Will it hurt me?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: April 2004 Archive: Will it hurt me?
By Burnasiancorpse (Burnasiancorpse) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 10:04 pm: Edit

I'm now a sophomore in algebra II. Next year I'm taking 5 AP courses, and since I'm not that good at math, I decided not to take math next year so I'll have less to worry about.

I'm getting a private tutor to teach me both pre-calculus and calculus, and in 12th grade, I'll take AP Calculus BC.

Will colleges frown upon me? My math schedule, if goes as planned, will be:

8th grade: Algebra I Honors
9th grade: Geometry Honors
10th grade: Algebra II Honors
12th grade: AP Calculus BC

If I want to go into something like engineering will it hurt?

By Somecanadianguy (Somecanadianguy) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 10:41 pm: Edit

going into engineering w/o being a strong math student isnt really a good idea

By Nicksummers (Nicksummers) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 10:53 pm: Edit

It's easy to "say" you'll take BC, but if you're not a strong math student, you won't get there without a heck of a lot of work. I would highly recommend NOT taking this course. If you must do this private stuff, which is rather odd, then shoot for AB.

Skipping a year of math is OK, but you should forget the private tutoring and take Precalculus in 12th grade. Still, I would encourage you NOT to skip a year of math, as doing so is somewhat questionable from an admissions perspective. And if you're into engineering, it's a bad move...

By Ubercollegeman (Ubercollegeman) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:00 am: Edit

Check with your counselor. I know that our school does NOT allow you to self-study math courses and take placement tests for skipping classes.

I discourage the skipping math plan, especially for an engineering plan. Instead, try taking Math Analysis (Pre-Calculus) in the summer of your 10th->11th grade year. Then take Calculus AB 11th grade and self-study the C section. There are really only a few extra concepts that you have to know for the BC test.

By Burnasiancorpse (Burnasiancorpse) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:56 am: Edit

I was planning on doing an AB course over the summer 11th-->12th so then I'll be readily prepared for BC. What do you mean by "questionable from an admissions perspective," precalculus isn't required in our school, so i'd technically be skipping a non-required class.

By Burnasiancorpse (Burnasiancorpse) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:00 am: Edit

Not to mention I self-studied in most of my past and present math course(s) anyhow, because my
teacher(s) were/is incompetent. Self-studying would be nothing new to me, not to mention i am avidly motivated to study math in order to improve my understanding of it.. so i can go into engineering (in reference to canadiansguy's comment.)

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:40 pm: Edit

What AP courses are you taking next year and senior year? You will have to be careful with co-requisite courses (such as math and physics) if you skip a year. Could you take Stats next year? Its out of the pre-calc calc sequence, but at least its a math.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit

If you have already been self-studying in your past and present math courses, why don't you do that and take Pre-Calculus? If you are interested in engineering (or pretty much any science), you will have a better chance college-wise if you can demonstrate a strong math background. Some colleges might notice the lack on math class in one hs year and not notice the "jump" in math your senior year.

Also, you should remember that many college decisions are based on your junior year info since you will be applying before your senior year is completed, so most of these schools won't see the AP Calc at all until after they have already decided to accept you (which might be jeopardized if you only show the two Algebra classes and Geometry).

I'd suggest taking the Pre-Calc since you are already planning on learning it so you have something to show colleges.

By Burnasiancorpse (Burnasiancorpse) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 06:12 pm: Edit

as it is now, i can't take precalculus over the year, nor over this summer (without it being regular) so I could always take an 11th grade math class it the summer right before i send admissions, would that work?

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 06:55 pm: Edit

Do you know where you want to apply to college? If so, the best thing would be to talk to admissions people at these schools about it, and to check out the requirements very careful. Not having an 11th grade math on your transcript will be unusual for an engineering prospect, and it would be something you would have to explain (without blaming on bad teachers). If your GC said you had a conflict it might help - but again, its odd for an engineering student not to have math at the top of the list. Please please talk to both your GC and admissions folks about this.

By Burnasiancorpse (Burnasiancorpse) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Not having an 11th grade math on your transcript will be unusual for an engineering prospect, and it would be something you would have to explain (without blaming on bad teachers).

Maybe you should read what i wrote more carefully, misinterpretation won't help.

not to mention i already typed that I might be taking precalculus over the summer, in which case...I'd like to know if it would show up as if i took it 11th grade?

Summer 10th-11th

Please, thats all i really need an answer to right now, because chancse are i will take it over the summer.

By Sherwin (Sherwin) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:26 pm: Edit

If you're not that good at math, no offense or anything, but why take engineering? It all depends by what you mean by "not that good." If not that good means you get 88's on most test's because arithmetic errors, your English skills are far superior to your near-superior math skills, or that you know two people that are a lot better than you, don't worry about it. But if you find yourself frequently studying in math just to squeeze by, and it's your "hard subject," you might not even want to take Calculus in high school (unless you have excellent determination). However, if you are a very strong student I would highly recommend taking summer courses in math so you'll be where you need to be. (Maybe take precalc this summer, trig the next summer to get back into the math mood, then Calculus AB senior year). The BC just seems like too much of a stretch if Math isn't your thing.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 11:34 am: Edit

You probably would be okay taking it summer 10th-11th, but you'd have to check with your GC to see how that would show up on your transcripts (although I can't see why it wouldn't be there in time for college apps).

I also want to point out that it probably wouldn't be that bad if you did take Pre-calc "regular", especially if you are considering taking AP Calculus. If you'd be able to take it a year earlier (even if it is regular) I think that would probably be most beneficial....but not if you still can't fit math in for 11th grade. As it has been mentioned several times, if you are going for engineering, it is pretty important to show a steady line of math courses throughout school.

I would suggest that you check with your guidance counselor. Your GC might be able to help you find a solution that we don't know about (perhaps an after school class at your local c.c., or a summer program you might not be aware of, etc).

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 12:32 pm: Edit

Sorry, Burnasiancorpe, I got confused with where precalc might show up. If you talk to your GC and he/she can assure you that it will show up as an 11th grade course, it won't look like a gap. (In my son's school, summer courses show up on the following academic year). And if you are getting a tutor, you should be well prepared for your AP course in 12th grade. While you are talking to your GC, just make SURE that you can enter an AP course from a regular precalc course. If there is a problem doing so, you may need to get your parents involved to make sure you can take the course.

By Dabigv12 (Dabigv12) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 02:45 pm: Edit

youre making life alot harder on yourself by messing around with your schedule. i cant see a qualified GC giving you the thumbs up to not take a math JUNIOR year. and i agree with sherwin, many of my friends are aspiring engineers and took geometry in 8th grade. youre basically on the same course i took in hs, were exceptional at math, just not AMAZING (then again im not going to major in anything mathematical). id rethink if i were you.

By Burnasiancorpse (Burnasiancorpse) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:12 pm: Edit

Ok, so because of all your advice I'm not going to self-study. Instead, I will take precalculus (probably honors) over the summer 10th - 11th. It is highly likely that it will show up 11th grade, like ohio mom said it did in her son's schools.

I'm still not exceptional at math (i got a B in algebra 1, A in Geometry, and so far an A in algebra 2, but anything can happen) and i'm trying hard in my algebra 2 class, which everyone agrees isnt very easy. With tutoring and selfstudy on the side, what are my chances of greatly excelling at math and on SAT? (i got a 1200 on PSAT)

thanx for all the answers

By Burnasiancorpse (Burnasiancorpse) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:26 pm: Edit

also, "algebra 2" is my hard class, but nobody got an A the first quarter and i was one of few who did the second and third. I got a B on the midterm, so this last quarter determines if i get an A or not. Its nerve-wracking and really stressful. I'm scared colleges seeing a B in both Algebra 1 and 2 will immediately reject me, is it possible? Also, I may consider taking Calculus AB 12th isntead of BC...whoever mentioned that, tell me what you think?

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 01:12 pm: Edit

You know, its just possible that math may get easier for you as you progress through the sequence - long division was the absolute low point for my son; he's currently doing very well in precalc honors *and* enjoying it. If you enjoy it more as time goes by - engineering is a good option. You won't have to choose Calc AB or BC until you are most of the way through precalc, so you will have a good idea of what you feel upto.

About your grades - there are all types of engineering schools. Some will almost require A's, others won't. When the time comes, you will need to select a reasonable assortment of schools where you are at or above the profile; you can ask admissions about this so that it won't be a big mystery.

About stress in the last quarter - I have found that reading ahead in the textbook (by a lecture or so) really helped me in the classes I found most difficult (I have a particularly vivid memory of a wretched computer OS course I took about 20 years ago. I was proud of my C, but I only got it by reading ahead). This is especially true of courses where the teacher isn't so great, or if you can barely understand him because of his accent.

You will be taking the new SAT and I don't know enough about the math to comment on it - you will want to look at some of the threads on it for improving your score.

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