain.
     
  17. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #17
    Yes they were lol. I lived it! You just take the AP test in the spring along with everyone else

    We had voluntarily "review" sessions outside of school if you wanted as well during the second semester to help remember the topic

    Don't be so confident in the topic. There is much more you don't know than what you do. If you like history, you will probably enjoy the class.

    I enjoyed everyone of my AP classes fwiw

    I would at least try it
     
  18. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #18
    Two sides to AP Classes

    Good: Challenging material on a constant basis. Unbeatable opportunity to learn at a lightning pace.

    Bad: Lots and lots of competing students who are "playing the game" and just want the grade to get into a good college. Therefore cheating is rampant (coming from a Class of 2010 grad) and the class atmosphere is compromised.
     
  19. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #19
    I wouldn't make that correlation at all about cheating in regards to AP from my experience
     
  20. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #20
    I never took AP classes, never saw any advantage to it. The classes are harder and take up more of your time and there is no guarantee that you'll get college credit unless you do well on the AP Exam. Plus depending on what University you go to they may not accept AP classes.

    When I was in high school I just did classes that I got college credit for. My last year of high school I would have classes in the morning and then at lunch time I would go to the Community College for the 2nd half of the day and take real college classes.

    No AP classes, senior year was a breeze and a blast plus I went into University with a full semester under my belt.
     
  21. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #21
    I think I had 9 college credits coming into university from high school. If you are able to get credit for them I would say yes, thats going to save you money which is really whats important. No one is going to give a crap about what AP courses you took in high school once you get to college.
     
  22. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    #22
    I'd say it's only worth it if you do well on the AP Exam in May, and get the credits for it.

    I'm signed up for AP Chemistry, and AP US History next year, so I really hope I do well.

    I chose not to take AP World History this year, and instead took Pre-AP World History, which basically is better than regular, but not quite AP.

    I easily passed with a high A, and by now (Just took my final today) I feel like I should've taken AP instead. I had maybe 30 minutes of homework...
     
  23. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #23
    Take them. I was only able to take CALC AB and BC, but that's 2 semesters of math I didn't have to take (and pay for) in college.
     
  24. puffnstuff macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I say don't do it.

    If your grades are good enough you can take classes at a near by uni or cc for free sometimes.

    The AP courses I took back 5 years ago (maybe different now) did not teach anything. The focus was what could be on the test not the actually subject matter.
     
  25. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #25
    My advice (I’m the oldest and wisest one in this thread :) ) is to not take AP courses. The two MOST important things are your grade point and your SAT/ACT scores. If you’re extremely smart and know you’ll get A’s, then take them, but don’t mess up your GPA.

    Also, even though you didn’t ask, a mistake I made was to take honors courses in college. Don’t.
     

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