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    #247450 - 08/12/20 05:03 AM AP scholar importance
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1576
    Tried a search but didn't find much. The whole AP scholar designations have changed.
    Also, SAT requirements have changed due to covid. What is the relevance in being some type of AP scholar when applying. People say this kid had 10 AP courses and didn't get into X but this kid had only one AP course and got into X. But applications are so fluid now. Extracurriculars are being cancelled. Opinions? Is it worth getting 10 APs? I mean, if you are getting the scores. Some say that you are not focused. I think it is just challenging yourself.

    #247451 - 08/12/20 06:50 AM Re: AP scholar importance [Re: Wren]
    cricket3 Offline

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 676
    As you say, all things related to applications and probably AP-related things are in flux and probably very different from how they were viewed in the past, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Our views were exactly as your last line reads- the point for my kids was that these classes were where the challenge lay, as far as what was easily available in their high school environment/schedules. As far as the designations, personally we ignored them (and didnít even realize they were a thing, though DD was a National AP scholar, and perhaps DS as well, I donít really know). She didnít mention it in apps, her school ignored it, etc- it was a non-thing here.

    The classes did enable both kids to place into higher level classes, or in some cases place out of required courses. And in some courses they learned things that have proven useful going forward- DD studied a lot of environmental science in middle school (mainly for science olympiad, but she also took that AP exam) and up has found that as a result she has a very good understanding of some geochemical stuff, beyond what many of her peers in related coursework now seem to know, for example. So totally unplanned, but ultimately quite useful.

    On the other hand, DS was able to earn a 5 on physics C without taking the course or preparing at all (complicated story, high school class was not desirable for several reasons) so I doubt he has a commanding grasp of the material (I may be wrong on that) but he will be able to place out of the first physics course in college, and potentially earn credit for it if he does well in an intermediate class.

    I fully realize this yearís AP exams were ridiculously limited in scope, which makes me put even less stock in them as a means to evaluate a year of supposedly advanced learning. But I think my point is that the exams themselves donít necessarily mean much. But a year of a challenging class is potentially very valuable. Whether that is the view of college admissions is debatable and probably varies considerably.

    #247452 - 08/12/20 08:16 AM Re: AP scholar importance [Re: Wren]
    cricket3 Offline

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 676
    Just an additional thought...

    DD has a friend who became a National AP scholar somewhat early, either after sophomore or junior year, I canít remember. This is unusual in our school because of the inflexibility and rigidity of both the administration and the scheduling, so she must have either self-studied or taken outside classes, or some combination.

    At any rate, she was disappointed with college admission results. She is currently at a very well-regraded university, but it was not a top choice for her. DD sort of assumed that her applications were transparent in that she was super-focused on gaining admission to a particular school (of course, an ivy) and that her high school years, and probably earlier years as well, were all very calculated to achieve this. Because of taking many AP exams early in high school, she didnít take several of the most well-taught classes at the school. She ended up taking no science or math courses her senior year, for example. And she picked up a new (to her) uncommon extracurricular activity in high school, which just so happens to have a presence at several elite colleges. All of which could have been normal, curious exploration and changing interests. Or they could have been viewed as calculated, orchestrated plans. A shame, as she is a wonderful, talented girl, who happens to have some crazy-aggressive parents with lofty expectations.

    Bottom line is that itís anyoneís guess what they are looking for, and I believe kids are doing themselves a disservice trying to fit themselves into someone elseís categories or boxes. But I do understand.

    Edited by cricket3 (08/12/20 08:16 AM)
    Edit Reason: Typos

    #247453 - 08/12/20 11:56 AM Re: AP scholar importance [Re: Wren]
    mithawk Offline

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 253
    The simple answer is that, after a certain number of APs, there is no benefit to more for the most elite colleges. I think that 8 is more than sufficient, and that assumes that your high school offers a large number.

    My D was accepted to a top-5 college with 6 AP classes, plus two self-study tests. My S was accepted to many top-10 colleges with a plan of having 7 AP classes, plus two self-study tests. He finally ended up taking only 5 AP tests because in 2020 the college didn't care if the he took the tests his senior year.

    Note that places like Georgia Tech, which is elite in engineering, seems to favor applicants with more APs. Other public schools may have a similar view.

    #247454 - 08/12/20 12:04 PM Re: AP scholar importance [Re: Wren]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1576
    Thanks Cricket. I think they got rid of National scholar. Just the lower one and International or something. DD will have a lot after this year, she just did Chinese and CS last year in 10th grade. But it is basically the scheduling at her school, which is a private academic.
    I think the focus on something is key now. Not just picking up a an activity. DD has her package of ECs and her passion is unusual. And fits her activities.


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