Getting into a good college...

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    Rad gcn_zelda's Avatar
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    Getting into a good college...

    Well, I'm a freshman in high school. I'm in honors classes and am planning to take AP(Advanced Placement) classes next year. I plan to go to BYU for college.

    Would it be better to take advanced classes and get B's or average/regular classes and get A's?

  2. #2
    Lead Moderator kermi3's Avatar
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    That's one of the most difficult questions in college admissions...I once head the dean of admissions at Furman University asked that. Her response was: "We prefer A's in AP classes."

    Honestly though I think you should do the advanced classes. They don't like it if it looks like you coasted through and didn't try and push yourself. Just take enough regular classes and work hard enough to maintain a good GPA too.
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    i have always been of the opinion that the learning you get out of it is better than the grade.

    with that in mind, the question becomes "should i take regular classes and be bored to tears, or take advanced classes and acutally be interested in and challenged by the things i am learning"

    when you put it that way, the answer is obvious

    and since you are already taking honors and AP classes, dont let the lure of good grades get in the way of you actually accomplishing something.
    I came up with a cool phrase to put down here, but i forgot it...

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    I'm a freshman as well and I fear that I won't be able to make AP classes simply because I'm not getting good grades in my honors classes. The main reason I'm not doing well is because I am so bored with the stuff that I don't put all my effort into it, and when something that actually is challenging manages to slip through, I don't realize it and don't do well.

    I know I could get better grades in a more advanced class. I might actually care about the classes more.

    have always been of the opinion that the learning you get out of it is better than the grade.
    I agree with you 100%.

    I could also do better in school if I actually wanted to do homework. I don't do homework because I don't really need it. I learn things very quickly, and I usually don't need to spend hours practicing it. Therefore I am not motivated to do it. I wish homework was optional. In my opinion, if somebody never does his homework and then fails a test, it's his fault for not doing homework. If somebody does his homework when he needs to, and then passes the test, his good grade on the test shouldn't be brought down by not doing needless homework.

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    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    I could also do better in school if I actually wanted to do homework. I don't do homework because I don't really need it. I learn things very quickly, and I usually don't need to spend hours practicing it. Therefore I am not motivated to do it. I wish homework was optional. In my opinion, if somebody never does his homework and then fails a test, it's his fault for not doing homework. If somebody does his homework when he needs to, and then passes the test, his good grade on the test shouldn't be brought down by not doing needless homework.
    Here is some advice from someone thats been in that situation. Do the homework, its good for you. Reasons:
    1) Repeation helps engrain the information. You may feel you know the material and you might retain it for the duration of the class but what about 5 years from now? Will you still remember it? Will it come naturally?
    2) This is a more important reason, it teaches you how to suck it up and do the stuff you don't want to do. Being able to do that is needed for success.

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    In the future, your boss won't accept, "the work makes me bored, that's why I don't do it so well". If you're the kind of person that understands things quickly, the problem will never go away. When I was in 7th grade biology, I really could have aced the final before the first day of class, but I came near failing because I never did the work. Now that I'm in AP biology, it's the same problem. My philosophy now is, that a smart person would realise the benefits of doing what is needed to get a good grade, even if irt is impractical. If you think you're to smart for the class and can't even get a good grade, that's pretty stupid.

    But getting back to the original question:

    I would take the AP classes. For one, you'll be more prepared when you get to college. I've heard from a lot of these reps that come around to high schools that too many students are getting to college expecting it to be like high school with dorm rooms. YOu never know - you work hard enough you may still ace the whole system.

    edit: On a more specific note, if you plan to go to BYU you better get some really high grades - the best way being 5.0's from acing AP classes. Average GPA for BYU admission is now something like 3.75. Unless you want to go to "Second Choice- BYU Idaho" - "Don't worry son, there's always BYU Idaho". Heh heh... potatoes..
    Last edited by sean; 02-29-2004 at 03:30 PM.

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    Registered User linuxdude's Avatar
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    I am a sophmore I am not in Advanced classes but I am in honors classes. I havent' gotten a B yet but I wouldprefer to be in the classes that I am in; I am in regular English and hate it, but honors math and love it.

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    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    My high school only offers two AP classes (I think). One of them is AP Biology, and the other I can't remember. Fortunately, our community college has a program that allows high school students to take classes there. I think I'm going to take a math class or two there.
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    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    Well, since i AM going to BYU right now I could offer my advice.

    The average GPA at BYU is about a 3.75 or so, like sean already said. I had a 3.55 coming out of high school.

    I took almost all AP courses, and a couple regular level courses. I normally made B's in the AP courses with a few A's scattered inbetween depending on the subject (made all A's in comp sci AP).

    BYU looks more at the ACT than the SAT, although they do accept both, and if you only take the SAT they do offer a conversion scale so you know what your rough ACT equivalent would be.

    The average ACT score at BYU is 27 to 30 or so (I got a 27).

    Just as long as you do well in school it should not be too hard to get in. BYU isn't a school where you have to be absolute top of your class to be able to get into it, but that doesnt mean it is easy. It is a very good school with very high standards (as can be seen by the average GPA being a 3.75).

    Make sure to participate in clubs while in high school. Those help out. Good luck in high school, and I hope to see you at BYU in 4 years (as I will probably still be there, since I will be going on my mission soon and wont be back for 2 years)

    sidenote: so gcn_zelda i assume you are mormon since you are planning on BYU? if you are that brings the mormon count up to 3 on these boards. you, me, and sean.
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    Rad gcn_zelda's Avatar
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    Wow... 3 mormons? Pretty high for a message board. Most that I am active in have 1 to none besides me.

    I had a 3.55 last semester without AP classes to boost my GPA, but I figure it'll just get harder.

    In my sophomore year, they offer AP Chemistry and AP European History, I'm planning to take both.

    About the clubs, I don't think I have to worry about that. I'm in Marching/Concert Band, Track, and I almost have my Eagle Scout award.

    And I'm probably going to take the ACT every year.

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    I too suffered from the "lack of motivation" syndrome in my first couple of years in high school. I was in honors classes and all that. I understood the stuff, did well on tests, but when it came to doing normal work stuff (i.e. projects, homework) I either procrastinated or didn't do it. In the 11th grade, I entered the International Baccalaureate program and in an attempt to impress a girl I liked, I worked hard to receive all A's And by golly, I did it. Now, half way through my senior year, I've gone 3 semesters in a row with straight A's. Honestly, looking back I wish I would have worked harder my first two years. I'm positive I could've gotten straight's all the years I've been there if I had worked a little more on the "side work." I would have an easier time now getting into colleges.

    But yeah, I recommend, just work hard with the advanced classes. Put school as your first priority!

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    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Take the hard courses.

    Do the best you can in them.

    Do OTHER stuff (sports, clubs, etc.)

    Be a leader.

    Make good impressions on professors/teachers.

    Do all that and most colleges will not deny you.

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    2) This is a more important reason, it teaches you how to suck it up and do the stuff you don't want to do. Being able to do that is needed for success.
    I cannot think of any reasons why this thread has continued after this comment.

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > I had a 3.55 last semester without AP classes to boost my GPA, but I figure it'll just get harder.

    I really wish that schools wouldn't do this. It makes those of us who didn't get extra credit for AP classes look a lot worse.

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    And they're introducing a new system in our district where honor classes are on the same concept, but a different scale.

    A = 4.5
    B = 3.5
    C = 2.5
    D = 1.0
    F = 0.0

    Everyone's getting ........ed because they're the exact same course we took just 2 years ago. They also changed a CP Chemistry class to AP credit because the instructor was known to be difficult, but they made no changes to the course, and didn't make any adjustments to our GPA.

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