AP Selections

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Discus: College Admissions: December 2003 Archive: July 2003 Archive: AP Selections
By Jrc007 (Jrc007) on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 11:44 pm: Edit

I have a bit of a dilemma and any help would be welcome.

I want to know whether I should take AP English Lit or AP Physics B this coming school year. The reason I'm asking is because I read that colleges like the applicant to be well-rounded and to have the most rigorous course load possible in all fields. If I took AP English, I would be more diversified. However, I am going into pre-med and I feel that AP Physics B would benefit me more, and I'd rather take that than English Lit any day of the week.

These are my APs so far:

Junior year:

AP Calculus AB
AP Biology
AP Psychology

Senior year:

AP Calculus BC
AP Chemistry
AP Spanish

AND AP Physics B OR AP English Lit

So I'll have had a total of 7.

I realize that I'm already taking an AP science anyway next year, but I still really want to take AP Physics. Plus, I think that colleges would find it important for somebody who wants to be a doctor to take an advanced physics course. But, if I don't take AP English, I'll have to take regular English (my school doesn't offer an honors English for seniors; it's either AP or regular [called CP at my school].)

I know that's kind of a long schtick, but what should I do?

(By the way, any Cornellians reading this, that's my first choice and any advice on the AP situation there would be most helpful.)

By Asknot11 (Asknot11) on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 11:59 pm: Edit

Take AP English Lit. It will help you out tremendously for a few reasons. One, colleges do want a well rounded student who has taken AP's in all the important subject areas. You already have Chemistry, Biology, Calc AB, and Calc Bc for science/math courses. You have AP Psych, which isn't looked at as a rigorous AP class, and AP Spanish which is good. AP English will make you appear to be more well rounded. Two, AP English is just a valuable course. By taking this course you should be more prepared for college writing.
Plus Physics has nothing to do with being in a pre-med track. Colleges like to see AP physics for those interested in Engineering. Biology is the big pre-med AP, plus you have Chemistry on top of that.

By Serene (Serene) on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 12:02 am: Edit

Go with Physics B. I am not Cornellian but I doubt their med college (Weill) accepts AP credits. That's what med colleges usually do, too -- make you take their classes. So if it doesn't count either way... take what you like. =)

By Apguy (Apguy) on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 12:10 am: Edit

Yeah, being able to write well is always valuable, no matter what your major. Anyway, if you are trying for Caltech or MIT or something I would recommend AP Physics. For all others non tech/math concentrated schools I would recommend AP English Lit. Also, AP Physics has a lot of potential of killing your senior GPA. I'm not sure if you want to obsess over grades during your second semester senior year or during the time you are doing applications. AP english just seems to have better overall benefits for you academically (unless you are for sure going into a science path, then too it is very important) and generally more students do better in English than Physics. But then again if you have more interest in Physics you might do better in that.

I think you should ask yourself a few questions.

1. Which one has less potential in damaging my GPA.
2. Which class will I be happier in?
3. Which class will the workload be heavier?

Either way, you are taking an AP course in a core subject so adcoms will be happy.

By Bullrider7788 (Bullrider7788) on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 05:58 pm: Edit

Seeing as how you haven't taken AP English Language, you should go with AP English Lit. It shows an increase in schedule rigor, and makes you a better rounded student. Not having taken either english AP can hurt your chances at any non-tech college.

By Asknot11 (Asknot11) on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 07:30 pm: Edit

Take AP Lit, as long as you aren't applying to MIT or another take school. You have enough aps in math and science.

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