AP Computers or Physics?

cama93

Member
Hello all,
I am going to be a senior next year (class of 2022 for a service academy, hopefully) and I am filling out my classes for next year. I have read that being proficient in computers is necessary for an academy regardless of your major, so I planned to take AP Computer Science next year so that I could be ready. I also have read that having an understanding of physics is necessary for an academy, so I planned to take dual enrollment Physics next year so that I could be ready. My dilemma is as follows; my school is super small and only offers one class of each. I signed up for both, and I just found out that they are scheduled to take place during the same period. Its looking like Im going to have to pick one. Any suggestions?
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
I recommend taking physics and doing a computer class online. Much of computer science can be self taught where as learning physics on your own is an absolute nightmare (this from a now physics PhD student who tried it back in high school). My computer classes at USAFA essentially involved sitting and writing code on my own anyway, very little was actual lecture.

Look for something that will give you a good feel for the logic of computer programming as well as a basic understanding of how computers work if you don't already know. At least, that's my recommendation, others might have different opinions
 

Artillery

Member
Hello all,
I am going to be a senior next year (class of 2022 for a service academy, hopefully) and I am filling out my classes for next year. I have read that being proficient in computers is necessary for an academy regardless of your major, so I planned to take AP Computer Science next year so that I could be ready. I also have read that having an understanding of physics is necessary for an academy, so I planned to take dual enrollment Physics next year so that I could be ready. My dilemma is as follows; my school is super small and only offers one class of each. I signed up for both, and I just found out that they are scheduled to take place during the same period. Its looking like Im going to have to pick one. Any suggestions?
Had literally the same exact issue. I decided to go with the physics just because comp sci, as USAFA10s said, is pretty open as far as the computer goes. People on youtube can teach it you if you really want to learn it.

As far as the application goes, I'm sure they just want to see that you're challenging yourself, so I decided to continue with physics for AP physics 2 instead of doing the comp sci. Honestly, don't know if this was the best decision in retrospect, but I'm sure it won't kill me. Just do what you love. If you want to major in something that the physics would help out more than the comp sci, then that'll really make it easier.
 
All of the academies are known for their engineering so I would choose physics as it will look better to admissions. If you truly love computer science, I would search online and teach yourself.
 

Capri120

Parent
I would recommend Physics over Comp Sci. DD's school was super small as well, graduated 23 in her class. She took dual credit Physics I and II, no computer science would fit in her schedule either.
 

wp24

Member
I took both classes my senior year and will be heading to West Point this summer. I would take AP Physics for mainly the reason that USAFA 10s said. Computer Science is a lot easier than AP Physics. Due to that, it is better to get help and learn in a classroom environment. It is very easy to get your head around much of the stuff in AP Computer Science. Most of it is basic intuition if you have some experience with computers. AP physics on the other hand is a easy at first because it is just regular physics again, but after a month, the math and critical thinking challenges you. Good luck and do as well as you can in the class you choose.
 

ca2midwestmom

5-Year Member
All 2018 cadets took 2 semesters each of Chemistry (Plebe year) & Physics (Yearling year). The academic program changed slightly for 2019 & future classes, I believe by giving the option of a Biology class instead of one semester of the above. (You can search on here for the thread.) It would be in your best interest to have some understanding of & background in these sciences. Physics may be a grad requirement at your Plan B school (it was for my DD at a state school with an secondary education/math major).
 

Badfinger

Member
Hello all,
I am going to be a senior next year (class of 2022 for a service academy, hopefully) and I am filling out my classes for next year. I have read that being proficient in computers is necessary for an academy regardless of your major, so I planned to take AP Computer Science next year so that I could be ready. I also have read that having an understanding of physics is necessary for an academy, so I planned to take dual enrollment Physics next year so that I could be ready. My dilemma is as follows; my school is super small and only offers one class of each. I signed up for both, and I just found out that they are scheduled to take place during the same period. Its looking like Im going to have to pick one. Any suggestions?
Another vote for physics. It will never become obsolete!
 
Hello all,
I am going to be a senior next year (class of 2022 for a service academy, hopefully) and I am filling out my classes for next year. I have read that being proficient in computers is necessary for an academy regardless of your major, so I planned to take AP Computer Science next year so that I could be ready. I also have read that having an understanding of physics is necessary for an academy, so I planned to take dual enrollment Physics next year so that I could be ready. My dilemma is as follows; my school is super small and only offers one class of each. I signed up for both, and I just found out that they are scheduled to take place during the same period. Its looking like Im going to have to pick one. Any suggestions?
Does your school offer regular computer science? I took AP Physics 1 and 2 as well as regular computer science and I loved both of them and having both I think really helped me with my appointment.
 

MidwestDad

Member
If you are considering engineering major then AP Physics is the only choice. Even if you are not I think Physics is better preparation for the rigors of SA curriculum. You won't need to be a comp-sci whizkid to get thru the SA; just proficient.
 

egehrke

New Member
As someone who has taken both, I highly recommend Physics in that it is MUCH more useful for a myriad of other things (like Calc, engineering courses, even Comp Sci in itself) whereas AP Comp Sci is useful for...pretty much only the AP Comp Sci test. I learned most of my computer skills through coding competitions and classes at a local college, both of which you can put on apps. Anyway, just my two cents. Best of luck!!
 

cama93

Member
Thank you all so much for your help! It sounds like Physics is unanimously the best choice, so I will take that one. As for Comp Sci, I will see if I can take it at the community college my school is connected to.
Thanks again everyone! :)
 
Top