Choosing Classes

SwiftGoose

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
13
Good evening,

I am currently a Sophomore heading into Junior year, and I need some help choosing classes. I apologize if this is off topic but help is greatly appreciated.

I have currently been interested in applying to the Air Force Academy, and from what I've heard, selecting a challenging curriculum is important in high school. I am involved with sports and extra-curricular, so I want a schedule that is manageable.

These are some of the courses I'm considering:

Latin III (likely taking this)
Calc 1 or Calc 1&2 (Both are AP)
English III or English III(AP)
Honors Physics
Chemistry (AP)
US History (AP)

Thanks.
 

Vitalzt

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
278
You are looking pretty good for now as a junior, senior year try taking AP Physics it will help a lot
 

Daretodream

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
246
I will give you advice based on my DS experience this year and what I have read from other parents. Many first year students struggle with Calculus 1 and 2. Other classes they say is hard includes Computer Science, Chemistry and some foreign languages.

Where you land your first year at USAFA depends on how many classes you validate during BCT testing. My DS took 16 AP classes in a very competitive and highly ranked high school. He validated 7 classes and his hardest classes the first semester were Chemistry and Cal 2.
 

SwiftGoose

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
13
I'm currently in Latin II, Pre-AP Math, Advanced English, Honors Chem, AP World History, and PE(requirement).

I have decided all of my classes except for math; If I take Calc 1&2, I'll have to take Multivariable Calc senior year.
Should I go that route or take AP Calc 1 junior year and Ap Calc 2 senior year?
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
613
I'm currently in Latin II, Pre-AP Math, Advanced English, Honors Chem, AP World History, and PE(requirement).

I have decided all of my classes except for math; If I take Calc 1&2, I'll have to take Multivariable Calc senior year.
Should I go that route or take AP Calc 1 junior year and Ap Calc 2 senior year?

There are very few cadets that end up validating out of multivariable calculus, most have taken something like AP calc BC as their highest level. Unless you plan to do a double major or something crazy and want to be able to validate calc 3 (multivariable), I think there isn't much benefit and would say that a slower paced, more in depth calculus class will be more helpful.

Beyond the academy, I can say that in general if you plan to pursue a math heavy degree (physics, math, aeronautical engineering etc) that knowing calculus backwards and forwards going into college is far more valuable than having exposure to multivariable.

That being said, if you are a math star with a great teacher, and feel you'll learn calculus WELL (and I don't mean just get an A, I mean understand it) in the single year, then go for it. If I had had that opportunity in high school I would have taken it, but it wasn't an option for me and I just took AP calc BC senior year.

For context: I did a double major at USAFA in physics and math and validated both semesters of calculus based on the tests we took in basic, starting in multivariable. I am now an AF physicist done with my masters degree and working on my PhD
 
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