In the curriculum of many schools, the core subject that gives high school students the most freedom to choose what specifics they want to study is science. You have to take some basic courses, but are free to take, or not to take, a second year of biology, chemistry, and/or physics, or a first year of a “specialty subject” in science, like marine biology, intro to engineering, aerodynamics, and a lot of others (side note: floral design is considered a specialty science. Yes, science).
If you took your science classes in the typical order and didn’t opt for IPC or your school’s equivalent science course (an introductory class to help prepare you for the basic sciences), then senior year, you have a lot of options. To move from the general to the specific—I have a lot of options.
The only ones that count for AP credit, at least that my school offers, are second year biology, chemistry, and physics. I opted out of honors for my chemistry and physics classes, so I probably wouldn’t have a very good time in AP Chem or Physics. My teacher last year did recommend that I go for the three AP sciences approach, but I’d rather retain my sanity, thank you very much.
At this point, it’s looking like I’ll be taking AP Biology and one or two specialty sciences. I’m good at science, and I’ve managed to free up my senior year quite a lot by taking multiple online classes, though that’s its own story. I think I want to take Anatomy, but who knows what sciences will be offered next year, since apparently, they’re cutting down the number of small classes. We’ll see.
I’ve talked to my school counselor about it and got no information, because the school’s “houses” got rezoned this year and I now have a new one who has no idea what’s going on. Some of my friends recommend choosing lots of non-honors specialty sciences, and others say forget everything that isn’t AP. From what they’ve said, I think I’ll do a bit of both.
Specialty sciences aren’t especially difficult, for the most part (I did hear aerodynamics was positively wicked hard, but that was from a dubious source). But apparently, they allow you to figure out what you’re good at, and what you want to do. I could use some career help, so I’ll be giving it a try. One girl discovered that her life dream is to study birds in South American rainforests that will unfortunately all be extinct by the time she’s gotten her Ph.D. Maybe I’ll discover something just as good…