5 APs?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Rojo17, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Rojo17

    Rojo17 Member

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    I'm meeting with my counselor tomorrow about my senior year schedule, and as of now, I am in line to take 5 AP courses. They include: Spanish, Gov, Calc AB, Physics (the non-Calculus based one, my school doesn't have the Calculus-based one), and Chemistry. I have taken Chemistry already (around a 92, 93 for the year) and I took my physics final today (probably will have near a 94, 95 for the year depending on what I get on the final).

    My question is: is 5 APs too much?

    I want to make myself the best possible candidate, but I also don't want to completely overload myself with work. I am willing to take 5. I just want to know if it is necessary (I understand nobody can say "yes" or "no" with complete authority. I just want personal opinions as to whether I need it or not).

    If I were to drop one, it would most likely be Chem.

    Thanks for reading this far if you have! All answers are appreciated.:thumb:
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would think your grades would suffer with 5 AP courses. Frankly though I would consider dropping the Spanish and/or Gov. The math and sciences would carry more weight with the academy. Of course this is JMPO. I certainly don't have any special insight.
     
  3. JettAirliner

    JettAirliner USNA Appointee 2016

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    I think you'll be fine. If you're the sort to worry about overloading yourself with work, you're also the sort that has he thinking skills to more or less breeze through AP courses. Breeze being far and away an exaggeration: just make sure you understand the best way for you to study. And if you start struggling, do everything you can to get help. AP teachers tend to be extraordinarily passionate and knowledgeable about their subjects, and will assist you in any ways possible. But you have to take the initiative.

    Chemistry, Physics and Calc will be the tough ones. I assume you have a good head for the sciences though, and perhaps you already know the instructors. Spanish is all about immersion, which a good teacher can tiptoe you towards but you'll have to add in extra learning. Government is really just not being an idiot and memorization.
     
  4. Otter

    Otter Member

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    Take them, honestly the AP courses aren't That hard, I typically find them to be more enjoyable than normal courses. You have to report classes you plan to take your senior year and as tough a curriculum as possible could be that extra edge. Some AP exams with a score of a 5 will allow you to validate at the academy - which depending on your goals can be nice. Calc AB is a must out of those, taking Chem might allow you to pass the validation test (or just make your first semester easier which is not to be overrated) same story with physics. Spanish you can validate - but you can only major in spanish if you are already fluent. Gov is probably not necessary. Math and science is the focus at the academy so that might factor as well. If you drop any I say Gov, then spanish. However it is up to you, don't worry about being overloaded - your senior year won't be as big of a breeze as the other kids, but after early may you will have time to chill. And here is the validation policy http://www.usna.edu/acdean/candidateinfo/USNACourseValidationPolicy.htm
     
  5. wilson73

    wilson73 Member

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    My now 2/C Mid took 9 AP courses in high school -- Biology as a sophomore, Calc AB, Psychology and US History as a junior, and 5 as a senior. Senior year AP courses were Statistics, Physics BC, English Lit, Government, and another one that escapes me. Got 4's and 5's on exams. The 5 on the Calc AB plus his Plebe Summer exam scores placed him in Honors Calc 2 as a Plebe. Stopped foreign language after Spanish IV, but would have validated that if he had chosen a major in Tier 3 instead of engineering, so that is something to keep in mind if you are planning to choose a STEM major.

    May I ask why you are not taking an English course as a senior? Most high schools require four years of English, not to mention the fact that it would keep your writing skills from getting rusty. You will do a LOT of writing at USNA, regardless of your major.
     
  6. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    I, too wonder about not seeing English on your class list.

    IMO, the one AP class NOT to drop is AP Chem. Taking it may allow you to validate a semester of Chem at USNA, which is a very good thing. Even if you don't validate, you will be less rusty in chem, one of the "killer courses" for Plebes. The exception would be if the AP chem teacher is an awful teacher, whose students have not, as a whole, performed well on the AP exam in previous years.

    As for the rest, it's up to you to know how many classes you can balance (and still do well) along with ECAs or other activities. Take the hardest schedule you can manage while still being active in other areas. If taking that extra AP would make you skip being a leader in an activity that's important to you, I vote for the leadership role.
     
  7. Rojo17

    Rojo17 Member

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    About the English course: I took AP Lit this year. Next year I'll be taking non-AP English courses, which will most likely be Speech & Debate and American Issues in Literature. Together they would count as one credit.

    The Chem teacher, from what I've heard, is a great teacher, and so is the Calc one. My thought process was that if I put in the work my senior year, I'll have less stress my Plebe year (if I get in!). If I can validate a course, great! If not, I will just be better prepared than I would have been without the courses.

    Wilson73, would you please explain the part about Spanish again? I do plan a STEM major, so how does the Spanish affect that?

    Thanks for the answers!
     
  8. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    5 APs is certainly possible. Keep a good work ethic and don't fall behind, though. You'll find it hard to catch up again if you slip.
     
  9. Rojo17

    Rojo17 Member

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    OK. Thanks for all the responses!
     
  10. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    keep all sciences ---but --remember they want the whole package don't neglect extra curricular they matter too JMI
     
  11. Rojo17

    Rojo17 Member

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    Schedule Allows 4

    After speaking with my counselor, my schedule will only allow me to take 4 APs. I had to drop AP Spanish and instead I'll be taking a lower level Spanish class.
     
  12. LakeErie69

    LakeErie69 Member

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    I'm taking 4 APs myself
     

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