Semester Grades

Jan 20, 2018
I am in all AP classes(6 total) and I ended up with a B- in one- AP physics. Do the admissions boards look at this? If I have to reapply next year will this affect my chances?
No. Getting a B- in one AP course will not change your chances of getting Academically qualified.
Do they "look" at it? Sure. And it is extremely unlikely to raise many/any red flags at this stage (or even almost any stage).

Why the B-? (Fencersmother brooks no excuses, mind you.)
I have a similar question but with more complexity. I may get a B on my semester AP Stats but got all As in 8 other classes including in 4 other solid APs. My school offers 1 semester in high school Stats and a full year in AP Stats only. If I want to not take AP STATS anymore I will have to get a credit for 1 semester high school Stats with a same grade of B. No additional point is given because I was enrolled in AP level.

I’m concerned that Academies I have been admitted to may frown upon the Stats grade. And that I decided to step out of AP Stats to high school 1 semester Stats. Will Academy and top colleges frown on a B on Stats class even when the rest of the grades are all A’s? The school is a nationally ranked top 100 school by the US News. But not sure that means anything. Our school doesn’t rank. I took Precalculus in 10th grade got 96 an A, took AP Cal AB in 11th got 96 an A, and took Physics got 97 an A. So I think my math is fine. I got 32 on ACT Math 35 on ACT English; 730 on SAT Subject Test Math II, 750 on SAT Math, 800 on SAT Verbal. I wasn’t able to put in enough time to Stats to pull an A. Had so much on my plate this Fall.

Because my schedule is already full, I need as much time I can get to study for the classes I will face in my first 3 semesters at the Academy. My school will not allow Auditing classes, so I will self study AP Cal BC, AP Physics C, and AP Chem beginning this Spring Term on my own time so I am ready for Plebe STEM. Unfortunately colleges and Academies will not see this on transcript because I have to do it as self study. It doesn’t matter because I’m self studying for knowledge so I am ready for first 2 years of core STEM at the Academy. Initially I was thinking of enrolling in the Army ROTC with a Major in History. But since I have been accepted to few Academies, I plan to enroll at an SA. And most SAs have heavy core STEM in the first 2 years.

So will college and Academies still frown on changing into high school Stats from AP Stats with a B? Should I explain this on a letter to colleges. What I am doing.

Please kindly give me your thoughts.
As a HS counselor I would advise you to keep AP Stats in spite of the B grade. For most competitive colleges it would draw more attention to change your senior year schedule than the grade of a B might. I also wouldn't draw attention to the grade by writing to colleges about it. If it were a C you might need to explain it, but not for a B. Changing your schedule senior year is a huge red flag.
As for USAFA I would assume they see things similarly.
Thank you Sir for your input. If I continue with the AP Stats instead of taking the high school Stats I will not have enough time to prepare for 3 other APs I want to prep. And I consider those courses more important and more immediate classes I will have to take in Plebe year. I took Chem in 10th grade so my knowledge is out of date in Chem. I don’t want to lose continuity in Calculus so want to jump back in. And AP Physics fits right in with Cal BC Track. I just ran out of schedule space in my senior year to program these classes. Plus I applied to 18 colleges and 6 scholarship Apps and let alone plowing through 4 academy Apps and conducted 15 college interviews in the Fall. Plus continuing with Varsity Sports in Senior year.

I am mindful of balancing all I have on my plate so that’s the decision I took as best as I can with time management. It has been an incredible act of time management and balancing and sacrifice. I came close to get them all done right but I guess I am not perfect despite the good effort. Plus there are things I cannot control. Classes may sound the same on paper but teachers are not. And some teachers teach classes with higher degree of demands than others in same class description. There is always 1 or 2 teachers like this in every grade. So it takes more effort to produce the same result in some classes.

I just want to be realistic and focus on what is more important ahead to prepare. Please give me more input to this matter as I should decide by next week on my class schedules and 7th semester reporting to colleges. Thank you very much.
I have another important ongoing project I want to complete before graduation which I have shared with only 1 college out of 18 I applied to. I am completing a 200 page research journal this Spring so that’s another time I have to manage. This is not a school required work but doing it for my personal knowledge and experience in the subject matter. I plan to publish this work this summer.
The academies look at the "Whole Person" when they evaluate competitiveness. Having ONE "B" in ONE class while the rest of your grades are good in challenging classes AND your test scores are above the averages will not impact if you are qualified or not. The board just qualifies your record then you move to the "slating" process where you compete against others. Sure there are a few kids who never got a "B" you my be competing against but your file seems pretty solid. Just keep doing the best you can.
Dear USMA 1994 and McGNJ. I took your advice and kept the AP Stats. My college counselors were happy with that decision as well. Initially I wanted to drop it because I was so overloaded. I ended up with a B- in AP Stats this Fall and in other classes got B+ A- and remaining all As. I am taking 9 classes (4 APs at the school) 7 are core. Additionally, I am self studying 5 additional AP classes on my own that will not show on the school transcript. I am taking 9 AP Exams this May, 5 are STEM. So you can see why I wanted to drop the AP Stats. Nevertheless, I ended the fall term with 4.2 Weighted and 3.7 Unweighted. I expect to graduate with 4.0 and 34 HS credits and 12 APs. My SAT 1550, ACT 32+. I hope the B- still doesn't reflect a poor performance to competitive colleges. I have stellar athletics, leadership, and scouting with long history since age 10. I got accepted to 3 top colleges so far, among them are SAs. While many kids are scaling down in 2nd semester Senior year, I am ramping up so I can finish strong and prep as much as I can before enrolling. I plan to retake all AP classes I took in college. I look at AP as a way to practice rather than to get college credits. So whether I get 3, 4, 5 in AP Exam, it really doesn't matter because I will take the placement exams at which ever college I enroll if I want to place out. But rather retake the same classes so I can learn from the college environment. Like to hear if anyone has opinions. Thank you very much.