AP Exam vs. Course Validation

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by dcrow2, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. dcrow2

    dcrow2 Member

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    As my school begins to push students toward signing up for the AP exams, I have one question on my mind:
    Is it better for an Academy applicant to take AP exams or validate courses during BCT at the Academy?

    I am confident I could score a 5 on psychology and English language, and a 4 or 5 on calculus BC (calc 2).
    I am confident I could instead validate the same subjects during BCT and maybe algebra-based physics B, if the Academy tests that.

    Which provides a better route?
     
  2. Jspar16

    Jspar16 Member

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    Why is it one or the other? It was my understanding that the academies don't accept AP credits anyways
     
  3. Damarkodixon

    Damarkodixon Member

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    I remember reading that the academies take Ap scores (only 4s and 5s) but you still have to take the same number of classes anyways
     
  4. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    A few things:

    1.Not every class has a validation test during basic (English definitely doesn't.)
    2.Yes, you'll still have to take the same number of classes during your first year. You'll just get started on sophomore core classes, leaving you more time your junior/senior year for study abroad, adding a minor, etc etc.
    3.The Academy does accept AP credits and transfer credits depending on the department, course, and score/grade.

    Some people encourage not trying to validate classes...I would just say to be careful. If you've historically struggled in math, taking advanced calc II your first semester might be rough. However, validating a class in a stronger subject might be to your advantage.
     
  5. dcrow2

    dcrow2 Member

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  6. bobloblaw

    bobloblaw New Member

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    You can validate: Frosh English with a 5 on AP Lit or Lang only! No 4's accepted for 2017
    Calculus- 4/5 on AP test & good score on BCT test
    Language- AP scores help, BCT test
    Behavioral Science- 5 on AP test
    Chem- 4/5 on AP test, good score on BCT test, you will be placed into a 1 semester accelerated chem class
    There are others, if you have specifics message me
     
  7. Rdelahunr

    Rdelahunr Member

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    Why would you have to decide between validating through AP versus validating through a test at BCT? I would just take every AP test you can and try to validate any other courses for which you didn't take AP. If your AP score isn't high enough to validate you still get a second shot by placing well at BCT.
     
  8. chocksout

    chocksout Member

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    I am currently a full time Engineering student/currently enlisted guard airmen with an application to the USAFA. My question is will my 2 years of engineering credits "calc's,physics,chems" transfer to the academy and is there a cap if so? Or would I need to validate the credits by taking the exams during BCT? Any insight would be greatly apperciated thanks!
     
  9. Rdelahunr

    Rdelahunr Member

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    From what I've been told, your credits will not transfer. Your knowledge, however, will allow you to test out of English, chemistry, calc, computer science, possibly physics, etc. If you take the AP test then maybe it is like an extra shot at validating if you're kind of on the line of passing the validation test or not. They usually accept 4-5 at USAFA. If you have a good background in some of those core classes then you should be able to validate. Also, some classes are much harder to validate than others. I heard chemistry is the weed out bring you to tears class so they don't like to validate it unless you're very good at it (like 5 AP I think).
     
  10. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    DS and I attended a USAFA nominee brunch this past weekend. There were 7 current cadets there that answered a myriad of questions. 1 came to USAFA after a year at Georgia Tech. She transferred in credits for 8 classes (extremely rare) and 1 came from Norwich and nothing transferred (the norm). As for validating, you are tested regardless of what AP you take, what college classes you've taken, etc. Everyone goes through it. The biggest incentive to validate is to free up your schedule as a senior, but you will be put in much higher classes and the cadets said that was hard, especially when some of them came from a background of not ever having to study for a class in high school. One cadet went from top of his HS class to ac pro because he didn't know how to study. Tough lesson.

    As an aside, the brunch was a wonderful chance to meet some truly impressive cadets and they answered a lot of questions for us rookies. Great event if you have the chance to attend one (ours was put on by the local parent club.)
     
  11. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    It reads like, at least for math, you have to do well on both the placement exam and AP test(s) (4/5) to validate. AP scores alone may validate some classes.
     
  12. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    We had heard that about Chem,

    at the AFA, as well as at the USNA. While they're all tough the first two years, DS was told by Cadets/Mids many think its the Math that will get them, when in fact its the Chem-that-kills.
     

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