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Taking Multiple AP Classes in a semester

March 2001

It's class selection time at Berkeley High and we're looking for some advice. My son plans to take AP Physics, AP Calculus B/C, and AP Latin (4th year). He is an excellent math student and Latin is his favorite subject, so this looks good so far. He is also in the Jazz Ensemble, which entails many hours of practice. The question is-- has anyone's child taken that combo so that we may have some idea what kind of work load we're talking about? Is it insane to consider AP English as well? What experience do people have with the 12th grade non--AP English electives? Are they more of the "nothing" we've come to expect from English classes? In other words, he's looking for something academically rigorous w/o having the life sucked out of him. I'd appreciate any thoughts from parents who've had kids in these classes. WR


In reply to WR who asked about her son taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP Latin,AP English, Jazz Ensemble: My daughter is taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP English, plus other classes and the diving team and finds it all quite an enjoyable challenge except for AP Physics which is over the top difficult and stressful. Unless your son is headed for Engineering or Physics in college, regular Physics might be a better choice. That one class robbed my daughter of her usual academic confidence and enjoyment. She has told me many times that she will never take another Physics class and that her love of science has been severly tested by this one experience. The AP English classes finally seem to be a reasonable English experience. Good luck. Anon
Thanks to everyone who wrote to me about their child's experience with multiple AP classes. We weighed all the input which ranged from "he'll go nuts" to "it will be good for him!" My son's decided on a path that feels sane for him: AP Physics, AP Calc, AP Latin and non-AP English and an interesting history elective. Thanks again. -WR
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