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Old 02-12-2013, 03:31 AM   #1
Overgrowth
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Default AP Classes

I'm starting high school next fall, and I'm seriously freaked out over AP classes. I'm doing only one class (AP Gov) in 9th grade, and sure, that's not too bad, but I'm dreading the junior and senior years. My goal college is Dartmouth, and I want to take a reasonable amount of AP courses to be accepted, but I don't want less than a 4.0 (unweighted) GPA, but before that, I DEFINITELY don't want to have a nervous breakdown and/or insanity. So, does anyone have secrets to share about surviving these tough classes? I've already got a study buddy (we're both in the top 1% of our whole school and have 95+ averages & both scored 1700+ on the SAT), but I'm still worried about the workload and the intense cram sessions. Is it true that many students stay up for 8+ HOURS A NIGHT doing homework/studying? Also, do people's GPA's drop drastically when taking AP's? I'm scared
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:33 AM   #2
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Don't be, ap classes are like any other class, in my experience ap classes mean harder tests and less homework, it is more on you to succeed, if you get into the hang of it it's not that bad taking a full load of AP classes

I think I studied for an hour a night max having a full load of ap classes. It's all on how good your memory is though, and how you learn, if you learn by seeing and hearing you're all set.

Last edited by pmcarbrey; 02-12-2013 at 03:34 AM.. Reason: Hahahahha. 8 hours studying
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:50 AM   #3
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I rarely studied for AP classes when I was in high school. I also never took notes in college. I could see/listen and remember the material. The only classes I ever had to really study for were organic chemistry 2 in college and process control (ChemE class).

Basically, gets back to what pmcarbrey said about memory.....also some class/teachers are harder than others so its hard to compare/judge.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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AP classes are totally worth it- I entered college with 56 credits due to the ones I took my jr and sr years of high school. (My school put a cap on the # of credits you could bring in after me hahahaha)
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #5
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A.P. classes are easy to manage and aren't really that time consuming, (coming from a tri-sport athlete) A.P. gov't was also probably the easiest A.P. class I've ever taken.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: AP Classes

Nothing to sweat. 8hrs+ a night is a bit drastic and exaggerated don't you think? I only spent about an hour a day for studying and homework. Sure, if you're a bit slower then maybe you might take 8hrs?

Oh and SAT scores mean nothing. I graduated in the top 10% and scored a 1440 on the SAT. My friend graduated in the last quarter towards the end and scored a 2200. Probably the best score in our graduating class by a few hundred. Hilarious because he never paid attention in class and rarely did his homework.

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Old 02-12-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overgrowth View Post
I'm starting high school next fall, and I'm seriously freaked out over AP classes. I'm doing only one class (AP Gov) in 9th grade, and sure, that's not too bad, but I'm dreading the junior and senior years. My goal college is Dartmouth, and I want to take a reasonable amount of AP courses to be accepted, but I don't want less than a 4.0 (unweighted) GPA, but before that, I DEFINITELY don't want to have a nervous breakdown and/or insanity. So, does anyone have secrets to share about surviving these tough classes? I've already got a study buddy (we're both in the top 1% of our whole school and have 95+ averages & both scored 1700+ on the SAT), but I'm still worried about the workload and the intense cram sessions. Is it true that many students stay up for 8+ HOURS A NIGHT doing homework/studying? Also, do people's GPA's drop drastically when taking AP's? I'm scared
1. AP classes are 110% worth it. Another cool route is to take classes at a local community college, say Chem, Calculus or Bio. I had several high school kids in my Intro College bio class I taught at College of Marin. Best students in the class actually, both got A+'s.

They had the ambition to ask me how to get an A in the class.
I told them.

No, you do not ever need to do 8 hours of homework a night. You are still kids and need a life.

It's much wiser to study specifically what you do NOT know, rather than rehashing over what you already do and waste your time. Ask people how to study, this is NEVER taught in classes, I teach it in my class, as it makes my life easier as someone who has to grade papers and exams. Much easier to grade A's and B's, vs C's and D's.

1.Go to class
2. Read ahead, so when you hear the lecture, you are hearing the concepts again(2X)
3. That night before going to bed, or any down time you have waiting around, re write your notes in outline form carefully(3x).
4. Cover one side of the outline and see if you can answer the topic/question you wrote. If you can answer it, it's already in the brain.
If you cannot, then high light it with yellow high lighter(4X).

5. Re read the yellow high lights. This is what you do NOT know. Now try it again after reading again. Still missing 2-3? Highlight in orange this time. Reread again, you pretty much will have them all at that point. (5X)

I do the out lines 2-3 weeks before exams typically. Does not take long.

This will prep for any exams.
If you do the above it's tough to ever get less than a B.

Writing papers, start asap, bring a draft to the instructor at least a few days before it's due, ask how to improve it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Writing papers, start asap, bring a draft to the instructor at least a few days before it's due, ask how to improve it.
This ^^^

Most college exams consist of a blank "blue book" with the instructions to write an essay explaining everything covered in the class.

Most college professor will tell you exactly what they want for answer if asked before hand.


All that being said I believe that for something like 75% of people that go to college it is a complete waste of time and money. Your drive, work ethic and ambition to "get ahead in life" will get you light years further ahead in life then some diploma in a frame.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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AP classes are totally worth it. even if you go to a college that doesn't give 'credit' for the class they will place you in a higher class allowing you to have a more diverse college experience.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #10
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Overgrowth you need to relax! Plantbrain's advice is good, basically be prepared and study efficiently. That will mean different things in different classes. I'm sure you are already doing it and will rock any AP class.

Just remember you need to do other things and stand out outside of academics. Start planning that as well now.

Good luck and I'm sure you will be fine! You should also look into Columbia, NYC rocks!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:44 PM   #11
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Ap classes are very worth it. I got like 40-50 hours from them...out of the 120 something I need to graduate. Yes, I got like 5s on all of them but NO I didn't study all night. In fact most days I just played counter strike or some other game until like 1am. When people tell you they're studying 8+ hours a day they always fail to mention they were reading a message board, using facebook or watching a tv show or something.

Don't worry about it. Also I strongly recommend against taking the AP compsci test unless that's your hobby or something. It was obscenely difficult (got a 1). Well that's what happens when you spend your class time making a brick break game with the bricks arranged into obscene body parts. Them arrays man.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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Okay, I feel much better now. Thankfully I have a good memory. Thanks you guys
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:35 AM   #13
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My school's more IB focused, but it does offer a few AP classes and I'm currently taking APUS as a sophomore. Honestly the course itself isn't that difficult. It's really helpful to outline the reading as you go so you can refer back to it when studying for a test/exam. I do all the week's assignments during part of the weekend, so it's not very stressful at all.

I find that what does most people in is their fear from the hype. They freak out about assessments and expect to not do well, and therefore don't do well. As long as you set good expectations for yourself, you should be fine.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:10 AM   #14
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My school's more IB focused.
Nerd.


I did IB too lol
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:09 PM   #15
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I just spoke to my daughter and she had a great point, you guys should self study for the AP Enviro test, most of it's on nitrogen cycle etc.. all planted tank type stuff.

if your school won't let you sit for the exam just call schools in your area and take them there.
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